Here’s a fun exercise: Watch the third (and, presumably, final) domestic trailer for Disney/Pixar’s Brave (see above), then go have a look at the Japanese-dubbed theatrical promo for the film. As you’ll see, while there’s a good deal of overlap between the footage featured in both previews, there’s a stark contrast between the family-friendly “grrl power” princess fairy tale teased in the U.S. trailer – and the majestically dark, genuinely epic adventure promoted in its international counterpart.
That’s all to say, while Brave will undoubtedly do good business at the box office – if nothing else, because Pixar’s name has become synonymous with quality entertainment for most people (overlooking Cars 2) – it’s kind of hard to not feel like the Mouse House’s marketing hasn’t fully done justice by the film. Of course, that same criticism also hounded Disney throughout its recent campaign for this year’s John Carter.
Brave takes place in the mystical, ancient Highlands of Scotland, where the fiery-haired, free-spirited, Princess Merida (voice of Kelly Macdonald) yearns for a life more exciting and fulfilling than that which tradition – and her mother, Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson) – dictates. However, when Merida seeks out the mysterious Wise Woman (Julie Walters) in order to literally change her fate by magical means, she unleashes “a beastly curse” upon the kingdom – one which only Merida has the power to undo.
As mentioned before, the latest (last?) trailer for Brave focuses on the more humorous elements and characters of the film – while also painting Merida as your typical Disney princess, whose desire to lead a life less ordinary eventually leads to her undertaking a whirlwind adventure, full of excitement and danger. It’s arguably the best (and most coherently structured) of the U.S. trailers released so far for Brave, which does look to boast Pixar’s customary stunning computer animation and engaging storytelling.
Still, when you compare the domestic Brave previews – which focus more on selling the movie’s individual elements – versus the promos for audiences overseas – where the focus is more on selling the movie as a whole - it’s just a bit frustrating (for this writer, anyway). Marketing quibbles aside, though, Pixar does look to have another winner on its hands.
For a look at Merida’s serious archery skills – and her younger, trouble-making, triplet siblings – be sure to also check out this clip from Brave:
Brave arrives in theaters around the U.S. on June 22nd, 2012.
Source: iTunes Movie Trailers, Disney/Pixar