• Story
  • Picture & Sound
  • Bonus Features

Pixar’s “Brave” is finally available on Blu-ray.

The story is that of teenage rebellion and the consequences it can have on a family.  Merida, eldest (and only) daughter of Clan DunBroch, does not get along well with her mother, Queen Elinor.  Elinor is focused on the task of instructing Merida on etiquette and other such lessons that will make her a good and proper queen some day.  This, in preparation for her upcoming betrothal to an as yet undecided member of one of the three neighboring clans.  The three clans (Dingwall, MacGuffin and Macintosh) used to be rivals until King Fergus united the clans for a common cause.  Now, they “get along” like one big dysfunctional family.

After hearing that the law states that the first born from each clan gets to compete to win Merida’s hand, she gets the wild idea to make the contest an archery competition.  Merida excels in archery and may very well be the best archer in the kingdom.  After Young MacGuffin, Young Macintosh and Wee Dingwall have all had their shots, Merida steps out onto the field and declares that as the first born of Clan DunBroch, she will be competing and shooting for her own hand.  Naturally, she wins the competition but upsets the delicate thread that already exists between the clans.

After getting into an argument with her mother and tearing through the DunBroch family tapestry with a sword, Merida mounts her horse and goes off for a ride.  She encounters the wisps, mystical floating blue beings, who lead her to the cottage of an old woman.  The woman’s primary craft is being a woodcarver, but Merida knows there has to be another reason the wisps have led her to the woman’s home.  She soon discovers the woman also happens to be a witch and begs her to make her a spell that will change her fate.  The phrase “be careful what you wish for” comes to mind.  The spell does indeed change her fate, but at the cost of potentially losing her mother, she sets out on a quest to mend (quite literally) that which she tore apart.  Merida and her mother learn a lot about each other in the journey and each starts to see a side in the other that they never realized before.

The bonus features alone make it worth getting one of the Blu-ray “collector’s editions”.

Brave is Pixar’s first (and hopefully not their last) attempt at a period piece.  Painstaking attention to detail is apparent in their CG presentation of the Scottish Highlands, a fact that will become even more evident as you delve into the bonus features.  The bonus features are so numerous that a second disc was dedicated to more material that the fist disc alone could not hold!

Most of the Pixar staff working on the film took a trip to Scotland where they toured castle ruins, took lots of photos and made lots of sketches.  They even instituted “Kilt Fridays” shortly after getting back to the Pixar campus in  Emeryville, California.  Director Mark Andrews even showed up in a kilt at last year’s D23 Expo!

Also, be on the lookout for a voice cameo by Pixar favorite/lucky charm, (he’s been in EVERY Pixar film) John Ratzenberger.  The Pizza Planet truck from Toy Story makes it’s obligatory joke cameo and so does a character from a not yet released movie (though you’ve seen him before) Sulley from Monsters Inc. University.

Overall, Brave is quite an enjoyable film.  I will go on to say that due to some violence and scary imagery, parents might want to check it out first before letting children under 10 view it.  Just my suggestion.  Parents, you know your children best.

Film Synopsis:

An original and thrilling journey set in the ancient and magical Highlands of Scotland, “Brave” follows the heroic journey of the headstrong, young adventurer Merida.  Determined to carve her own path in life, Merida confronts tradition and defies an age­ old custom that inadvertently unleashes chaos, and forces her to discover the true meaning of bravery.

Talent/Cast:

Kelly Macdonald – Merida (voice)
Billy Connolly – Fergus (voice)
Emma Thompson – Elinor (voice)
Julie Walters – The Witch (voice)
Robbie Coltrane – Lord Dingwall (voice)
Kevin McKidd – Lord MacGuffin / Young MacGuffin (voice)
Craig Ferguson – Lord Macintosh (voice)
Sally Kinghorn – Maudie (voice)
Eilidh Fraser – Maudie (voice)
Peigi Barker – Young Merida (voice)
Steven Cree – Young Macintosh (voice)
Steve Purcell – The Crow (voice)
Callum O’Neill – Wee Dingwall (voice)
John Ratzenberger – Gordon (voice)

Rated: PG (Some scary action and rude humor)
Run Time:  95 minutes

Disc Contents:

I. ULTIMATE COLLECTOR’S EDITON:  5-DISC COMBO PACK

(BD 3D + BD Feature + BD Supplemental Material + DVD + DIGITAL COPY)

  BLU-RAY – DISC 1 INCLUDES:

·       “La Luna” Theatrical Short – Fans will love this charming short that accompanied the film in theatres.  It follows a young boy on his first night working the family business alongside his father andgrandfather.

