Brave: Storybook Deluxe is a lovely digital storybook novelization of the new full length feature film Brave. As one would expect from this Disney Pixar film, the illustrations, music and narration are quite striking and beautifully crafted – especially the brilliant use of bright and bold colors which was the main detail that caught my eye the first time I saw a trailer for this film.
Brave is a charming coming-of-age story about a princess, Merida, who is opposed to being married off to one of three allied princes to keep the peace between neighboring kingdoms.
I enjoy this princess story as this tale makes note of how being heir to the throne comes with responsibilities – making Merida a princess who has no issues with entitlement, who is physically strong, skilled at archery and is true to herself – a princess I would be happy for a child to emulate.
Two modes of reading this story exist, including Follow Along which includes highlighted text and the auto turning of pages as well as animated elements from the film.
Read and Play includes illustrated scenes with mild animated details, simple hotspots to tap as well as a treasure hunt of sorts as one seeks out the arrows hidden within these pages.
One also has the chance to record personal narration but this choice did not work well for me as my narration was drowned out by the included music – beautiful as it is. Because of this, I do wish that one would have been given volume control to both the voiceover playback as well as the music volume separately. I have also noticed that the highlighted text function that coincides with the narration is a little out of sync, and although it is possible this may not register with most children enjoying this application I did find this issue a little distracting.
Even with these notes, I do think Brave: Storybook Deluxe is one of the better applications bringing a full length animated movie to the smaller digital screen. I admire how illustrations are included between page turns that add more detail to the storytelling, making the experience more engaging than other apps which can feel like multiple plot points strung together without any dramatic arc of their own.
Having said this, it is also worth noting that the animated details and interactive moments within the storybook section of this app are few – worth mentioning as parents expecting a truly animated or interactive experience may be disappointed. This app is quite enjoyable, however, as a narrated storybook with illustrations.
Other extras are included such as a medieval target arcade game which works best on iPad as the targets are a bit small on the iPhone, although the storybook modes do look wonderful on either device.
Very nice puzzles are included, incorporating images from this storybook each consisting of 25 pieces that are fit within a background which includes a faint reference image to work off of. A nice sense of “grab” is included drawing pieces to their correct spots, this app also doing a nice job of only offering five pieces to work with at a time as to not overwhelm players, but it would be great if one could choose the number of pieces within these puzzles.
A coloring section is also available where one can use the drag of a finger to color in stills from this storybook which is a pleasant activity, yet it does surprise me that only two crayon points are included, and these pages are devoid of options such as an erase or “go back” button or “paint bucket” mode. It is nice, though, that one can return to these pages to continue coloring in the future as well as to be able to save their coloring pages on their camera roll and also have the ability to email their work to others.
Although we have not as a family had a chance to see this movie in the theatre, I look forward to this family outing with excitement, having some inside information about this story. I am glad this princess story can be enjoyed by those not really into princesses much like my son who tries to avoid anything that may seem at first glance to be “too girly.”
The ability to re-watch this movie within the parameter of a storybook at any time makes this app an easy one to recommend, but I can imagine parents feeling overwhelmed by this app’s current price tag of $6.99 – unfortunate because the quality, as one can expect from Disney Pixar, is simply stellar.
Please note that I will be reviewing the related app, Brave Interactive Comic, an interactive comic geared towards older children in the future. Please check iTunes for details if interested, and check back here at GiggleApps in the future for my review of this other app based on Disney Pixar’s Brave.
Brave: Storybook Deluxe
Released: 2012-06-14 00:00:00
Description from the Developer***Experience the magic of Disney/Pixar’s BRAVE as an interactive storybook app!
***Read along and discover beautiful art, stunning animation, and special effects!
***Hunt for hidden arrows and take aim in a Medieval-style archery game!
The Scottish Highlands have long been a fierce, proud land filled with stories, and magic, and danger. Merida, the Princess of DunBroch, adds her tale of courage and determination to the ancient lore as she sets out to defy an age-old tradition and forge her own destiny.
• Disney/Pixar animation and tap-and-play surprises!
• Full retelling of the film with text highlighting!
• Character voices, music, and vibrant art!
• Action-packed archery game featuring scrolling animation and pop-up targets!
• Challenging scavenger hunts, dynamic puzzles, and coloring pages!
• Multiple reading modes: Follow Along, Read and Explore, and Record Your Own Voice!
If you are experiencing difficulties with audio, please check if your device is muted, and that "My Recording" is switched off. Don't hesitate to contact customer care at 877-662-3769 or firstname.lastname@example.org.