November 02, 2012 at 04:00 PM EDT

There are lots of resources out there for “How to Survive a Bear Attack,” but not much guidance about what to do if it’s a demon bear on your trail.

Run! No, wait… Play dead! Uh – try to cover your head a little. Got any magic spells…?

The Legend of Mor’du, a new short on the upcoming Blu-ray release of Pixar’s Brave, doesn’t offer many hopeful pointers, but it does dive a little deeper into the backstory of the movie’s fearsome, snarling villain.

Those who saw Brave already know Mor’du is the sinister monster bear whose true identity is a prince – although not the kind you kiss and transform back into a human. Years before, this selfish, angry royal sought a spell that would help him conquer his brothers for sole control of the family’s kingdom. But that power had the side-effect of shape-shifting him into a ferocious animal.

“It’s a cautionary tale,” says first-time director Brian Larsen, a storyboard artist on Ratatouille and story supervisor on Brave. “If you are selfish and not working in the right direction for the greater good you can destroy a huge part of your family — and yourself. A lot of tales and legends, like Grimm’s fairy tales, were like that. If you do some things, there’s a bad outcome, and not always a happy ending.”

The short is book-ended by Brave‘s cheerful witch (voiced by Harry Potter’s Julie Walters) recounting the tale of Mor’du for another, unseen customer seeking a potion that might change his fate. But as she flashes back to the savage prince’s backstory, we see it depicted in a kind of hand-painted, paper cut-out style.

“It’s got a stony edge to it,” Larsen says. “We wanted it to be very graphic in that way, with a lot of silhouettes. We wanted a 2-D look that still had volume and geometry to it.”


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94 minutes
Brenda Chapman
Billy Connolly,
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