·       “The Legend of Mor’du” Short – This rousing new bonus short film will give fans the chance to delve deeper into the legend behind Mordu, as told by the eccentric witch who transformed him.

·       Brave Old World – Fans will watch as members of the “Brave” production team investigate Scotland, exploring its land, culture, people and dialects. The research they gathered was brought thrillingly to life in thefilm.  Also, fans will hear what actress Emma Thompson (voice of Queen Elinor) thinks of Pixar’s take on her homeland.

 

·       Merida & Elinor – With the creation of Merida and Elinor, the Pixar filmmakers delved deep into the relationship between mother and daughter. Highlighting contrasts in character design, clothing, animation, voicing, even hairstyle, watch how the filmmakers explored this most important of relationships.

 

·       Bears – Take a look inside the art and design behind the bears in “Brave.” Each of the bears, gentle Mum-Bear and terrifying Mor’du, demanded a different approach to creating their physical appearance and personality.

 

·       Brawl in the Hall – A fascinating and hilarious inside look at the process of creating “Brave’s” fighting Scots, through animation, crowd simulation and fight choreography – not to mention a room full of grunting men whose vocal chortles added authenticity to the raucous scene.

 

·       Wonder Moss – Fans will explore how “Brave’s” technical artists examined the real Scottish countryside and studied the laws of nature, then turned thesefindings into computer codes that would blanket Merida’s Scotland in lush moss, lichen and bracken.

 

·       Magic –The magic and mystery of  Scotland is revealed to fans in this charming feature about the legends – from mystical potions to the will-o’-the-wisps – seen in “Brave.”

 

·       Clan Pixar – At Pixar, getting into character is a team effort. From making Haggis to Kilt Fridays to celebrating the Scottish poet Robert Burns, fans will see how the “Brave” production crew truly embraced Scottish themes and customs fueled the Pixar crew throughout the creation of “Brave.”

 

·       Once Upon A Scene – A closer look at the evolution of the storylines throughout the production of the film, including alternative openings to the film and many deleted scenes.

 

·       Extended Scenes – Three separate scenes are highlighted in their extended form. Director Mark Andrews discusses the decision making process that led to the shortened versions of these scenes.

 

·       Director Commentary

 

 BLU-RAY DISC 2 INCLUDES:

·       “Fergus & Mor’du” An Alternate Opening – Once upon a time, “Brave” had a different opening scene. Eventually cut from the film, fans can see it in its entirety in this bonus feature narrated by the film’s director Mark Andrews.

 

·       Fallen Warriors Montage – A selection of deleted shots that were cut from the film late in production are presented to fans in various stages ofcompletion through a video montage narrated by director Mark Andrews.

 

·       Dirty Hairy People – Fans will enjoy this uproarious bonus feature discussing the development of “Brave’s” Scots – including the design of their hair, attire, and dirt-crusted physiques.

 

·       It is English…Sort Of – This bonus feature helps fans interpret some of the more Scottish lines in the film, thanks to the real Scottish actors who play the key characters and contributed their own dialects and sayings.

 

·       Angus – A look at Merida’s most trusted companion, Angus, a mighty Clydesdale.

 

·       The Tapestry – Fans will learn the story behind this embroidered emblem of family unity, which was lovingly crafted by “Brave’s” team of artists.

 

·       Promotional Pieces – This bonus includes promotional clips for “Brave,” including: “Feast Yer Eyes,” “Relics,” “Clan DunBroch,” “Launch,” and more.

 

·       Art Gallery – A selection of breathtaking art from the creation of the film, showcasing characters, sets, scenes and stunning landscapes.

 

·       Wee Gaffes – A video montage of simulation, animation and shot bloopers.

 

·       Renaissance Animation Man – Get a look at Director Mark Andrews’ love of Scotland, sword-fighting, music and more!

·       Teasers and Sneak Peeks

  BLU-RAY 3D DISC INCLUDES:

·       “La Luna” Theatrical Short

  DVD Includes:

·       “La Luna” Theatrical Short

·       “The Legend of Mordu” All-New Short

·       Director Commentary

II.COLLECTOR’S EDITION: 3-DISC BLU-RAY COMBO PACK

(BD Feature + BD Supplemental Material + DVD)

III.1-DISC DVD