Frankenweenie. As it turned out, while I did enjoy Brave (considerably more than the lackluster Cars 2), I would actually give the edge to Frankenweenie by a bit.
It's hard to believe after a dozen other films, but Brave is Pixar's first to focus on a female character. Scottish princess Merida is rebellious against her mother the queen's plans for her, preferring a tomboyish lifestyle alone in the countryside with her horse and her considerable bow skills. When Merida happens upon a mysterious old woman who promises a way to make the queen change, she seizes the opportunity without realizing the sinister undertones in the offer. Adventure ensues.
Brave does return to Pixar's winning formula of emotionally ripe, character-driven stories. Cars 2 fell flat by being essentially devoid of any emotional content. Brave at least puts its heart in the right place, centering on the strained relationship between a mother and daughter. But that said, it's not a relationship that feels quite as deep as those presented in, say, Up, Finding Nemo, or other Pixar greats. Brave's story winds up being as strong as it is not because of what's on the script page, but because of the excellent efforts of the animators (who inject the mother with great expressiveness, even after her "change" occur).
If anything, Brave feels a Disney film -- perhaps fitting, as it's one of the first Pixar films conceived of and executed entirely after the company's full acquisition by Disney. Merida is even literally a "Disney princess." That's not to say that anything about the film is done poorly. Quite the contrary, actually. The visuals are incredible, with sweeping Scottish landscapes and cleverly designed characters. The voice actors are well cast, particularly Kelly MacDonald as Merida, and Emma Thompson and Billy Connolly as her parents. It's just that it all feels a bit conventional. Despite the different trappings (which you can never forget about, given the thick accents), this feels like a movie you've seen somewhere before.
I give Brave a B. It's certainly an improvement over Pixar's last effort, but it falls well short of the studio's many greats of years past.