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BRAVE Blu-ray Review

Disney Animation has released Brave on Blu-ray Collector's Edition. Directed by Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman, and Steve Purcell (II) the film features a great voice cast and tons of special features. The voice cast is comprised of Kelly MacDonald, Julie Walters, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Kevin McKidd, and Craig Ferguson. Disney has one again done a fantastic job with this home video release, packing it with some wonderful bonus material.

Brave is a fantastic film for the entire family. It shows one of the best mother daughter relationships and features some of two strong female characters. I love the way Disney/Pixar movies all have a message, but never beat you over the head with their message.

Brenda Chapman wrote the story that follows the fiery Merida who despite being a daughter of royalty, prefers to spend her time riding her horse and shooting her bow and arrow. Here mother wants her to dress and act like a proper lady, and this causes a clash of wills between mother and daughter. Merida decides to make a reckless choice, which unleashes unintended peril on her father’s kingdom and her mother’s life. Merida struggles with the unpredictable forces of nature, magic and a dark, ancient curse to set things right.

Disney Animation has had a number of flops lately, but Brave turns around the losing streak. This is a wonderfully animated film that is perfect for the entire family.The voice acting is fantastic.I am glad that they did not try to put a big name star into the role and have them attempt to do a Scottish accent. MacDonald, Connolly and Thompson are perfectly cast, and add authenticity.

The animation is equally wonderful, I felt as though I was taking a trip to the Scottish highlands. The colors and sound are so vibrant, and literally pop off the screen. I always think of how much time goes into animating a movie, and I am in even more awe at the amount of details that appear on screen. Watching the film in theaters was great, but seeing it on my home theater was fantastic.

The special features are extensive on most Disney Home Entertainment releases, and this is no different.

  • Audio Commentary: This commentary track includes director Mark Andrews, co-director Steve Purcell, story supervisor Brian Larsen and editor Nick Smith. They talk about everything from the voice cast, to the various challenges of animation. 
  • Short Films: La Luna is at the top of my list for short films this year. I loved Paper Man, before Wreck-it-Ralph, but this story is heartwarming. It's about a boy, his father and his grandfather who have a very important job with the moon and stars. The second short, The Legend of Mor'Du, and reveals the origin of Mor'Du the Demon Bear. 
  • Behind the Scenes: There are eight featurettes that go behind-the-scenes and delves into the research process to help add Scottish flare, the lead female characters, designers and animators. I loved the feature called "Bears" that shows what went into creating the life-like bears. Each of these featurettes is fun to watch, and very informative.
  • Extended Scenes: There is 13 minutes of extra footage in the four extended scenes. Each scene has a handy pop-up icon that identifies the bits and pieces that were left on the cutting room floor.
  • Promotional Pieces: These are basically a mix of deleted scenes and international promotional trailers. Nothing too special here.
  • Fergus & Mor'Du: An Alternate Opening: This section features a deleted into that shows how Fergus lost his leg. 
  • Fallen Warriors: This section includes a collection of shots that were going to be included in the film, but were removed during the final edit of the film. 
  • Dirty Hairy People: Take a trip to medieval Scotland with this feature that focuses on the dirty hair, grime, mud, bad teeth, tattered clothing and other subtle touches.
  • It is English... Sort Of: This funny feature gives a lesson in Scottish slang.
  • Angus: This shows the animation that went into crafting Angus, Merida's horse.
  • The Tapestry: Take a look at the intricacy and details that went into crafting Merida's family tapestry.
  • Art Galleries: Features five different art galleries

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