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24 June 2011 @ 02:44 am
Brave Media Roundup  
So with the Brave Poll nearly unanimous and Cars 2 coming out later today, the Internet has been seeing a pretty strong media push for Pixar's 13th animated feature, Brave. In the past three days new concept art, a poster, and a teaser trailer have all been released (you have to see Cars 2 for the teaser trailer).

I've cobbled together some of that hi-res concept art, posters, promotional images, and information for one big Brave post. I've also added my thoughts on what we've seen so far and the controversy surrounding the movie.

Brave Logo (White)
Concept Art
The Bear And The Bow Original Concept Art
Merida (Character Concept Art)Queen Elinor Merida (Character Concept Art)
(voiced by Kelly MacDonald)
Queen Elinor
(voiced by Emma Thompson)
Wise Woman Merida (Character Concept Art)Lord Macintosh (Character Concept Art)
Wise Woman
(voiced by Julie Walters)
Lord MacIntosh
(voiced by Craig Ferguson)


Stones Creature (Good Question)

Merida Screenshot Close-Up

Merida Screenshot Panorama
Is that blood on her face? Or scratches?

Brave Screenshot from EW Magazine
From EW Magazine

 Brave Poster
So far, the biggest resolution I could find. Also - will'o'the'wisps.

Brave Banner

And once again,
Hidden Brave Bear

Brave Logo (Black)
Look closely at the figures in the 'B' and 'E.'

Merida & Elinor in the Title
It's Merida and her mother, Queen Elinor.
And I swear that's a scratch on her face. /fan!theory

Brave Logo (German)
The German title - Merida: Legend of the Highlands

Since ancient times, stories of epic battles and mystical legends have been passed through the generations across the rugged and mysterious Highlands of Scotland. In “Brave,” a new tale joins the lore when the courageous Merida (voice of Kelly Macdonald) confronts tradition, destiny and the fiercest of beasts.

Merida is a skilled archer and impetuous 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 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 old Witch (voice of 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.

- Disney/Pixar's Official Brave Site
It’s Pixar Animation Studio’s first fairy tale fantasy, and it marks yet another change of pace for the venerable dream factory. “What we want to get across [with the teaser] is that this story has some darker elements,” director Mark Andrews tells EW. “Not to frighten off our Pixar fans — we’ll still have all the comedy and the great characters. But we get a little bit more intense here.”

That feeling is also apparent in the film’s first poster, which you can see in the official first look below. You may notice some mysterious stones in the background of the poster, and that’s on purpose. “Those stones are actually a pretty important set in the film,” says producer Katherine Sarafian. “We can’t say what happens there, but they were inspired by an actual location in Scotland that we visited multiple times during our research. It was a very powerful setting for the kind of things we want to have happen in the story.”

- EW.com, 'Brave' poster: Pixar's first fairy tale goes 'darker, more intense'



I'm excited for this one, not just for the gynocentric focus (A central mother-daughter relationship? In a kids movie?! FROM A MAJOR STUDIO?!) or that Pixar is making their Princess a tough-girl archer, but because it looks like a fairy tale that takes itself pretty seriously. I love the moodiness in the concept art, the sense you get that this is not a safe place. Merida's world is mysterious and beautiful, but it may not be forgiving.

What I understand of the story so far is it's the Little Nemo plot: the character is told not to do one thing, the character does it anyway, and spends the rest of the movie trying to make up for it. But I also get the sense that it's going to be one of those "You cannot alter your fate, but you can rise to meet it" kind of movies. I like the idea Merida won't get off easy and will have to make sacrifices for her happy ending, not because I want to see the Merida suffer as much as to get a tense and satisfying third act.

As to the controversy surrounding Brave, I'm torn. Brenda Chapman is an animation heavyweight: she directed the stunning Prince of Egypt and was Head of Story for The Lion King. She was going to be the first female Pixar director, with the first female-penned Pixar story, directing the first female Pixar protagonist. Then she was fired from Brave, arguably her passion project, over "creative differences." And I don't know what to think.

