The newest Pixar 3D Blu-ray to hit the market just might be the best-looking and -sounding high-def disc of the year (but don't quote us on that quite yet)...
Buena Vista / 93 Minutes / 2012 / Rated PG / Street Date: November 13, 2012
Pixar has for years now been the go-to animation studio that has a steady track record of entertaining parents as much as (if not more than) kids, but Brave skews that model a bit. The prototypical 'adult' perspective on the film tends to be one of underwhelmed, almost secretive disappointment: the film wows in a visual capacity and has a frequent supply of that Pixar magic, but compared to its recent output, Brave feels disjointed, almost half-finished. Kids, though, love it.
Pixar may not be able to brag that moms and dads are enthralled by Merida's adventure at the center of Brave, but this picture knows on what side its bread is buttered. To be in a room where Brave is watched - no, even discussed - with pre-teen kiddies to be dumbfounded by the awesome power it has. Something about the straightforward, minimally symbolist tale that Brave tells casts a spell upon the young 'uns.
And if Brave found a strident if not-exactly-cataclysmic audience at box office this past summer, just wait until this 3D Blu-ray edition hits the market. The argument could be made (heresy, I know) that Brave actually plays better in a home theater setup: where I was relatively disinterested in this story of a young Scottish princess who rejects the contests around the arranged marriage in her future, turns the tables on it, then subsequently finds herself at the epicenter of a kingdom-wide war that threatens the past, present, and future of her kin while watching it at a cinema in July, I found the act of succumbing to this 3D high-def edition to be a fun, escapist treat.
I don't think Brave can sit pretty at the top of Pixar's totem pole of recent achievements - Wall-E it ain't - but high-def releases like this one quite simply revitalize home theater enthusiasts. Disney/Buena Vista has a sterling reliability when it comes to releasing their films on technically majestic Blu-ray Discs, but this one is a special case. A perfect storm of audio/video prowess - in both 2D and 3D - and transportative family entertainment, Brave may not be the best movie Pixar's ever made, but as you watch it, it'll feel like the best movie you've seen in the last few months.