I’m always pleased when the story told is about a female hero, or centered around a female view of the world. Brave, via this philosophy, pleased me:) It’s great fun and looks amazing, we’ll get those out of the way first. We all know Pixar wins the prize for making animated movies that make your eyes dance from one wonder to another. Brave is set in a place and time where the history and nature are the dominant visual themes. Going back to an age when there were clans and kings in Europe, warring tribes, hard physical lives for everyone, well, it’s a BRAVE choice. eh hem. To make this time period purely beautiful, let alone fun, is quite an accomplishment.
All this said, it’s time to tell the story. Our young lady hero must find her center, her self, and accept her impact on the world. She’s not getting along with her mother, as a teenage character this is not a shocking concept. This might be one of few things that did draw me a bit farther away from that pure pleasure other Pixar movies have given me in the past. The heart of the story is noble and sweet, it doesn’t have as big a magnet for my heart for some reason.
There are twists that I did not expect and with an animated story that does make it more interesting. It’s not very long, or it doesn’t seem very long, which is always a bit of a let down for me. I LOVE LONG movies, and movies that feel really long for all the right reasons. Brave feels truncated or cut short or kind of “get to the point” kind of thing. I wanted a long slowly developed story and each character to be endeared to me before the resolution comes around. The mother is a clearly caring mother, the father is a good dad and husband but a respected king. The triplet brothers are ornery. The neighboring clan leaders are somewhat slapsticky and the house staff is another comedy slapstick relief. Our hero is a strong and clever young lady who wants to find a way to be more humble….that’s it. There isn’t a lot of depth, and I know it’s asking a lot of an animated movie,but when we are talking about animated features we have a lot of deep and well drawn out characters in many movies that pull me in that much more.
I enjoyed Brave, smiled a lot, laughed a little, and even shed a few tears at the proper times. It’s a must see for anyone who delights in the beauty of Pixar talents. If I were a young girl I reckon I would want to watch it over and over and over and over and over and then dye my hair red and get a bow and arrow, so that’s what it’s all about.
- La Luna Short – The best thing on the disc, La Luna is one of those little shorts that Pixar are famous for. I bet you see it at the Oscars next year.
- The Legend Of Mordu – Another Pixar short that tells the legend of Mordu the Demon bear.
- Audio Commentary – Director Mark Andrews, Co Director Steve Purcell and Story Supervisors Brian Larson & Nick Smith talk you though the making of Brave. Everything is covered here for the Pixar enthusiast who wants every detail.
- Behind The Scenes – Over 50 minutes of material split into eight featurettes. Everything from meeting the animators to exploring the world of the bears is covered here. And that’s just the start of it as Disc 2 features a bunch more stuff.
- Extended Scenes – Four extended scenes that run around 13 minutes. My favorite part of these scenes is the little indicator that pops up showing which are the parts cut from the main movie.
- Promotional Pieces – Brave Trailers from the UK, US and Japan are featured here along with a bunch of deleted scenes.
- Fallen Warriors – A couple of minutes of footage that was chopped from the final film.
- Dirty Hairy People – Brave is set in Scotland and Scotland is dirty and muddy. See how Pixar’s animators brought the dirt to life on the big screen.
- It Is English…. Sort Of – Pixar honor the Scottish voice actors who voice the film. Some nice footage of Billy Conolly doing what he does best.
- Angus – A behind the scenes look at how Merida’s horse was animated and designed.
- The Tapestry – The family tapestry used in the movie was carefully designed and animated. They even took a real tapestry and cut it to see how it falls apart before animation commenced.
- Art Galleries – A BD Java powered art gallery that is very easy to navigate and you can even bookmark your favorite images.
- 3D, DVD, Blu-Ray & Digital Copy
Cover Art and Menus: 8/10
I would have this as a poster, the cover image, that is. It’s bold and cute and that hair just intrigues me. The menu is themed and functional, as Disney likes to present to us always.
Audio & Video: 10/10
Disney have pulled out all the stops here with the 5 disc Ultimate collectors edition of Brave. The set includes a 2D and 3D version of the movie a whole disc of extras the DVD version and a Digital copy. We screened the 2D version on our 103 inch projection screen and the results were nothing short of breathtaking. As with every Pixar movie we have looked at so far detail is astonishing, I saw no signs of Black Crush or ringing at all.
Audio is presented in Dolby TrueHD 7.1 surround and is easily Disney’s best loss less track of the year. Pay careful attention when the Willo The Wisps come onscreen, you can hear the wind rustling against it’s ghostly body. During the action sequences the surround and LFE channels kick in to great effect. Overall Disney saved the best until last this year, Brave is one to pick up and cherish.
If I were that little girl who would watch it many many times, it might be worth the almost 30 bucks it costs at the moment. As a grown up who enjoyed it appropriately, I would say give it an online rental first and see how much you love it. If you fall in deep love, wait for a price cut and then add it to your permanent collection.
Overall Score 7/10