‘Brave’ Establishes Numerous Firsts for a Pixar Film
July 2, 2012 by Walt Disney Philippines
Since ancient times, stories of epic battles and mystical legends have been passed through the generations across the rugged and mysterious Highlands of Scotland. From Disney and Pixar, a new tale joins the lore when the courageous Merida (voice of Kelly Macdonald) confronts tradition and challenges destiny to change her fate.
“Brave” follows the heroic journey of Merida, a skilled archer and headstrong daughter of King Fergus (voice of Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (voice of Emma Thompson). Determined to carve her own path in life, Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the unruly and uproarious lords of the land: massive Lord MacGuffin (voice of Kevin McKidd), surly Lord Macintosh (voice of Craig Ferguson) and cantankerous Lord Dingwall (voice of Robbie Coltrane). Merida’s actions inadvertently unleash chaos and fury in the kingdom, and when she turns to an eccentric Witch (voice of Julie Walters) for help, she is granted an ill-fated wish. The ensuing peril forces Merida to harness all of her skills and resources—including her clever and mischievous triplet brothers—to undo a beastly curse before it’s too late, and discover the meaning of true bravery.
“Brave” represents Pixar’s most daring, sophisticated and complex feature film to date. It also establishes numerous firsts for a Pixar film. It is the studio’s first film to feature a female protagonist, its first period piece in which historical references intersect with a fantasy world, and its first epic adventure set in a natural human world.
“The film is about a teenager’s struggle with finding herself, with creating her own destiny,” says director Mark Andrews of Disney•Pixar’s 13th full-length feature. “More specifically, it’s about Merida’s struggle in reconciling how the world sees her versus how she sees herself. True courage must be found on the inside.”
Directed by Andrews and Brenda Chapman, and produced by Katherine Sarafian, “Brave” is a grand adventure full of heart, memorable characters and signature Pixar humor that audiences of all ages around the world have come to expect. Based on an original story by Chapman, “Brave” was written by Andrews, Steve Purcell and Chapman & Irene Mecchi.
Infusing drama, authenticity and spirit in “Brave” is a phenomenal vocal ensemble comprised largely of actors with Scottish roots. Kelly Macdonald (“Boardwalk Empire,” “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows—Part 2”) brings heart to the tempestuous teenager Merida. Acclaimed Oscar®-winning actress Emma Thompson (“Sense and Sensibility”) gives a transformative performance as the regal and proper Queen Elinor. Renowned Scottish comedian/actor Billy Connolly voices King Fergus, the jovial patriarch of the kingdom and a heroic warrior who longs for a rematch with the demon bear Mor’du that took his leg. Voicing the strapping Lord MacGuffin and his son, Young MacGuffin, is Scottish actor Kevin McKidd (“Made of Honor,” “Grey’s Anatomy”). Popular late-night talk-show host/actor Craig Ferguson (“Winnie the Pooh”), also a Scottish native, voices the boisterous, battle-ready Lord Macintosh. Glasgow native Robbie Coltrane (“Harry Potter” films) adds plenty of pluck to scrappy Lord Dingwall, and acclaimed British actress Julie Walters (“Harry Potter” films) conjures up some vocal magic as the mysterious Witch.
“I am so proud of this film for its beauty, its story, its drama, its humor and its action,” says John Lasseter, chief creative officer for Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios and an executive producer of “Brave.” “It’s a beautifully balanced film that just sweeps you away in this incredibly gorgeous world with these really entertaining characters. It’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen. That’s what we love to do at Pixar. We love to go to new worlds and present stories that you’ve never seen before. It’s a tour de force of technology and artistry. There’s great storytelling, humor and vocal performances.”
Concludes Lasseter, “Brave” is notably groundbreaking in every way. “It raises the bar for the art form on every level—human animation, hair and clothing; animation of animals, including bears and horses; believability of organic, natural environments and historical settings. It’s an incredible blend of action and humor, with magic, mystery, sorcery and real adventure—a genuine edge-of-your-seat experience. You can’t wait to see what happens next.”
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International, “Brave” takes aim at Philippine theaters on August 01, and will be presented in Disney Digital 3D™ in select theaters.