BRAVE [2012] [3D Blu-ray + 2D Blu-ray + Bonus 2D Blu-ray] [UK Release]
A Triumph of Animation!

PIXAR Animation Studios, the creator of ‘Toy Story 3,’ whisks you away on an astonishing adventure to an ancient land full of mystery and tradition. Bursting with heart, unforgettable characters and PIXAR’s signature humour.

Take a heroic journey with Princess Merida, a skilled archer and headstrong daughter of King Fergus and Queen Elinor. Determined to carve her own path in life, Princess Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the unruly and uproarious lords of the land. When Princess Merida’s actions inadvertently unleash chaos in the kingdom, she must harness all of her skills and resources, including her clever and mischievous triplet brothers, to undo a beastly curse before it’s too late, and discover the meaning of true bravery. It’s legendary on a PIXAR/Disney Blu-ray with never-before-seen bonus features!

FILM FACT: Awards and Nominations: 2012 Awards Circuit Community Awards: Nominated: Best Animated Feature Film for Katherine Sarafian. 2012 Chicago Film Critics Association Awards: Nominated: Best Animated Film. 2012 Golden Schmoes Awards: Nominated: Best Animated Movie of the Year. 2012 Hollywood Post Alliance, USA: Nominated: HPA Awards for Outstanding Sound in a Feature Film for E.J. Holowicki (sound designer), Gary Rydstrom (re-recording mixer/sound designer), Gwendolyn Yates Whittle (supervising sound editor), Skywalker Sound and Tom Johnson (re-recording mixer). 2012 IGN Summer Movie Awards: Nominated: Best Animated Movie. Nominated:  Best 3D Movie. 2012 New York Film Critics Circle Awards: Nominated: Best Animated Film. 2012 Online Film Critics Society Awards: Nominated: Best Animated Feature. 2012 Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards: Nominated: Best Animated Film. 2012 San Diego Film Critics Society Awards: Nominated: Best Animated Film. 2012 St. Louis Film Critics Association, USA: Nominated: SLFCA Award for Best Animated Film for Brenda Chapman and Mark Andrews. 2012 Toronto Film Critics Association Awards: Nominated: Best Animated Feature. 2012 Village Voice Film Poll: Win: VVFP Award for Best Animated Feature Film. 2012 Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Awards: Nominated: Best Animated Feature. 2012 Women Film Critics Circle Awards: Win: Best Animated Female. 2013 Academy Awards®: Win: Best Animated Feature for Brenda Chapman and Mark Andrews. 2013 Golden Globes: Win: Best Animated Feature Film. 2013 BAFTA Film Awards: Win: Best Animated Feature for Brenda Chapman and Mark Andrews. 2013 Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA: Nominated: Saturn Award for Best Animated Film. 2013 Alliance of Women Film Journalists: Win: EDA Female Focus Award for Best Animated Female for Kelly Macdonald for the voice of "Princess Merida." Nominated: EDA Award for Best Animated Feature Film for Brenda Chapman and Mark Andrews. 2013 American Cinema Editors: Win: Eddie Award for Best Edited Animated Feature Film for Nicholas C. Smith and Robert Grahamjones. 2013 Annie Awards: Win: Production Design in an Animated Feature Production for Steve Pilcher. Win: Editorial in an Animated Feature Production for David Suther, Nicholas C. Smith and Robert Grahamjones. Nominated: Animated Effects in an Animated Production for Bill Watral, Chris J. Chapman, Dave Hale, Keith Daniel Klohn and Michael O'Brien. Nominated: Character Animation in a Feature Production for Dan Nguyen. Nominated: Character Animation in a Feature Production for Jaime Landes Roe. Nominated: Character Animation in a Feature Production for Travis Hathaway. Nominated: Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production for Kelly Macdonald for Kelly Macdonald for the voice of "Princess Merida." Nominated: Writing in an Animated Feature Production for Brenda Chapman, Irene Mecchi, Mark Andrews and Steve Purcell. Nominated: Music in an Animated Feature Production for Alex Mandel, Mark Andrews, Mumford & Sons and Patrick Doyle. Nominated: Best Animated Feature for PIXAR Animation Studios and Walt Disney Pictures. 2013 ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards: Win: Top Box Office Films for Patrick Doyle. 