Perhaps the biggest disappointment of all is that a none-too-subtle theme that emerges from the movie is that to be a female who is also feminine isn't good enough. To be her own woman, a girl must shun femininity and comport herself as a fratty, bratty, boy.
Can you give a specific example of this? What exactly makes her a "fratty, bratty boy"? The horse riding, arrow shooting and rock climbing are the only "masculine" things she does, and they're only really masculine in the context of the film. Even then, they could hardly be considered "fratty." She rejects her arranged marriage and the constricting traditional dress her mother tries to put her in, but inasmuch as she does so it really reads to me as a defiant embrace
of femininity. E.g., her hair is wild, but it's not remotely boyish, and when she lets a small, rebellious lock of it out of her headdress during the presentation of the suitors, she looks more
feminine, not less. Similarly, her preferred style of dress is looser and more common, but it's nonetheless form-fitting and still very much women's clothing. Moreover,
when she suggests breaking tradition and allowing herself and the other clan leaders' sons to marry for love, she's inviting the other men to win her over as a woman rather than as a simple commodity or aristocratic prize. She never rejects the notions of marriage, family or love. If anything, she affirms their value.
And if you think the ways in which we see her being "bratty" are masculine, then I have to wonder whether you've ever lived with a teenage girl.
Anyway, count me as one of the "good, but not great" camp. This is an enjoyable, beautifully made film with positive but obvious lessons. It's not as well plotted or as smartly funny as Pixar's best work, but it's also not the worst thing they've done, and it's still easily better than the average Dreamworks animated film. Even a few of the jokes that come off very badly in the trailer and TV spots are actually funnier in context. The preceding short is also very charming (and it reaffirms what a tremendous asset Michael Giacchino is to Pixar and to modern filmmaking in general - such a gorgeous little score).
Incidentally, did anyone notice John Ratzenberger's requisite cameo? He's listed in the credits as the voice of "Gordon," but I have no idea who that character is, nor do I recall hearing his voice at any time. Ditto for composer Patrick Doyle, who is credited as the voice of "Martin."