Brave Blu-ray Five Disc Collectors Edition Review (

By:Kimberly McCall
Review Date: Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The trailers for Pixar’s Brave seemed to paint a picture of a sweeping epic adventure with a strong and unconventional female lead character. When I saw this movie in the theater, I was expecting to be thrown back in a vast tale set against a gorgeous celtic backdrop while I cheered for the young heroine fighting for a voice in a time that did not permit it. After seeing the film, I decided the trailer had been very misleading. After watching the blu-ray (and being familiar with the movie) I drew the conclusion that I liked Brave very much. It is just not what anyone expected.

What we get instead of an epic adventure is a much smaller, more personal story with a little magic that is, perhaps, perfectly fitted for a children’s book at bedtime. In fact, if you notice, the child audience seemed to have liked Brave just fine. Those who were disappointed were adults and critics. 

In the original theatrical trailer, we are already introduced to young, feisty princess Merida (Kelly Macdonald) and her parents, the King and Queen of Scotland (Billy Connolly and Emma Thompson). The story is nothing new for Disney: a young princess believing there is more to life than being given away in marriage and resisting her well meaning, but old fashioned parent(s). There are the laughs and the lovable supporting characters and the inevitable adventure and plot resolution. However, Brave chooses to depart from the typical storyline and really dive into character through classic celtic storytelling and myth. This, I think, shocked audiences who thought they knew what was coming. Now that you know the story, go and bring home the blu-ray.

It is almost redundant to review Pixar quality on blu-ray. It’s beautiful and darn near perfect, of course. The emerald backdrops pop. Every strand of that massive red hair on Merida’s head shines and bounces. The light and color compliment the magical story, making it well worth the at-home view. However, what really impressed me about the blu-ray was the long list of special features. If you are a creative sort who enjoys watching everything that goes into making an animated film, you will not be disappointed. The special features contain everything from cast/crew interviews to a step by step featurette through the entire creative process. There is incredible art to be seen, voices to be heard, locations to scout, and lots and lots of editing. What is so refreshing is to see how much everyone making Brave loved it. I mean really loved it. Honestly, the special features will make you want to hop a plane and go work for Pixar. 

I appreciate Brave all the more after seeing it a second time and watching the special features. Any film that has been made with love (big or small) is worth the watch. Is it a smaller story than we were all expecting? Yes. Does that make the message any less important? Well, just ask the younger audience. In a world where bigger is always better, sometimes the smaller tales have the most lasting impact.
Blu-ray Extras Include: La Luna Theatrical Short, The Legend of Mordu Short, Merida and Elinor, Brave Old World, Bears, Brawl in the Hall, Wonder Moss, Magic, Clan Pixar, Once Upon A Scene, Extended Scenes, Director Commentary, Fergus and Mordu An Alternate Opening, Fallen Warriors Montage, Dirty Hairy People, It is English Sort Of, Angus, The Tapestry, Promotional Pieces, Art Gallery, Wee Gaffes, Teasers, and Sneak Peeks

Mania Grade: A
Rated: PG
Starring: Kelly Macdonald, Emma Thompson, Billy Connolly
Written By: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman
Directed By: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman
Distributor: Walt Disney
Original Year or Release: 2012
Extras: DVD, Digital Copy, Blu-ray 3D, see below