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Carey Bryson

Are you ready to Brave the holidays?

By November 19, 2012

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Thanksgiving week is here. The kids are out of school. And the peak of the holiday shopping season is about to get into full swing. I want to cover some of the season's hottest movie gift titles, as well as offer some less obvious ideas for the perfect gifts for kids and families. Since my family just returned from Disney World, I'll start with this year's mystical Pixar masterpiece: Brave, available now on DVD and Blu-ray.

This movie is great for families and kids of all ages. (Although, a few scenes may be scary for some young children. Read our parent review of Brave to find out more.) Not only does Brave present a thrilling and mystical story about a princess, it also offers a rich experience in the animated Scottish Highlands, making it easy for parents to turn movie night into a cultural experience with educational and fun Brave-related activities for kids and families. The Blu-ray combo packs are also packed, and I mean packed, with bonus features that extend the movie watching experience and give audiences more insight into the making of the movie and the mystical setting. With all the extras, including the beautiful Pixar short La Luna, the movie alone makes a great gift or stocking stuffer.

But, you can really go as far as you want with the Brave theme. In fact, if your little princess (or prince, the movie lends itself well to boys and girls) is a huge fan of the movie, you could make every one of the presents under the tree fit the theme. Whether you are shopping at the Disney Store or Target, you can find stunning Merida dolls as well as dolls of Merida's mother, her little brothers, the bears and more. You can also find everything from toys and Brave pajamas and clothing to journals and decor.

I love to do themed gifts, so having such a variety to choose from makes me happy. There are far too many related toys and other things to list them all, but if I were going to put together a Brave gift fit for a princess, I would choose the 5-disc Ultimate Collector's Edition Blu-ray pack along with a Merida dress-up costume (the wig is a must -- who wouldn't love to play dress-up as a fiery red-head with a mane of wild curls?) and a bow and arrow set (a big hit with my girls that kept them busy for hours). Or, the movie along with a doll set and some Merida pajamas. But like I said, there's so much to choose from, you could tailor your gift to any child of any age.

And since we're on the topic, I'll share a photo from our day at Disney World Magic Kingdom. One of the highlights of our trip, unexpectedly, was the evening castle and fireworks show. We didn't know what to expect. In this day and age, it's hard to find something truly impressive, but our whole family was completely blown away by the show. Here is a photo of the part of the show where Cinderella's castle becomes the castle from Brave. Merida rides around the castle on Angus as the castle transforms. It's impossible to fully capture the moment in a photo, but here's our best effort.

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(Photo Disney/CB)

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