Many think Pixar was off the mark with Brave, but I believe those people are mistaken. Brave is a wonderful movie that looks at the aspects of childhood rebellion and growing up. When we are first introduced to Merida and her mother, the queen, you see the fun they have together. When we leapfrog into her teen years you can see the clash, which every parent has with their kids as they get older. Perhaps it’s the fact that I’m a father of three young ladies, or the fact that I see a part of my eldest in Merida or vice versa, that warms my heart to this film.
Merida wants to be wild and free, while her mum wants her to conform to the dictums and niceties of a princess. Or compared to today’s world… My teen wants a smart phone but doesn’t want to pay for it themselves. While the movie might be titled Brave, Merida is anything but at the beginning. It really isn’t until the film’s climax that the appropriateness of the title rings true.
There is plenty of humour for adult and child alike. Most of it coming from the clan brawls. A touch of magic helps the story along, but the charm comes from the interaction between Merida and Mum-Bear. It shows how, if you listen, you can understand the issues both the child and the parent face.
I truly enjoyed this film from a parenting perspective.
With all Pixar movies you can’t really find fault in their video quality, but that doesn’t mean I can’t boast about it. From the opening fly over landscape shot you know you’re in for a visual treat. Pixar, once again captures the beauty of the environment in which they set their story… the mystical land of Scotland. Thanks to this movie my desire to visit my the lands of my own heritage have increased significantly.
Needless to say, the video is perfect. Absolutely perfect.
The audio on the other hand has a few issues. Mainly, I found we had to turn up the volume to hear the dialog and down during the heavy action sequences. However, the environmental sound effects are awesome. The LFE kicks hard when needed. The “crown room” battle has arrows zipping all through the room and the clanging of metal. This is a mixed bag for me.
Disney/Pixar hold nothing back when it comes to bonus features. The audio commentary is one of the best I’ve heard in a very long time. Director Mark Andrews, co-director Steve Purcell, story supervisor Brian Larsen and editor Nick Smith break down the film and literally leaving you wanting nothing more.
Disney Entertainment Home Video has included 2 “Short Films” for your enjoyment La Lana is fantastic short. A must watch. Then The Legend of Mor’Du (big black) takes us through the story of the ancient kingdom.
There are 8 Behind the Scene features here taking us on their research trip to Scotland to the math behind the moss to the directors love of swordplay to different variations of the films opening.
My wife truly enjoyed the way Disney/Pixar handled the Extended Scenes. The director described why the scenes were changed plus they put up a handy icon to mark the changes.
While there is plenty on the movie BD there’s a second disc with a few more goodies. Some Promotional Pieces an Alternate opening (Fergus & Mor’Du), some final edit cut scenes (Fallen Warriors), a little love for Scotland’s shaggy looks (Dirty Hairy People), some Scottish slang (It is English… Sort Of), The Tapestry’s role on the film, and some Art Galleries.
Conclusion and Final Thoughts
I have a lot of love for everything Pixar and Brave is no exception. From the beautiful appearance landscapes to the animated realism that Pixar is able to achieve. The Blu-ray truly does this film justice. I highly recommend adding this one to your collection, and once you do, sit down and enjoy the film with your family.