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Brave
BLU-RAY disk
11.27.2012 By: Mathew Plale
Brave order download
Director:
Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman, Steve Purcell

Actors:
Kelly Macdonald
Emma Thompson
Billy Connolly

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A strong-willed princess (Macdonald) goes against tradition to free her mother (Thompson) from a curse.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Many young girls today wish for a pony on their birthday. But then, many young girls today aren’t princesses and so don’t already own several. Instead, from her one-legged father (voiced by Billy Connolly), Merida (Kelly Macdonald) gets a bow and arrow, which is as prominent on the promotional material for Brave as the girl’s curly red locks.

She is an independent creature, bent on proving herself. Then there is her mother, Elinor (Emma Thompson), who longs to arrange a marriage for her. The lucky man will be the one who wins a series of contests that prove him to be a proper suitor. But through a loophole, Merida finds she can compete in the games, thus challenging the norm. This leads to a major disruption between mother and daughter, and Merida winds up in the home of a witch (Julie Walters), who has the power to change Elinor’s ways.

It’s not long before Elinor is turned into a bear. How can Merida break the spell? Can she mend the bond between torn by pride? Does Elinor have any reason not to devour her only daughter?

Brave (co-directed by Mark Andrews, whose Pixar days go back to The Incredibles, Brenda Chapman, whose only other credit is The Prince of Egypt and Steve Purcell, a name you may or may not recognize from the Sam and Max videogame series) feels less Pixar than it does Disney, something fans feared when the Mouse House bought out Luxo and company in 2006. In the six years since that purchase, Pixar has stood firm ground on their principles and produced some of their best work (Wall-E, Up and Toy Story 3 being the standouts). But with Brave—fit with a heroic princess, cartoonish leads and an inspiring/likely-to-be-Oscar-nominated song that Phil Collins may as well have written—it finally feels like Pixar made a Disney movie, and an unimaginative one at that.

As much as Brave is about destiny and fate and being true to who you are, it’s also about selling merchandise--Merida proved to be a popular Halloween costume for girls, and boys (and maybe their sisters) will want to add an archery set to their Christmas list. Still, even though it was a consumer and box office success, Brave is Pixar’s second stinker in a row. That’s a studio record they can’t be proud of.

THE EXTRAS
Disc One (Blu-ray 3D):

Only the Oscar-nominated short La Luna is housed on this disc.

Disc Two (Blu-ray):

Audio Commentary: Director Mark Andrews, co-director Steve Purcell, story supervisor Brian Larsen, and editor Nick Smith gather for an insightful track, where the quartet touches on a variety of topics, including the cast/crew, the look of the film, the music, the themes, and much, much more. This is an excellent commentary that serves Brave well.

Short Films: Included are the Oscar-nominated La Luna and the Brave-inspired The Legend of Mor’du.

Behind the Scenes: This collection of eight BTS featurettes (“Brave Old World,” “Merida & Elinor,” “Bears,” “Brawls in the Hall,” “Wonder Moss,” “Magic,” “Clan Pixar,” “Once Upon a Scene,” “Extended Scenes”) provides a wealth of information on the making of Brave, including bits on location scouting, the female leads, the animators behind the film, and more.

Disc Three (Bonus):

Fergus & Mor’du: An Alternate Opening (2:40): This piece probably could have been included with the “Extended Scenes,” but here it is anyway, complete with an introduction by Andrews.

Fallen Warriors (2:08) collects a number of moments that made it to the final stages of animation, but didn’t make the final cut of Brave.

Dirty Hairy People (3:33): Here, the animators pay tribute to the look and people of Scotland.

It Is English…Sort Of (3:50) offers a collection of Scottish phrases used in Brave.

Angus (3:25): This brief piece looks at the creation of Merida’s horse.

The Tapestry (3:56) looks at the purpose of the family tapestry in Brave.

Also included are Promotional Pieces and an Art Gallery.

Disc Four (DVD/Bonus):

Housed on this disc are the Audio Commentary, La Luna and The Legend of Mor’du.

Disc Five:

Digital Copy

FINAL DIAGNOSIS
For the first time since being bought by Disney, it feels like Pixar has made a Disney movie. Brave is a monumentally disappointing feature, ranking down there with the Cars movies as the studio's weakest efforts. For fans, this five-disc set houses the movie in four different formats (Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital Copy) and is loaded with special features that explore the world of Brave.
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+0
9:12AM on 11/30/2012

I couldn't disagree more...