2013 Behind the Voice Actors Awards: Win: Best Female Vocal Performance in a Feature Film for Julie Walters for the voice of "The Witch." Nominated:  Best Female Vocal Performance in a Feature Film for Kelly Macdonald for the voice of "Princess Merida." 2013 Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards: Nominated: Critics Choice Award for Best Animated Feature. Nominated:  Critics Choice Award for Best Song for Birdy (performer) and Mumford & Sons (performer/written by) for the song "Learn Me Right." 2013 Central Ohio Film Critics Association: Nominated: Best Animated Film. 2013 Cinema Audio Society, USA: Win: C.A.S. Award for Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Motion Pictures for an Animated Film for Andrew Dudman (scoring mixer), Bobby Johanson (original dialogue mixer), Frank Rinella (foley mixer), Gary Rydstrom (re-recording mixer) and Tom Johnson (re-recording mixer). 2013 Georgia Film Critics Association: Win: GAFCA Award for Best Animated Film. 2013 Gold Derby Awards: Nominated: Animated Feature for Brenda Chapman and Mark Andrews. 2013 Grammy Awards: Nominated: Best Song Written for Visual Media for Mumford & Sons (songwriter) for the song "Learn Me Right." 2013 International Film Music Critics Award: Nominated: Best Original Score for an Animated Film for Patrick Doyle. 2013 International Online Cinema Awards: Nominated: Best Animated Feature for Brenda Chapman and Mark Andrews. 2013 Italian Online Movie Awards: Nominated: Best Animated Feature Film (Miglior film d'animazione) for Brenda Chapman and Steve Purcell. 2013 Kids' Choice Awards, USA: Nominated: Blimp Award for Favorite Animated Movie for PIXAR Animation Studios and Walt Disney Pictures. 2013 Motion Picture Sound Editors, USA: Nominated: Golden Reel Award for Best Sound Editing for Sound Effects, Foley, Dialogue and ADR in an Animation Feature Film for Gwendolyn Yates Whittle (supervising sound editor), Gary Rydstrom (sound designer), E.J. Holowicki (sound designer), Sue Fox (supervising foley editor), Jana Vance (foley artist), Dennie Thorpe (foley artist), Ronni Brown (foley artist), Sean England (foley artist), Cheryl Nardi (dialogue editor), Stuart McCowan (dialogue editor), Josh Gold (sound effects editor), Kyrsten Mate (sound effects editor), Teresa Eckton (sound effects editor), Nia Hansen (sound effects editor), Dee Selby (foley editor) and Larry Oatfield (foley editor). 2013 North Carolina Film Critics Association: Nominated: NCFCA Award for Best Animated Film. 2013 Online Film & Television Association: Nominated: OFTA Film Award for Best Animated Picture for Katherine Sarafian. Nominated: OFTA Film Award for Best Voice-Over Performance for Billy Connolly for playing "King Fergus." Nominated: OFTA Film Award for Best Voice-Over Performance for Kelly Macdonald for playing "Merida." 2013 PGA Awards: Nominated: Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures for Katherine Sarafian. 2012 Visual Effects Society Awards: Win: Outstanding Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture for Bill Wise, Katherine Sarafian, Mark Andrews and Steve May. Win: Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature Motion Picture for Brian Tindall, Olivier Soares, Peter Sumanaseni and Travis Hathaway for the voice of "Princess Merida." Win: Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature Motion Picture for Andy Whittock, Inigo Quilez, Steve Pilcher and Tim Best for the sounds of "The Forest." Win: Outstanding FX and Simulation Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture for Bill Watral, Chris J. Chapman, Dave Hale and Michael O'Brien.

Voice Cast: Kelly Macdonald (Princess Merida), Billy Connolly (King Fergus), Emma Thompson (Queen Elinor), Julie Walters (The Witch), Robbie Coltrane (Lord Dingwall), Kevin McKidd (Lord MacGuffin / Young MacGuffin), Craig Ferguson (Lord Macintosh), Sally Kinghorn (Maudie), Eilidh Fraser (Maudie), Peigi Barker (Young Merida), Steven Cree (Young Macintosh), Steve Purcell (The Raven / The Crow), Callum O'Neill (Wee Dingwall), Patrick Doyle (Martin), John Ratzenberger (Gordon) and John Hasler (Additional Voices) (uncredited) 

Directors: Brenda Chapman, Mark Andrews and Steve Purcell (Co-director)

