Brave (2012, Mark Andrews & Brenda Chapman)

Princess Merida, with the most awesome red hair I’ve seen in any movie, doesn’t want to be won in a contest by the first-born sons of the tribal leaders, so she competes to win her own freedom. That night, as the good-natured annual party (led by her father the Bear King) threatens to devolve into full-on war, Merida creeps away and asks a witch to change her controlling mother. So mom is changed into a bear. Now Merida has to save her mom from her bear-hunting father, and break the spell, and figure out what to do about the marriage thing before war breaks out.

Katy called it “rambunctious” and said she likes at least ten other Pixar features more than this one. We both felt a bit chastised for not recognizing the film’s full greatness after reading L. Loofbourow’s brilliant article Just Another Princess Movie.

Late director Mark Andrews helmed Pixar’s One Man Band and co-wrote John Carter of Mars, replacing original writer/director Brenda Chapman (co-dir. of Prince of Egypt).

La Luna (2011, Enrico Casarosa)

The moon is covered with tiny shooting stars, and as it rises each night, a couple of boatmen lean a ladder against it, climb up and sweep them into place to form the proper crescent shape. More golden light and wide-eyed wonder than is typical for Pixar. Writer/director Casarosa was an artist on Ratatouille and Up. Too-big music by Michael Giacchino (Super 8, Cars 2). Katy and I liked it.

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