DVD & Blu-ray Reviews

Brave (5-Disc Ultimate Collector’s Edition), Blu-ray 3D (2012)

A delightful, tho often scary, medieval Scottish tale about a very brave princess and a lot of bears.

Published on November 15, 2012

Brave (5-Disc Ultimate Collector’s Edition), Blu-ray 3D (2012)

Studio: Pixar/Buena Vista (Disney) 109792 [11/13/12]
Voice actors: Emma Thompson, Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly, Julie Walters
Video: 2.39:1 anamorphic/enhanced for 16:9 1080p HD
Audio:  English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 & 7.1, DD 5.1 & 7.1, DD 2.0; French DDPlus 5.1, French & Spanish DD 5.1, English DVS DD 2.0, Commentary track DD 2.0
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Extras: Audio commentary track, two animated shorts: La Luna (3 D) & The Legend of Mordu, “Brave New World,” Merida & Elinor, Bears, Brawl in the Hall, Wonder Moss, Magic, Clan Pixar, Once Upon a Scene, Extended scenes, Alternate opening, Fallen Warriors, Dirty Hairy People, It is English…Sort of, Angus, The tapestry, Promotional pieces, Art gallery, lots of previews, more
Length: 93 minutes
Rating: *****

Another animation winner from Pixar, as all of their work seems to be. I’m personally not even that much into Celtic matters, but I enjoyed it.  Why they needed five discs I’m not sure; I missed the second short, Mordu, because it wasn’t in 3D and it wasn’t on the 3D Blu-ray of the feature which I watched. It’s great to have La Luna in 3D, which adds considerably to it.

The little heroine in this 10th century Scottish tale, Merida, believes a teenaged princess should have control over her own life, and not be bound to be betrothed to whatever son of another clan leader can pass the athletic skills contest.  She’s impulsive, and has terrific archery capabilities. She is exploring in the woods when she runs into a strange old witch and gets her to cook up a spell to make her mother more agreeable to her independent ways. The spell is in a little quiche which the mother has a bit of, but the witch has played a trick and the mother is turned into a bear. That’s the main target of her master hunter father, who has stuffed bears all over the castle. Merida has to somehow get the spell reversed before her father and the assembled Scots kill her mother. Pixar’s unique story portrays a quite different princess from the normal mold, and almost seems like another Grimm fairytale.

There’s a lot of unearthly, scary things going on here, so this one might be a bit much for the very young. Some of it reminds me of a Celtic version of Miyazaki, in fact. The bravery of not only Merida but her whole family and their whole kingdom is at stake here, making the feature’s title most appropriate. The 3D effects are terrific, and both the mother as the bear and Merida’s three tiny brothers as little bears are a delight. The landscapes of the Scottish countryside are almost photographic in their realism and very beautiful in 3D.

—John Sunier 




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