Producers: Andrew Stanton, John Lasseter, Katherine Sarafian, Mary Alice Drumm and Pete Docter

Screenplay: Brenda Chapman (story/ screenplay), Irene Mecchi (screenplay), Mark Andrews (screenplay) and Steve Purcell (screenplay)

Composer: Patrick Doyle (original score composed)

Image Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Audio: English: 7.1 Dolby TrueHD Audio
English: 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus Audio
English: 5.1 Dolby TrueHD Audio
French: 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio
English: 2.0 Dolby Digital Audio
French: 2.0 Dolby Digital Audio
Português: 2.0 Dolby Digital Audio
Russian: 2.0 Dolby Digital Audio
Spanish [Castilian]: 2.0 Dolby Digital Audio  
Spanish [Catalan]: 2.0 Dolby Digital Audio
Ukrainian: 2.0 Dolby Digital Audio
Kazakh: 2.0 Dolby Digital Audio  
English: Audio Described English
English: 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo Audio

Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Portuguese, Russian, Castilian, Spanish and Ukrainian

Running Time: 93 minutes

Region: All Regions

Number of discs: 3

Studio: PIXAR Animation Studios / Walt Disney Home Entertainment

Andrew’s Blu-ray Review: With the film ‘BRAVE’ [2012] we encounter Princess Merida who is chafing under the domination of her mother Queen Elinor [Emma Thompson], because Princess Merida [Kelly Macdonald] isn’t interested in being groomed for the throne and is definitely not ready to be betrothed to one of a trio of grisly young men from three other Scottish clans. So, she happens upon The Witch [Julie Walters] in the forest who offers her a spell-ridden cake for her mother which Princess Merida hopes will change her mother’s point of view about her daughter’s future. But as is often the case with magic, what appears fool proof on the surface goes awry as one bite of the cake turns her mother into a bear. With the fearsome bear Mor’du having bitten off her father King Fergus’s [Billy Connolly] leg as a young man, Princess Merida knows bears aren’t popular around the castle, so she hastens to get her mother away from the clans and hopes she can find the witch to reverse the spell. When that fails, Princess Merida and her mother find their bond becomes stronger in their common search for an answer to her dilemma, but time is running out to change her mother back as the spell becomes permanent after two days.

The story flows smoothly as we watch Princess Merida grow from a young girl to a young woman becoming a proficient archer along the way. Even with the setting of 13th century Scotland, much about the dynamics between the parents and children in the movie have a distinctly modern ring to them, and Princess Merida’s recalcitrance at being forced into something she’s not emotionally ready to undertake with no possibility of stating her own case will be easy to identify with for almost any audience, especially with Princess Merida’s showdown with her three suitors in an archery tournament is one of the film’s high points. While the writers get a bit too cute with The Witch’s personality in her two sequences, she’s undeniably entertaining if a bit too modern to fit comfortably among these rustic warriors of old. The film’s production design, however, is simply jaw dropping as Scotland comes alive in these majestic, detailed CGI renderings, and the directors use their ravishing settings to stage a number of memorable sequences. The highlight of the film remains a bucolic sequence when Queen Elinor as Mum-bear learns to forage for food in a stream where gorgeous animation provides both tender moments and slapstick comedy in the best PIXAR tradition.

Kelly Macdonald is full of feisty sassiness and plenty of pluckiness for Princess Merida, and her Scottish brogue, as is the case with the other Scottish actors hired for the film, is never too thick to prevent understanding of what she’s saying. Emma Thompson has a noble carriage and the gentle art of diplomacy as Queen Elinor while Billy Connolly’s braying and clumsy King Fergus is always a real treat. The three Scottish clan leaders putting their sons up for selection are played in the expected extroverted manner by Robbie Coltrane, Kevin McKidd, and Craig Ferguson. Julie Walters has all kinds of fun with the eccentric witch who moonlights as a wood carver, and bears are a specialty.

The computer animation is, of course, spectacular, with meticulous attention paid to the smallest of details. The performances are fine, too, infused with enough enthusiasm and warmth to make the characters as dimensional as the images they populate. And after a couple of sequels and there's that Disney influence once again, and it's nice to see PIXAR return to an original story that transports us to a foreign setting and simpler time, and give young girls a spunky role model they can learn from and emulate.