As many have already noted, animated movies often have shifting directors, so a shake-up isn't that big of a surprise. The difference with Brave is a female-director, the first ever for Pixar, was a selling point for the movie. It was supposed to be positive press and assuage the public's growing concern that Pixar was a white-boys-only animation club. Now she's been regulated to co-director with Mark Andrews, and will probably have to keep her mouth shut through awards season to get credit on what seems to be creatively her film.

The situation has left a bad taste in everyone's mouth. We don't know if Chapman's was running the project into the ground or if her vision was clashing with the studio heads. Was it gender-discrimination? It's always going to have that tinge because of Pixar's film track record. But then again, this is the sort of problem you run into with any progressive family film - any perceived slight on political correctness becomes a media firestorm. Princess and the Frog was racist for having an African American protagonist, Tangled could sell merchandise to little girls but not movie tickets. This situation may be a mountain out of a molehill, and Chapman was let go just because she wasn't the best person to be directing. We don't know, and probably won't know definitively for many years - if ever.

I'm still excited for the film and at this point am still planning on seeing it, but the checkered history of the film is always going to be in the back of my mind. Is it going to be a success for female-protagonists in films, but a failure for female animation directors? I don't know.

What do you think?

Official Brave Site

ETA: A way-higher resolution image of the EW page is now up. Go check it out under SCREEN SHOTS.

ETA: Ridiculous GIFs

Current Mood: exhaustedexhausted
Yuri: Disney: Sleeping Beauty: Teayueshi on June 24th, 2011 07:16 am (UTC)
wow.. the poster is beauitful :D
but I don't think these are scratches, but more her hair and the shadow of her hair.
but thanks for all the pictures.
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PrincessMerida/BraveBravePixar2012 on June 24th, 2011 08:10 am (UTC)
Have you guys seen the webswite by the way, it look beautiful :)
Sailor Donut: Dark Ace teeheejeweledeyes on June 24th, 2011 08:24 am (UTC)

I thought Batman, too! XD

PrincessMerida/BraveBravePixar2012 on June 24th, 2011 08:05 am (UTC)
I was just as upset when Brenda Chapman was fired over 'creative differences' similar to you, I am a massive fan of Chapman (The Prince of Egypt is my favourite film) and was so happy to know that finally a female director would direct a Pixar film. It's really upsetting that she was fired because I feel that we need so much more female directors as Pixar needs more diversity in terms of their directors. Pixar as an animation studio is brilliant, and their films show this continously, its a shame but similar to you I'm going to push to the back of my head and be excited for the new film. I'm sure another a chance will happen where a woman to direct a forthcoming Pixar film, hopefully its not too long :(
Salmon Pinksalmon_pink on June 24th, 2011 08:16 am (UTC)
"WTF is this" cracked me up! I SEE YOU, BEAR OF THE ORIGINAL TITLE!!

Hadn't heard about the controversy, thank you for the link. The optimist in me would like to think that the decision was based on personality and individual vision, rather than gender issues, although I do agree with you that the significance of her gender within Pixar's history does give the story some unfortunate connotations.

Chapman leaving the film could also have something to do with the film itself changing. The rather luke-warm box office for PatF and Tangled could have effected Brave's production - Tangled certainly went through some huge changes, well into its production timeline. Since Disney and the media seem to like blaming their box office on the fact that the films are 'princessy' and have female leads (and certainly couldn't be anything to do with them releasing PatF around the same time as Avatar, not at all!), it's possible Pixar have been re-evaluating their own princess film. Between Tangled going through several rehauls and The Snow Queen and Newt being cancelled, there have been a lot of big changes in Disney and Pixar's productions, and maybe Chapman was the perfect fit for the original production of The Bear And The Bow but she doesn't mesh with the revised Brave. Of course, this is all speculation, we may never know what happened.

Oh well. Thank you for such a great post! ^___^
Savvy "The Artist"savyleartist on June 24th, 2011 08:29 am (UTC)
DEAR GOD THIS IS GORGEOUS. And Yaaaaay, finally, something from my ancestry. And finally a tough girl whose supposed to be tough instead of being tough just to be "spunky". This look...GORGEOUS.


Mysterious thing with eyes...man?
wounded_melody on June 24th, 2011 10:18 am (UTC)
Sailor Donut: Athrun facepalmjeweledeyes on June 24th, 2011 08:30 am (UTC)

Okay, so let me preface this by saying that I don't really like Pixar movies (I know, the unpopular opinion). So, going through this post, I was overcome by the unfamiliar sensation of, "omg. What is this. I suddenly WANT to see a Pixar movie? I can't even..."

Then I read about the controversy and now I'm back to square one XD

BGE: Reidbehindgrey_eyes on June 24th, 2011 08:44 am (UTC)


I love that the main men are surly, massive and cantankerous XD


I agree with the scar thing, I'm thinking this is a revenge thing :D

The whole thing about the change of director is probably being highlighted so much because she is a woman. I can't decide if I'm happy people are making a big deal or not. If it had been a man who had been replaced or given co-director, most people would have not even batted an eyelid. I hope it wasn't gender related [even unconsciously on the part of whoever had the decision to fire her] but its not going to put me off the film because we just don't and probably will never know the whole truth :|


Edited at 2011-06-24 08:46 am (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
Devinlife_subaquatic on June 25th, 2011 02:36 am (UTC)
Well, there's a reason they'd all be white. Most fantasy/ fairy tale films take place in or are supposed to be like Medieval or Renaissance Europe, so it would naturally be pretty much all-white. Granted there could be a few exceptions, but back in those days diversity and tolerance were at a minimum, so I'd doubt it. I'd say the only Princess movie where it would be historically accurate to have a racially diverse cast would be Princess and the Frog, because it's set about 90 years ago instead of 200-500 years ago.
(Deleted comment)
Devinlife_subaquatic on June 26th, 2011 12:21 pm (UTC)
I see what you mean. To be honest, when I wrote that, I hadn't actually seen Tangled yet (I have since rectified that gross error), so I didn't have specific details on the time and place. Seeing as the kingdom is on an island, it's probably safe to say that it would have a good deal of trade at that time and there probably would be some merchants and/or some small communities from the Middle East, India, or West Africa. And, yes, this is a fantasy film, but I think a certain degree of historical accuracy (apart from anachronisms used for comedic effect)is necessary to create a convincing atmosphere.
That said, I must point out that I am not exactly good with assesing literature and film based on artistic values, nor am I well versed in the art of storytelling and filmmaking. I'm a mechanical engineering student hoping to work in the auto industry, so when I'm discussing things of this nature, it's not unlikely that I'm just being stupid and have no clue what I'm talking about because I'm out of my element. It wouldn't be the first time, so forgive me if I'm being a bit daft about this.
Ironically though, I'd bet that if the kingdom were culturally diverse with significant numbers of people from the Middle East, India, or West Africa, those groups of people would most likely be separate from the white population as well as from each other, not because of racial tension, but rather because of different religious backgrounds. However, this is little more than my own conjecture.
Anyway, sorry for writing a whole essay, I can be far too long-winded, and I guess I should work on that, but you do bring up a fair point.

swanprideswanpride on October 5th, 2011 06:46 pm (UTC)
Rapunzel is a German Fairy Tale and the inspiration was a french painting. Naturally the first drawing went in the direction. And it's easier to avoid the racist discussion by sticking to white protagonists - see the discussions surrounding The Princess and the Frog and Song of the South.
wounded_melody on June 24th, 2011 10:16 am (UTC)
Maybe it's just openings in the stone? I just saw a program where they where discussing ancient Celtic stones and some of them had holes in them for certain reasons...can't remember too much about it though XD
-wakusei-: I heart Aurora___greenribbon on June 24th, 2011 01:14 pm (UTC)
lol at the mysterious bear-shape

he is ninja

I never noticed the B and E in the title! That's awesome.
And it really does seem like she has a scar on her face.

I'm looking forward to Brave. HER HAAAAIR~~~<3
Plus, I love Emma Thompson, and she's playing another Elinor!

