D23 Expo: Pixar’s ‘Brave’ Preview Description

During the Walt Disney Studios presentation, we were treated to a preview of Pixar’s next film, Brave.  This movie will feature many firsts for Pixar, like making a fairy tale genre and also a period film. Lastly, it’s the first Pixar film to have a main female lead. The story takes place in ancient, medieval Scotland. The movie is being co-directed by Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman.

The first clip that was shown to us exclusively at D23 Expo was the archery on horseback riding scene. We see our main lead, Princess Merida, riding on horseback while shooting with her bow and arrows at wooden targets. It was at this moment that she sees a shadowy creature, which is probably the bear that we see in the poster.

Mark Andrews was present to educate us in the world of Brave. We learn that Merida’s mother, Queen Elinor, does not see eye-to-eye with Merida. Merida’s father is King Fergus and she has triplet brothers, who are troublemakers. We were then introduced to these new creatures called wisps, which reminds me of the anime Princess Mononoke‘s Kodomas, creepy-looking, small creatures. Merida follows the wisps to a cottage nearby, where she meets the Witch. During the course of the movie, she accidentally makes a mistake and unleashes chaos to her kingdom, so it’s up to her to become a hero and break the spell (isn’t it her fault this happened in the first place?).

So who are the actors? Kelly Macdonald plays as Princess Merida, Julie Walters is the Witch, Billy Connolly is King Fergus, Emma Thompson is Queen Elinor, Keven McKidd is Lord MacGuffin and young MacGuffin, Craig Ferguson is Lord Macintosh, and Robbie Coltrane is Lord Dingwall.

We were then shown a second clip, featuring the three lords trying to win the heart of Merida. Since she loves archery, she puts a challenge for the three Lords to see who’s the best at shooting a bow and arrow. All the lords show up, and Merida does not like any of her choices at all. The first to show off is Lord Macintosh. He shoots like a girl, but was able to shoot near the center. The second suitor really missed the mark. The last one to show off is young MacGuffin, who’s looking really dorky. He has no idea how to use a bow and arrow but somehow ends up shooting the center target after being startled. After this, Lord MacGuffin moons the other guys, pretty much rubbing it in the others’ faces that they are the best.

Merida, still not happy about the situation, decides to join the competition in order for her to save herself from the lords. The first two targets, she shoots with no problems. The last one with young MacGuffin’s arrow, she shoots at it and splits the young lord’s arrow, leaving only her arrow. As she was doing this, Queen Elinor is walking towards her, only to have Merida and her look at each other with furious anger.

I’m really looking forward to this movie, but the presentation was such a tease as we really don’t fully understand the scope of Merida’s adventure.

Pixar’s Brave is coming out on June 22, 2012

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John Nguyen
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