Pixar Dishes on Brave at D23, or, Merida is a Badass
by Susana Polo | 1:59 pm, August 22nd, 2011
This weekend, as you may have noticed us mentioning, was Disney’s D23 Expo, which is why you’ve been seeing so much Disney, Pixar, and Marvel movie news floating around: they all showed up to strut their stuff for the Disney fan community. Now, while we’re interested in a lot of that, even the news that Pixar is going to be making a dinosaur movie couldn’t get us more excited than Brave does, and so here’s a generous helping of the D23 news about Brave, Pixar’s first movie with a female protagonist and a woman writer behind the story.
Some of it is a little spoilery, but only about what seems to be the first arc of the story, not the ending or plot developments.
The sons of three lords are competing for Merida’s hand (she happens to be a princess) in marriage. They’re all idiots. Meridia, an expert archer, decides she wants them to compete in an archery competition and each character, looking like the comedic rejects from Braveheart, bumble through the challenge. Of course, one randomly gets a bullseye. When her father, King Fergus (Billy Connolly), looks for a reaction, Merida is gone. She reappears like Sith Lord, approaching the men with a hood on, announcing that she’ll be deciding who wins her heart. She flips down her hood, unleashing her huge mane of red hair (more on that later) and starts walking down the course. As she’s walking, without stopping, she nails the first bullseye. Then the second bullseye. As she approaches the third, her mother, Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson) screams at her not to do it. She defies her mother as, in slow motion, we see her fire the bow. Direct hit. Goosebumps.
Other details include Merida’s terrible triplet brothers, who only she can tell apart; that Pixar is pulling out all the stops to craft one of the most constantly textured and worn settings they’ve ever put together for a movie, while embedding Celtic and Pictish imagery at every turn; and that the bear that Merida goes up against in the trailer, Mordu, claimed her father’s leg in a legendary battle.
It’s definitely worth taking a look at /Film’s whole Brave roundup.