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Brave (Three-Disc Collector's Edition: Blu-ray / DVD)
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Set in the rugged and mysterious Highlands of Scotland, Disney Pixar's Brave follows the heroic journey of Merida (voice of Kelly Macdonald), a skilled archer and headstrong daughter of King Fergus (voice of Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (voice of Emma Thompson). Determined to change her fate, Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the unruly and uproarious lords of the land: massive Lord MacGuffin (voice of Kevin McKidd), surly Lord Macintosh (voice of Craig Ferguson) and cantankerous Lord Dingwall (voice of Robbie Coltrane), unleashing chaos in the kingdom. When she turns to an eccentric Witch (voice of Julie Walters), she is granted an ill-fated wish and the ensuing peril forces Merida to harness all of her resources including her mischievous triplet brothers to undo a beastly curse and discover the meaning of true bravery.
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A couple critiques: Merida's central struggle with her mother is about choosing a man to marry. I look forward to the time when four-year-old girls don't have to think about their relationship to romantic love. There are plenty of other mechanisms that could have suited this purpose (choosing a role in the community, for example). The Moana storyline handled this extremely well.
Finally, there are no models for positive masculinity in this movie, which is a shame. A feminine hero doesn't require the context of clumsy masculinity. This is harmful to our current masculine culture, which can use all the help it can get. I feel bad for the boys who watch this movie, and I hope for something more balanced in the future.
Technically, the sound and visuals are lush, and natural; Scotland couldn’t have asked for a better tourism advertisement. The characters are original, well drawn, entertaining—and somehow familiar. They seem like people we all have run across at one time or another.
The best part is the story itself, but I won’t be a spoiler here. The film should be in every family’s collection, and a must for the Disney aficionadi everywhere! Wish I could give it 6 stars!
The reason it is one of my favorites is that it has a decent narrator for the English Descriptive Video Service. My mother was able to watch the movie without us having to pause and describe every scene to her. She didn't miss a thing. Accessibility for the blind is a great feature that I wish all DVDs had.
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I thought the story was unique, despite many so-called critics referring to this film as a traditional fairytale. It's not at all, it's a film about a Mother and Daughters relationship which I've certainly never seen done before. It has elements of a more traditional fairy tale but this sits very well with the setting so it's not contrived. Its a really good strong female lead role for once without the need for a bumbling (or otherwise) prince saving the fair maiden etc.
The 3D was stunning, you could watch Merida's hair all day. I really enjoyed the whole package, the songs were fantastic too. Modern Scottish folk songs like Julie Fowlis' Touch The Sky make this film sparkle.
Anyway, please get this film for your kids and for yourself, it's a great story with a stunning look and will be one to watch again and again.
When released in the cinema, some parents were concerned about the scarier scenes involving the bears but my younger daughter was more concerned by the mother-daughter arguments.
The 3D conversion works fine, though it does make the film darker and mute the vibrant colours of the computer-generated Scottish countryside, so the 2D Blu-Ray version is the one we prefer.
Absolutely recommend for part of you're Blu-ray collection.