Trailer Tuesday: Brave

Disney animated films - particularly over the last 25 years or so - have a healthy tradition of brave, strong-willed and resourceful female leads (Belle, Pocahontas, Mulan and Tiana being obvious examples). Disney-owned Pixar, on the other hand, despite being CGI-animation pioneers, feature a noticeable lack of women protagonists.

Brave, previously known as The Bear and the Bow, seeks to rectify this shortfall... along with a few others. Not only does the family adventure feature Pixar's first ever female lead (and a ginger at that!) but it's the studio's first attempt at a story in the traditional fairy or folk tale style, and it's the first Pixar film written and co-directed by a woman (Brenda Chapman).

Brave is also notable as Pixar's first original standalone tale after churning out sequels - Toy Story 3 (good) and Cars 2 (bad) - for the past 2 years.

There's not much that you can make out about Brave's plot from the teaser trailer above. However, after doing a bit of research I can tell you that the film is dark, intense and emotionally charged fantasy in the vein of Hans Christian Andersen and the Brothers Grimm. Set in Celtic Scotland, Brave centres on princess Merida (Kelly Macdonald), a talented archer whose defiance of tradition leads her to clash with her royal parents (Billy Connolly and Emma Thompson) - particularly over the topic of marriage. And when Merida turns to a witch (Julie Walters) for help, she accidentally unleashes a beastly curse that the young woman is forced to undo, or lose her mother forever. Kevin McKidd, Craig Ferguson and Robbie Coltrane, meanwhile, provide comic relief as stubborn Scottish lords.

With its rugged Highland landscapes, Brave looks absolutely stunning, and the film is sure to offer a proper - as opposed to gimmicky or pointless - showcase of the 3D medium. Unfortunately, we still have pretty much a full year to wait for Brave, which looks like Pixar's answer to DreamWorks' How to Train Your Dragon. The film's North American release date is set for 22 June 2012.

Now, if you'll excuse me, listening to the voice-over for this teaser trailer reminds me that I want a whisky now.


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