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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Brave Revisited, or Why Blu-ray is Actually Super Awesome

by LJ (bio)

Congrats to the winners of the Brave DVD/Blu-ray giveaway! If you weren't one of the lucky two (don't cry, I never win anything either), Brave is now in stores and available online for purchase. Or, you know, for your kids.

I know I already talked about how Brave basically blows every previous Disney princess film out of the water. This viewing marked another first for me: the first time I've ever seen a film on Blu-ray.

To say I was flabbergasted would be a slight understatement. My husband and I are not technophiles and have never owned a TV in our marriage that exceeded 15" of screen (or had a working remote to our DVD player, come to think of it). This is not for ideological reasons. It's because we're cheap.

Enter our good friends Sam and Sara, who graciously hosted our viewing party at their house because they've got at least a 40" screen, a sound system and a Blu-ray player. I figured that purchasing films on Blu-ray, like eating organic or using premium gasoline, was yet another marketing scheme to eke more money out of you. (Did I mention that we're cheap?)

Well, turns out I was wrong. Seeing Brave on Blu-ray made it sharper, brighter and even more detailed than I'd seen it on the big-screen. This was a boon unto itself, since I feel like it takes a good half-dozen views of any Pixar film to be able to catch all the little details or even all the jokes.

Included on the Blu-ray are a dizzying list of extras, and the DVD has La Luna -- the short film that aired right before the movie in theatres -- as well as a bonus short film, The Legend of Mor'du. It's a mix of CG and traditional animation, exploring the mildly creepy story behind that enormous bear-villain with ONE. DEAD. EYE. There's something about the animation style, plus all those shirtless men in kilts wielding weapons, that instantly made me think of those old light-blue Illustrated Stories from the Book of Mormon series. (Anyone else have those growing up?)

As much as I enjoyed viewing Brave and all the little goodies along with it, the high point was actually watching my toddler watch La Luna for the first time. The boy sat on my husband's lap completely googly-eyed the whole time. He didn't wiggle, he barely blinked, he almost didn't speak except to exhale a giant "Oooooooh!" when the little boy taps the big star with the hammer and it chinks apart into a hundred little stars.

Yep, Pixar, leave it to you to make me cry again.

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