Pixar’s ‘Brave’ Concept Art Reveals A New Princess Fairy Tale

Published 3 years ago by , Updated February 10th, 2012 at 12:08 pm,

Official logo for Brave Pixars Brave Concept Art Reveals A New Princess Fairy Tale

Fairy tales about princesses that yearn for a more fulfilling existence are an old hat for Walt Disney Pictures, but Pixar has not yet released an entry in that genre. That will change next year with Brave, the computer-animation company’s first ancient world fable – and unlike the slew of upcoming “re-imagined” fairy tale movies, this one is an original story.

Conceptual artwork for Brave (formerly The Bear and the Bow) has been unveiled, offering a look at the sort of period European landscapes and mystical settings that are quite unlike anything glimpsed in a Pixar film before (and no, the portrayal of Paris in Ratatouille doesn’t count).

Brenda Chapman (co-director of The Prince of Egypt) conceived the project, and was initially set to become the first woman to direct a Pixar animated feature. Creative heads of the company were less than enthused about the direction of Chapman’s The Bear and the Bow, which led to Mark Andrews ( Pixar’s Oscar-nominated short “One Man Band”) taking over directorial duties on the movie – which was renamed Brave – and Chapman leaving the studio.

Here’s is how EW describes the plot of Brave, followed by conceptual artwork for the computer-generated feature:

‘Brave’ is set in the mystical Scottish Highlands, where Merida (Kelly Macdonald) is the princess of a kingdom ruled by King Fergus (Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson). An unruly daughter and an accomplished archer, Merida one day defies a sacred custom of the land and inadvertently brings turmoil to the kingdom.

In an attempt to set things right, Merida seeks out an eccentric old Wise Woman (Julie Walters) and is granted an ill-fated wish. Also figuring into Merida’s quest — and serving as comic relief — are the kingdom’s three lords: the enormous Lord MacGuffin (Kevin McKidd), the surly Lord Macintosh (Craig Ferguson), and the disagreeable Lord Dingwall (Robbie Coltrane).

Conceptual artwork for Pixar movie Brave Pixars Brave Concept Art Reveals A New Princess Fairy Tale

Artwork for Pixar movie Brave Pixars Brave Concept Art Reveals A New Princess Fairy Tale

Merida in artwork for Pixar movie Brave Pixars Brave Concept Art Reveals A New Princess Fairy Tale

This conceptual artwork for Brave is reminiscent of that for Tangled, and the Pixar title should also follow in the footstep’s of Disney’s most recent princess movie by presenting its female protagonist as a more capable and active player in her fate. Brave will surely feature Pixar’s now customary brand of truly gorgeous and detailed animation, but it could potentially break from the studio’s tried-and-true formulaic approach to storytelling as well. That’s not at all a knock of their previous films, mind you – it would just be cool to see Pixar continue to stretch its artistic wings even more than it has already.

On an amusing sidenote: now that Macdonald is providing the voice of Merida instead of Reese Witherspoon (who officially withdrew from the film due to a scheduling conflict), that means Brave will feature the vocal talents of no less than four actors – Macdonald, Thompson, Walters, and Coltrane – who have worked on the Harry Potter movie franchise. Small world, eh?

Brave is slated for theatrical release on June 22nd, 2012 – the same day as Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Despite the potential of the latter film to be good summer popcorn entertainment, the Pixar movie is arguably the one better poised to be an overall well-made film.

Source: EW

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  1. Maybe I’m a bit naive but I’m not sure what the tried and true formula is. Their movies have all felt different to me, though maybe I am mistaking premise and characters for the storytelling.

    Premise is the easy part… everyone has great ideas (Mastermind). What I believe really makes Pixar a step above the competition is their development of their characters. I tend to care for those little animated guys.

    Though Mastermind was well animated, I really didn’t care what happened to the characters, which leaves it in the kids movie arena for me.

  2. This movie is going to be really great Im lovin it already! :D

  3. I’ll be looking forward to seeing this one, always am for a Pixar movie. And I’m some what of a sucker for fairy tales and fables, as long as there good ones mind you.

  4. Gotta love Pixar! I’ll be there!

  5. Glad to see this really moving forward. I don’t want to see Pixar getting too drawn into doing sequels. With Cars 2 coming out this year and Monsters Inc 2 next year. It’s beginning to seem they might be running out of good, original, inhouse material.

  6. Craig Ferguson? I’m in.

  7. Nice artwork! I guess the movie will be nice too, but don’t you think that characters like princesses, kings, lords, tough warriors and knights, etc. are too ordinary already? Almost every movie, story in the fantasy genre are full of them? I guess movie makers, screen-writers must strive to create new, unseen and unusual creatures and characters? That’s what I strive to do in my works (Tale Of the Rock Pieces, The Opposite Of Magic, etc). I guess creatures and characters like weightless korks, Brown faces, rock pieces, night fruit, glowing, living balls, fish-keepers sound much more interesting than the other usual characters we see in every movie?

  8. When I first saw this, I thought “Secret of Kells”.

  9. could You please answer my question?
    who is the concept artist o Brave?

  10. Greaaatttt – really lookin forward to seein this one. New territory for Pixar and lookin good….cant wait:-)

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