Disney Pixar look to be back on track again (following 2011s’ disappointing Cars 2) with Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman’s 3D effort Brave (2012), a Celtic-themed tale of one princess’ rebellion against her clan’s laws upheld traditions. Today, a brand new official poster and teaser trailer (well, an extended clip) was released for the film, and gives us more of an idea as to just how powerful a young female protagonist Pixar are readying to unleash in UK cinemas on 17 August.
Featuring the vocal talents of British stars Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly and Emma Thompson and set in the mystical Scottish Highlands, Brave follows the story of skilled archer Princess Merida (Macdonald), who defies an age-old custom, unleashing chaos in the kingdom. Determined to carve her own path in life, Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the uproarious lords of the land: massive Lord MacGuffin (Kevin McKidd), surly Lord MacIntosh (Craig Ferguson) and cantankerous Lord Dingwall (Robbie Coltrane).
Merida’s actions inadvertently unleash chaos and fury in the kingdom, and when she turns to an eccentric old Wise Woman (Julie Walters) for help, she is granted an ill-fated wish. The ensuing peril forces Merida to discover the meaning of true bravery in order to undo a beastly curse before it’s too late.
Previous trailers have focused upon a nocturnal set piece wherein Merida confronts a gigantic, slavering bear, but this latest clip gives us a much clearer idea of Brave’s comic elements,with Connolly perfectly cast as the wise-cracking, jovial King Fergus (Merida’s father). However, judging by its synopsis, viewers should expect at least some occasions of melancholy, blended with the film’s lighter elements in the traditional, winning style that Pixar have honed over the past decade.
Also worthy of note is that Brave will be the first Disney Pixar effort with a female director attached (although Chapman ultimately dropped out of the film before its completion due to ‘creative disagreements’). This fact, coupled with the strong focus on a feisty, independent female lead suggests that the animation superpower are keen to push across a healthy gender-equal message to its young (and old) audiences.
Brave is released in UK cinemas on 17 August.