Originally Posted by Greg_D_R /t/325021/brave-3d-blu-ray-review#post_4001546
It's not just the fact that those elements were there, it was how poorly they were executed. To me, the handling of "My Mom, the Bear" was totally ham-fisted, in that every gag was exactly what you would expect. Pixar is renowned for taking setups that seem conventional, in unexpected directions, and that didn't happen for me at all with Brave. Also, everything about the witch (tone, jokes, characterization) was straight out of the most mediocre releases from Dreamworks. Up and Wall-E are miles above Brave. Merida is a fine character, and the conflict between her and her mother was set up well. After that though...
Actually I didn't anticipate a lot of gags, such as the mom trying to keep up decorum with utensils and napkins out in the woods. everything about the witch was straight out of Studio Ghibli, not Dreamworks--and it was hardly out of a mediocre Ghibli release, rather it was straight out of Spirited Away. The entire movie is about the conflict between Merida and her mother and in terms of Merida's internal development was about her immaturity and selfishness (which feed into the conflict); the story doesn't resolve when Merida tries to be more feminine as her mother wished, the story resolves when Merida takes on personal responsibility and apologizes--it's actually rather fine storytelling, resolving internal conflicts like Merida's personal obstacles) as well as the external conflict between Merida and her Mother--which comes moments after resolving the other Macguffin conflict with the bear Mor'du (but even as a macguffin, it is well used and thematically parallel when considering Mor'du's backstory).
And regarding the slapstick, I found everything with the three brothers to be some of the best slapstick Pixar has ever put on film, brilliant comic timing and great animation with that trio.