At 93 minutes, 'BRAVE' is one of PIXAR's shortest films, but despite its efficient storytelling, it still possesses a fair amount of depth. Though the characters it depicts may reside on a rarefied plane, the issues they confront are universal and timeless, and the ultimate message emphasizing the strong bonds of family, however trite, is presented in a poignant and effective manner. 'BRAVE' may not be as bold as its title, but it is a good solid PIXAR effort, celebrating not just girl power, but the power of understanding and mutual respect.


NOBLE MAIDEN FAIR (Music by Patrick Doyle) (Lyrics by Patrick Neil Doyle) [Performed by Emma Thompson and Peigi Barker] [Gaelic translation by Donald MacLeod]

TOUCH THE SKY (Music by Alex Mandel) (Lyrics by Alex Mandel) [Performed by Julie Fowlis]

INTO THE OPEN AIR (Music by Patrick Doyle) (Lyrics by Patrick Neil Doyle) [Performed by Emma Thompson and Peigi Barker]

SONG OF MOR DU (Music by Patrick Doyle) (Lyrics by Patrick Doyle and Steve Purcell) [Performed by Billy Connolly and Cast]

LEARN ME RIGHT (Written, Arranged, and Produced by Mumford & Sons) [Performed by Birdy with Mumford & Sons]

3D Blu-ray Image Quality – The film’s theatrical widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 is faithfully rendered in this awesome 1080p image. Whether in 3D or 2D, the images are breathtakingly beautiful. The details in hair, clothes, a tapestry, especially where you can see individual strands, trees, moss, stone, and other objects just defy description. Colours are bold and deeply saturated with Merida’s red, red hair coming close to but never quite blooming. Black levels are rich and deep, and the image is as perfect as one should expect. As with most PIXAR 3D films, outward projections are not of primary importance to the animators though there are arrow tips and hands that reach beyond the frame for split seconds. But the sense of depth in the image is often quite staggering, and the 3D version of the film is much more interesting visually with its complex placement of people, animals, and objects within their environments which 3D exploits to the maximum.

3D Blu-ray Audio Quality – The 7.1 Dolby TrueHD sound mix is a miracle of audio design with split sound effects occupying the fronts and rears at an almost constant pace. There are pans across and through the sound field, and the rear back channels are used to make smooth transitions for sounds at the rear of the field. Patrick Doyle’s music and the Gaelic ballads of Julie Fowlis get remarkably fluid renderings in the fronts and rears aiding immeasurably in establishing the time and place of the action. Dialogue has been beautifully recorded and has been placed in the centre channel.

2D Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:

Audio Commentary with Director Mark Andrews, co-director Steve Purcell, Editor Nick Smith, and story supervisor Brian Larsen: All four sit down for a lively commentary that allows us to see inside the creative minds of the filmmakers. From an abandoned alternate opening and a homage to 'The Sound of Music' to character insights and scene analyses, the quartet shares a wealth of interesting information in an easy-going, accessible style. They talk about, among other things, adding fresh elements to stereotypical figures, such as princesses and witches, various concepts that never materialised, balancing comedy and dramatic intensity, managing the movie's pace, and the incredible amount of trial and error that go into making an animated film. Children may find the discussion a bit dull, but adults, especially animation fans like me, found this audio commentary a worthwhile time investment.

Special Feature: Pixar Short Film: La Luna [2011] [1080p] [1.78:1 [7:00] A fable of a young boy who is coming of age in the most peculiar of circumstances. Tonight is the very first time his Papa and Grandpa are taking him to work. In an old wooden boat they row far out to sea, and with no land in sight, they stop and wait. A big surprise awaits the little boy as he discovers his family's most unusual line of work. Should he follow the example of his Papa, or his Grandpa? Will he be able to find his own way in the midst of their conflicting opinions and timeworn traditions? This exudes a subtle sense of wonder and is filled with beautiful imagery. ‘La Luna’ was nominated at the 84th Academy Awards® for Best Animated Short Film.

