Here's an article from my local rag about the upcoming Pixar animated feature Brave ( the studios 13th ). The incredible thing is that it is slated for a mid-2012 release, and yet I have already seen a teaser trailer at my local cinema several weeks ago! In fact if you go to wikipedia's page on the feature it gives so much information you could be forgiven for thinking it had been already released. Suffice to say though that much of wikipedia's page is mirrored in this article. So without further adue the article!
Pixar's first female lead shows she's one tough cookie.
The newest princess from The Walt Disney Co is more interested in shooting arrows and hunting bears than attending balls and finding Prince Charming. Merida, the spunky curly-haired Scottish heroine from the coming Pixar Animation Studios adventure Brave, is breaking new ground as the archery-loving protagonist of the Oscar-winning studios first fairytale.
" She's your anti-princess, " said Brave co-director Mark Andrews. She isn't your typical princess. She does not wear nice clothes except in a couple of scenes when her strict mom, Queen Elinor, makes her do it for special functions. She's an active and action-orientated person. She wants to get out in the outdoors of the Highlands, escaping from castle life and exploring the woods. "
Brave, scheduled for release next June 21st, is set in medieval Scotland and features the voices of Boardwalk Empire actress Kelly MacDonald as princess Merida, Emma Thompson as Queen Elina, Billy Connolly as her one-legged father, King Fergus, as well as Craig Ferguson, Kevin Kidd and Robbie Coltrane as the kingdom's noblemen.
Despite being the first Pixar film to focus on a female heroine, Andrews said Brave will be less about girl power and more about the oppositional relationship between mother Elinor and daughter Merida, likening the defiant red-haired princess to a scrutinised modern teenager who is forced to attend the same high school where her mother serves as the principal.
In the trailer, Merida's father tells of the 6.7m beast with razor-sharp claws, a face scarred with a dead eye and " hide littered with the weapons of fallen warriors, " that chomped off his leg while the rebellious Merida transverses a forest, ascends a mountain and lands a bulls eye at a tournament.
The role of Merida in Brave marks the first animated film part for MacDonald, a Scottish actress who has appeared in Gosford Park and Finding Neverland. She acknowledged being struck by the significance of playing Disney royalty during a visit to Disneyland this year as she watched Disney princesses gallivant during the parade.
" I just thought, ' My goodness! There's eventually going to be a Merida doing her thing up there, " said MacDonald. " The people that they cast to be the characters and wear the costumes at Disneyland have to do the accent, so.....some American girl will have to do my accent. It kind of blows my mind, really. "
Other imagery in the trailer includes Merida encountering mystical blue-hued wisps and the gnarly bear that took her father's leg. Andrews said despite the 3-D film's darker tone and visual style compared with past Pixar movies like Toy Story and Cars, Brave will not be " missing any of the comedy or entertainment you usually associate with Pixar. "
Of course the article doesn't tell all. It was initially to called The Bear and the Bow and Reese Witherspoon was approached to voice Merida. She declined though because of schedule clashes. The darker tone and fairy tale elements are lifted from the likes of The Brother's Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen. Even the score has a Scottish flavour with the film's score composed by a ( gasp!!! ) real live Scot!!
So all we can do now is wait and see. It is Pixar so I'm sure it will be a quality animated feature. Just judging by the teaser trailer I saw it looks as if it is worth waiting for! But bah to it being in 3-D!!!!