I thoroughly enjoyed everything about the movie -- from the voice-work, to the animation (Merida's hair is simply breath-taking), to the score -- so I picked up this disk last week. I loved it even more the second time, but what I was truly disappointed by were the special features, or lack thereof! I can appreciate that this film might not be as universally adored as Toy Story 3 (a movie I was personally "meh" about), but it seems like Mathew and I received two different blu-ray releases.
I thoroughly enjoyed everything about the movie -- from the voice-work, to the animation (Merida's hair is simply breath-taking), to the score -- so I picked up this disk last week. I loved it even more the second time, but what I was truly disappointed by were the special features, or lack thereof! I can appreciate that this film might not be as universally adored as Toy Story 3 (a movie I was personally "meh" about), but it seems like Mathew and I received two different blu-ray releases. This doesn't remotely touch the releases of Wall*E, The Incredibles or the Disney Diamon editions in terms of depth of content. The movie looks spectacular on the disc, but I was enormously disappointed in the lack of features.
Your Reply:



4:18PM on 11/27/2012

What?

Criticizing a film for selling merchandise? What kind of thinking is that? I guess Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Wall-E, Cars and every single other Pixar film should be knocked because they sell a shit load of merch themselves.
Criticizing a film for selling merchandise? What kind of thinking is that? I guess Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Wall-E, Cars and every single other Pixar film should be knocked because they sell a shit load of merch themselves.
Your Reply:



11:44AM on 11/27/2012
I'd beg to differ, I thought Brave was an excellent film, not the best Pixar film but that doesn't mean its not a great movie
I'd beg to differ, I thought Brave was an excellent film, not the best Pixar film but that doesn't mean its not a great movie
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+1
11:35AM on 11/27/2012

WTF is wrong with you.

This movie grossed $535,043,843. world wide and holds a 78% on Rotten Tomatoes. I would call that far from being a stinker. It may not be as good as some of the other Pixar movies, but it's still miles above a lot of the other family movies that came out this summer.
This movie grossed $535,043,843. world wide and holds a 78% on Rotten Tomatoes. I would call that far from being a stinker. It may not be as good as some of the other Pixar movies, but it's still miles above a lot of the other family movies that came out this summer.
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9:02AM on 11/27/2012

Did we watch the same movie?

Brave is definitely second-tier Pixar but there were a lot of places where it upended the Disney stereotype: no Prince Charming or lovable rogue to woo the princess, and the witch wasn't automatically the antagonist. And Mor'du was actually an interesting villain. Sorry, Matthew, but you missed the mark with this movie.
Brave is definitely second-tier Pixar but there were a lot of places where it upended the Disney stereotype: no Prince Charming or lovable rogue to woo the princess, and the witch wasn't automatically the antagonist. And Mor'du was actually an interesting villain. Sorry, Matthew, but you missed the mark with this movie.
Your Reply:



7:42AM on 11/27/2012
Awful review of the film.
Awful review of the film.
Your Reply:



5:43PM on 11/27/2012
I was going to say the same thing. In the whole piece, there's only like one or two sentences actually reviewing the film itself. I feel bad saying that, but it's true.
I was going to say the same thing. In the whole piece, there's only like one or two sentences actually reviewing the film itself. I feel bad saying that, but it's true.
8:46AM on 11/27/2012
Amen. I try not to criticize the writers here because I am a film critic myself but holy hell, three paragraphs of synopsis and then two saying it's not a good movie because it's "too Disney" and it sold a lot of Halloween costumes? I wonder if he liked the movie slightly more before the Halloween figures were in. Good god. Myself, I am not a huge Pixar fan (Monsters, Inc. and the first Toy Story are good, but other than that I seem to be against the grain with them) but I fell head over
Amen. I try not to criticize the writers here because I am a film critic myself but holy hell, three paragraphs of synopsis and then two saying it's not a good movie because it's "too Disney" and it sold a lot of Halloween costumes? I wonder if he liked the movie slightly more before the Halloween figures were in. Good god. Myself, I am not a huge Pixar fan (Monsters, Inc. and the first Toy Story are good, but other than that I seem to be against the grain with them) but I fell head over heels for Brave, which I watched with my daughter. I love how it goes in a new, role-model-able direction with the whole princess thing, and for many reasons I won't go in to here it's just a damn good movie overall - in such a strong year with films like The Master, Passion, DKR, etcetera, etcetera, I never thought I'd count Brave amongst 2012's bests. It's okay if you didn't like the film, but come up with a better argument than that sorry excuse for a review. Respect the fact that you have been honored with a position on a popular movie news site and put forth some better effort.

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