“Brave” is Pixar’s first film with a female lead character. She is a medieval Scottish princess named Meridia, with the voice of Kelly Macdonald of “Boardwalk Empire” and “No Country for Old Men.”
The current issue of Time has a terrific background story on the development of the movie. The original idea came from Brenda Chapman, who was inspired by her Scottish heritage and some of her tussles with her strong-minded five-year old daughter. Chapman became Pixar’s first woman director, but was then replaced by Mark Andrews, who enjoys martial arts and sword-fighting.
His final version of Brave is brawnier than Chapman’s original pitch: more bows, more arrows, more bear fighting. Andrews loves action films. He left his job as second-unit director of Disney’s upcoming sci-fi movie John Carter to direct Brave. Brave has a lot of action. A major character’s leg is amputated and a woman sustains an ass pinch before the opening credits. Chapman, who still works at Pixar and watches occasional reels of Brave, seems leery of some of the changes. “Even when I was on it, there was sometimes so much action that I said, ‘Pull it back.’ The last version I saw had a lot of action, but I know it’s all shifting,” she says. “Where we’re going to land is a hybrid,” [Pixar’s Katherine] Sarafian says. “Heart and original story from Brenda, with the energy and entertainment and adventure that Mark brings. That’s the goal.” Chapman and Andrews will be credited as co-directors.
That juxtaposition sounds very promising — as does the advance word about some technological advances that should make for some dazzling visuals. Here’s the latest trailer: