Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Pixar's Brave

Pixar's latest release is set to be Brave, a 3D animated spectacular set in the Scottish highlands. The synposis from Disney reads as follows:
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 (Kelly Macdonald) confronts tradition, destiny and the fiercest of beasts. Merida is a skilled archer and impetuous daughter of King Fergus (Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (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 (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 Witch (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.

The first thing that strikes me about this film is that it's a completely new direction for Disney. Firstly, Merida is visually distinctive from other females Disney have presented us with. She has firey red hair, no hour glass figure, I wouldn't expect her to break into song or her movements to be light and graceful and she certainly doesn't seem as if she needs rescusing by a Prince.

Secondly, the aesthetics just of the trailer and the poster alone set a very dark tone for the film. Comparing just the colour palette and the pace of the trailer with that of previous Pixar releases, Up or Toy Story 3 even, we can gather than we're not in for a comedy caper or a light hearted adventure.

To me this seems like a breath of fresh air in terms of female representation. My dissertation was written about the representation of females by Disney so I like to think I know a fair but about the subject. From the looks of Merida so far I can anticipate a female who's able to stand on her own feet, far removed from the passive females we taught children about in the 1930s and 1950s where Snow White waited for her Prince to rescue her and Cinderella's only worth came through marriage.

Children do learn about the world they live in and the role they're expected to take in adult life from the films they watch as children, so it comes as a great relief that we're finally starting to see Disney re writing some of the outdated ideas they taught us years ago.

If you're interested in reading my dissertation you can download it here. All I ask is that you please don't re write my ideas and claim them as your own (duh!) and if you do use it at all reference me. Enjoy. :)

In terms of Brave, I can't wait to see the full length feature and see where it fits in with the rest of the Disney view point.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYg0VgPy6Uk]


  1. Your review is very interesting! And the Pixar Trailer fascinating! Thank you for sharing. Regards.