Special Feature: Behind-the-Scenes [2011] [1080p] [1.78:1] [50:00] Eight behind-the-scenes documentaries are available on the feature film disc. "Brave Old World” follows the PIXAR team on a research trip to Scotland. Merida and Elinor digs into the lead female characters with the voice cast, designers and animators. "Bears" should be even more self-explanatory to those who've seen the film. “Brawl in the Hall” looks at the development and animation of the comedic clash of the clans. “Wonder Moss” delves into the complex mathematical creation of the animated film's background moss, something most people will take for granted. “Magic” dissects Brave's fairy tale roots and magical elements. “Clan Pixar” introduces the artists and animators, touching on their daunting task and intense efforts. And “Once Upon a Scene” offers a glimpse into various versions of Brave's opening, key scenes and story.

Special Feature: Fergus & Mor’du: An Alternate Opening [2012] [1080p] [2.39:1] [7:00] A cautionary fable about the pitfalls of jealousy, ambition, and forsaking one's family, this dark tale ties nicely into the plot and themes of 'BRAVE' as it charts the development of the film's scariest villain.

Special Feature Documentary: Fallen Warriors [2011] [1080p] [1.78:1] [2:00] This montage of deleted shots and snippets celebrates the hard work that goes into even the tiniest sequences in an computer animated film.

Special Feature Documentary: Dirty Hairy People [2011] [1080p] [1.78:1] [4:00] This piece shows how the animators stayed true to the film's time period with regard to personal hygiene and appearance. Rotted teeth, unkempt hair, and sullied clothing are a few of the challenges they faced in composing their subjects.

Special Feature Documentary: It is English . . . Sort of [2011] [1080p] [1.78:1] [4:00] This documentary showcases the numerous Scottish actors who lent their voice talents to 'BRAVE,' and examines the various dialects they employ, as well as some of the foreign Scottish words and phrases sprinkled throughout the film.

Special Feature Documentary: Angus [2011] [1080p] [1.78:1] [3:00] Animating a Clydesdale horse wasn't easy, and here we learn about the particulars of hair, movement, and body language and all vital components of Princess Merida's horse that needed to be subtly but accurately conveyed to the audience.

Special Feature Documentary: The Tapestry [2011] [1080p] [1.78:1] [4:00] This piece shows us what went into animating this critical element of the 'BRAVE' story that symbolises family unity and structure. Achieving the proper texture and movement of this object required a surprising amount of research and various trials.

Special Feature Documentary: Promotional Pieces [2011] [1080p] [1.78:1] [15:00] A collection of five fun promos and three trailers from the USA, Japan, and Great Britain that comprise this section. “Feast Your Eyes” [4:00] is a clever, amusing, and visually dazzling sampler of 'Brave' characters and personalities; “Relics” [1:00] introduces us to the lovable, bumbling, comedic trio that comes to court; “Clan Dun Broch” [1:00] introduces us to Princess Merida's family via a vigorous swordfight with her dad; “Launch” [0:30] shows us Merida's archery skills and the mischievous nature of her brothers; and “Flying Guts Theatre” [1:00] gives us the backstory of the courtship of Queen Elinor and Fergus as acted out by their three boys.

Special Feature: Art Gallery [2011] [1080p] [1.78:1] More than 470 images are spread across five galleries under the headings Characters [178 images]; Colour Keys [95 images]; Development Art [96 images]; Environments [65 images] and Graphics [37 images]. Different viewing methods and bookmarking capabilities allow you to somewhat tailor the viewing experience to your personal preference.

Sneak Previews: ‘Wreck-It Ralf’ 3D; ‘Monster University’ 3D and ‘Planes’ 3D.

Finally, PIXAR finally shows its feminine side at last with its first princess computer animated film, but ‘BRAVE’ is no shrinking violet. With as much muscle as its more masculine PIXAR counterparts, this captivating portrait of wilful, free-thinking lass in 11th century Scotland combines action and mysticism with a relatable emotional core to produce a period piece that's refreshingly contemporary and utterly entertaining. And like all the Blu-rays in the PIXAR repertoire, this Blu-ray disc shows off the computer generated animated film in the best possible light. A drop-dead gorgeous video transfer, which is even more mesmerising in 3D, exceptional audio, and a wealth of supplements spread across two Blu-ray discs make ‘BRAVE’ a dazzling and memorable home theatre experience. Unlike Princess Merida's archery skills, the animated film may not always hit the bull’s-eye, but this 3 disc set sure does, and without question, it comes with very high praise, especially from me and now it has gone pride of place in my ever increasing PIXAR Blu-ray Collection, especially the 3D versions. Highly Recommended!

Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Aficionado 
Le Cinema Paradiso 
United Kingdom

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