After twelve incredible feature films, the movies of Pixar are beloved the world over for their dazzling animation, heart-warming stories and their perseverant heroes; not once, however, has Pixar told a story with a female lead character or called upon the talents of a female director to call the shots…until now. Upon the release of promotional screenshots, all eyes have been captured by Pixar once again, this time by a promising young heroine with a mop of fiery red hair, Princess Merida, and the work of talented co-director Brenda Chapman (The Prince of Egypt).
In Brave, Merida is a sassy Scottish lass with a penchant for Archery and a habit of breaking all the rules, which ultimately leads her to defy a sacred custom of the land, nearly destroy her kingdom and thus, set out on an adventure to restore order and save the day. There has also been no current mention of a sidetracking Prince so for once, it appears, a princess finally becomes a heroine based on her own wits and baddassery.
Whilst the animation will no doubt be impeccable, the reported cast list is another major drawcard; Boardwalk Empire’s Kelly MacDonald is Princess Merida, Emma Thompson and Billy Connelly as her regal parents, Julie Walters as the Wise-Old Woman and even Robby Coltrane is along for the ride as one of three Lords of the Kingdom.
The filmmaking masterminds at Pixar have made our cinematic seasons memorable time and time again by telling stories with action, drama and plenty of humour, unearthed from the most unimaginable sources of storytelling in the universe: From adventurous bugs and afraid monsters to talking toys, cars and fish, from a culinary rat to an emotive robot, Pixar has ensured entertainment for the entire (superhero) family.
After proving again with Up that adventure and entertainment is for people of all ages and not just the young, fans from all backgrounds, ages and mindsets have been eagerly anticipating confirmation and details of Brave. The princess may be a tomboy and whole-heartedly not blonde, and the entire bevy of Scottish characters may never have even heard of America, but quite clearly, Brave is shaping up to be the next thoughtful ground-breaker from a studio already decorated with Academy Awards, Golden Globes and Grammy accolades.
Here at last, Pixar is gift-wrapping us a fairytale that departs from traditional Disney cliché, offers a strong female lead and will showcase the creativity of a female co-director…
Or, is this too much expectation to place on a film that is, for the most part, targeting its audience in 3-12 year-olds?