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5.0 out of 5 stars Brave 3D: Ultimate Collector’s Edition (blu ray)…another 3D/2D video/audio perfection from Pixar!, Nov. 14 2012
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This review is from: Brave 3D (Ultimate Collector's Edition) (BD 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) (Bilingual) (Blu-ray)
VIDEO (2D):

Brave arrives at blu ray with MPEG-4 AVC 1080p 2.39:1 encode. Pixar's amazing animation is simply stunning and gorgeous, bringing breathtaking life to Merida's world, making her somewhat humble adventure even grander and more satisfying. The film's palette is nothing short of magical, with lavish reds, fiery oranges, lovely greens, disarming earthtones, bright blues and inky blacks, all delivered via perfect colour and impeccable contrast. Detail is magnificent, capturing every nuance the animators saw fit to incorporate into their already jaw-dropping animation, like tattered kilt seams, tight tartan patterns, pinpoint freckles, scraggly beards, errant whiskers, shaggy manes, scuffed armor, knicked blades, matted fur, the smallest droplets of water, thinnest blades of grass, tiniest leafs on distant trees... nothing misses the mark. Edges are sharp and clean. The image is as pristine as they come. (5/5)

VIDEO (3D):

Brave 3D arrives with MPEG-4 MVC encode. Capturing the rapturously inviting world of its characters with absolutely pitch-perfect technical acuity, the 3D elements on this disc are immersive without being gimmicky, and depth is handled sensationally across the board. And picture quality is top-of-the-line; to boot: colour accuracy is rock solid, detail is impossibly sharp and well-defined, and black levels are steady from top to bottom. All the descriptions in the 2D are included here, but with an added more immersive experience. (5/5)

AUDIO (2D & 3D):

Both the 2D and 3D versions have the same fantastic and outstanding Dolby TrueHD 7.1 lossless track, with the 2D version also in Dolby TrueHD 5.1 too. Even in the film's opening minutes, the quality of the experience becomes abundantly clear, like the wind rustling the tops of the trees, the grass crunching beneath Merida's feet, the sudden deafening roar of a demon intruder, and the weight of the girl's father charging into battle. It only gets better from there too as Merida strikes out beyond the castle grounds, into the wild wood and farther. The rear speakers, meanwhile, create a truly enveloping and immersive soundfield. (5/5)

MOVIE:

The impetuous, tangle-haired Merida, though a daughter of royalty, would prefer to make her mark as a great archer. A clash of wills with her mother compels Merida 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. The choice of Kelly MacDonald, Emma Thompson, Billy Connolly and Julie Walters as voices for Merida, Elinor, Fergus and the Witch respectively, is simply perfect. (4.5/5)

TRIVIA:

Brave has an estimated budget of $185 million, but only grossed $236 million, a disappointment, when compared to Toy Story 3 ($1,062 million), Finding Nemo ($865 million) and Up ($727 million).

This film marks the first time a Pixar produced film has a female protagonist. Princess Merida is also the first Pixar character to be included in the Disney Princess line.

Two additional computer softwares were specially developed for this film by Pixar in the period of three years. One of them allows simulation of Merida's 1500 strands of hair curls to move together with her movements.

Brave is the first film to use the new Dolby Atmos sound system. The new system expands from the 5/7.1 channel sound mixes to 64 discrete speaker feeds and 128 simultaneous and lossless audio channels. Wow! A really holosonic soundfield!

PACKAGING:

It has a 3D lenticular cover, and consists of 5 discs: 3 BD-50 discs and 2 DVDs. The 3D and 2D versions are in separate blu ray discs, plus one BD-50 disc for Bonus Features. The 2 DVDs are standard DVD and Digital Copy.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Brave isn't Pixar at its best, but while watching this 3D Blu-ray edition of Brave, you probably won't care all that much: this release is a technical stunner, milking every drop of potential out of its high-def capacity. It is one of the best, if not the best 3D movie this year. If you have a 3D TV, this 3D/2D set is definitely preferred, because the pictures in both 3D and 2D are equally stunning, plus a top-notched audio track. This set is definitely very highly recommended.

UPDATE (FEBRUARY 24, 2013):

Congratulations to Brave who deservedly won the Oscar for Best Animated Film. Brave and Wreck-It Ralph (also nominated) are truly the better animated features in 2012. Merida in Brave also reminded me of the Best Actress Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence who starred in The Hunger Games.
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Dr. Joseph Lee
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Location: Toronto, Canada

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