3D Blu-ray Review “Brave”

Actors: Kelly Macdonald, Emma Thompson, Billy Connolly, Julie Walters, Robbie Coltrane
Directors: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman
Number of discs: 5
Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Walt Disney Home Entertainment
Release Date: November 13, 2012
Run Time: 93 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 5 out of 5 stars

“Brave” is, so far, this year’s #1 animated movie.  This is also Pixar Animation Studio’s 13th consecutive hit. Merida has really earned herself a place as one of the respected Disney Princess quite quickly.  This film isn’t your typical Disney/Pixar collaboration, since I felt it was a bit darker but it is definitely one that sticks with you and gets better with each viewing. Brenda Chapman has only directed “The Prince of Egypt” before this film.  While “Brave” is Mark Andrews first feature film.  I look forward to see what they two are going to do after “Brave”. This release is a 5-Disc Ultimate Collector’s Edition, including a Blu-ray 3D + 2 Blu-ray Discs + 1 DVD + 1 Digital Copy. This release really has something for everyone and this is definitely a must buy for any family fans of Disney this Holiday season.

Official Premise: Set in the rugged and mysterious Highlands of Scotland, Disney Pixar’s Brave follows the heroic journey of Merida (voice of Kelly Macdonald), a skilled archer and headstrong daughter of King Fergus (voice of Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (voice of Emma Thompson). Determined to change her fate, Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the unruly and uproarious lords of the land: massive Lord MacGuffin (voice of Kevin McKidd), surly Lord Macintosh (voice of Craig Ferguson) and cantankerous Lord Dingwall (voice of Robbie Coltrane), unleashing chaos in the kingdom. When she turns to an eccentric Witch (voice of Julie Walters), she is granted an ill-fated wish and the ensuing peril forces Merida to harness all of her resources including her mischievous triplet brothers to undo a beastly curse and discover the meaning of true bravery.

When I saw this film in theaters, I liked it but really didn’t love it. I thought the 3D wasn’t really used to its best advantage but that changed on this Blu-ray. I thought the 3D really popped and added a lot of depth to the film. I also really enjoyed the character of Merida more and her journey. I was also very impressed with Disney’s Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio track, which was perfect with the action and the score. Also I was shocked with the fact that the short “La Luna” is actually available in 3D like it was in theaters. It is rare that there is 3D content available on the home release, besides the film. The theatrical short is also available in 2D on the standard BLu-ray and DVD. The short follows a young boy on his first night working the family business alongside his father and grandfather. It is very sweet and one of my favorite Pixar shorts to date.

The rest of the special features are found on the Blu-ray with the 2D version of the film. “The Legend of Mor’du” is a brand new short film, which delve deeper into the legend behind Mordu and is told by the witch who transformed him. “Brave Old World” is a feature about the production team investigating Scotland and planning to make this film unique. “Merida & Elinor” goes into depth on the mother and daughter relationship. “Bears” is a look inside the art and design behind these furry stars. “Brawl in the Hall” is a in-depth look into the animation and even the choreography for the funny battle scene. “Wonder Moss” focuses on how the technical aspects  were used by the Pixar artists of Scotland. “Magic” focuses on the magic and mystery used from the Scottish legends. “Clan Pixar” is a feature on how the Brave production crew really embraced the Scottish themes throughout the film’s production. “Once Upon A Scene” looks into how certain key scenes were made including alternative openings and also extended and deleted scenes. Lastly there is a director commentary track from Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman.  Fans of the film should definitely enjoy this track, not for the kiddies though.

The second standard Blu-ray includes special features only. “Fergus & Mor’du” is an alternate opening for “Brave” and is narrated by the film’s director Mark Andrews. “Fallen Warriors” is a montage of deleted shots from the film in various stages of completion also narrated by director Mark Andrews. “Dirty Hairy People” is a focus on created Brave’s Scots including their design of their hair, attire, etc. “It is English…Sort Of” helps fans to understand some of the Scottish lines and sayings in the film. “Angus” is a focus on Merida’s friend, Angus aka the mighty Clydesdale. “The Tapestry” gives fans a look into the story of the embroidered emblem of family unity. “Promotional Pieces” includes clips for including: ‘Feast Yer Eyes,’ ‘Relics,’ ‘Clan DunBroch,’ ‘Launch,’ and more. There is a art gallery including many breathtaking images from the film. “Wee Gaffes” is there a montage of animation scenes and bloopers. Lastly, “Renaissance Animation Man” looks into directors Mark Andrews’ love of Scottish culture.

 

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