Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Pixar's Brave gets a tonally awkward and redundant trailer.

The first 90 seconds of this 2.5-minute trailer is basically a distilled version of what's either the first act or the two reel of the film.  It's all stuff we've seen before, with an emphasis on light comedy and the lead's feeling of gender-based disenfranchisement.  But at around the 90-second mark, the trailer completely shifts gears and tries to arbitrarily sell a mythic fantasy picture, despite little in the footage to sell that.  Yes, I like the Celtic music, but putting somber, moving music in a series of somewhat random images does not make a trailer feel epic.  There's obviously a lot that Pixar/Disney isn't revealing in regards to the second half of the first, and more power to them for that.  But if you want to be cryptic, just stop cutting trailers and sell the film based on what you have.  

Just randomly cobbling together footage so you can have a new trailer is genuinely harmful to the ad campaign, as it dilutes the positive feelings left by that gorgeous TV spot that utilized the same music to a more powerful effect (since it wasn't tacked on at the end of 90-seconds of light bawdy comedy).  Pixar's Brave campaign is quickly running into the Green Lantern problem - cutting one trailer after another with the same set of images replayed, suggesting that you don't have anything else to sell.  If Brave hinges on a plot twist that Pixar doesn't want to reveal (and watching the trailer again made me realize there is a big hint hidden in the footage), then just have a little faith in the audience and the marketing power of their own brand.  This is quickly going from 'quit while you're ahead' to 'stop digging'.  Brave debuts on June 22nd.  As always, we'll see.

Scott Mendelson  

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