I get the controversy, but I think it's something that we'll only really know the full story of after it comes out and we see what the story ended up being vs any info that comes out about what it was originally.
Andie: Perfume// Squee!ice_axel on June 24th, 2011 01:14 pm (UTC)
oh man, the more I see of this the more awesome it looks XD
Like How to Train your Dragon!! and it has Craig Ferg. in it! Even more awesome to add to the pot!
(Deleted comment)
Takochacusha on June 24th, 2011 04:18 pm (UTC)
I agree with yueshi -- I don't think it's a scratch. It looks to me like a loose lock of hair that's casting a shadow on her cheek. The Merida in the 'B' looks the same way.

This is a really cool post and I love the poster. I'm torn about Brenda Chapman. I'm disappointed she was removed from the project, but I'm still hopeful about the movie.
(Deleted comment)
lemon_m on June 24th, 2011 05:02 pm (UTC)
Excited! it looks so cool already. Clearly, that shadow is the bear, but if you hand't pointed it out I wouldn't have noticed. It actually gave me chills XD The will'o the wisp aren't helping either, but that makes it more interesting. I'm glad they chose a woman protagonist to carry this change in tone.

I have a suspicion the darker tone may have been part of the reason they fired Chapman, so I'm banking on 'creative differences' as the reason they let her go. I mean, Prince of Egypt was pretty scary for me as a kid, so perhaps she was going way too into that aspect? Not that the film isn't awesome, but perhaps something like it is too much for what Pixar wants. Either way, I won't judge until we get more info on that.
♥ Biancabibinharamos_rj on June 24th, 2011 05:30 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad that i can see and know more about Brave here!
I'm in love with the fact that she is a fierce curly redhead and that the movie is set in the Highlands..amazing!

Btw, the artist of your icon (i went to check who have made the icon, only to find out it was you..:D did you make more?) is from here: http://arbetta.deviantart.com/
Abigail: Meridamdmbrightside on June 24th, 2011 06:20 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I found the art on Tumblr but alas, it was uncredited. I'm gonna start following her now, her art is fantastic!

It's the only one I've made so far, but I'd like to make more. And some GIFs. Definitely some GIFs...
♥ Biancabibinharamos_rj on June 24th, 2011 06:39 pm (UTC)
Gifs would be amazing ..:)
I'm a fan of wallpapers, always changing my..but there isn't any big enough brave picture for use...the poster image on the website would be perfect but i can't find how to "take" that image, that size...

Deviantart is a great place to find some arts about Brave, i've some as favorites already...^_^
Abigail: WTF ARE YOUmdmbrightside on June 25th, 2011 03:45 am (UTC)
Don't say I never did nothin; for you:


♥ Biancabibinharamos_rj on June 25th, 2011 06:18 pm (UTC)
OMG, i love you.

thank you, thank you!!!!
Amanda Panda: ursulashlupquack on June 24th, 2011 09:56 pm (UTC)
The thing on her face is just a twist of hair hanging down and a shadow of it on her cheek.

This looks great!
Selenia: disney princessesvelle on June 25th, 2011 01:35 am (UTC)
I love this! Thank you for posting this! I can't wait to see the trailer!
Elizabeth: Disney - mulanerizabeff on June 25th, 2011 03:29 am (UTC)
Okay, I'm really excited about this now.
organicfantasy: All that Glittersorganicfantasy on June 25th, 2011 08:59 pm (UTC)
The movie looks great! But a part of me is worried that Pixar might be completely out of their element with everything about Brave. Not saying it's going to suck, just saying they might be in order their heads.

And to help her with her quest, Princess Merida will have Connor MacLoud, the Highlander himself, accompany her :P.
ballerina_222ballerina_222 on June 25th, 2011 09:34 pm (UTC)
I'm quite excited for this. Love your "what is that batman" gif! Too funny. And I laughed at "Lord MacGuffin". Seriously? I wonder if that's a joke on-purpose or if they really don't know what a MacGuffin is.
Belle de Winter : Princess of a Parallel World: Belle Muchabelledewinter on June 27th, 2011 02:23 pm (UTC)
This looks just amazing, honestly. I hope the directing problems don't affect the movie when it comes to quality, because so far, everything I'm seeing just screams "love" to me.

HOLY CRAP, IS THAT CREEPTASTIC THING THE BEAR? AWESOME do you think he'll become a prince later, or something like that? not that it's necessary, mind.