Pixar to Take on Fairy Tales with ‘Brave’

Pixar has shown over the years that it’s been able to come up with amazing stories no matter the subject matter. However, with its newly-announced ‘Brave’, will the studio be able to tell a princess fairy tale story that doesn’t feel too much like the work of Disney Animation?

Unlike its parent company, Pixar is sticking to its guns by not just re-making an old fairy tale. ‘Brave’ is reported to be a brand new, original fairy tale story complete with a princess heroine. The folks at Pixar do amazing things when they sit down to think up their own stories. Hopefully, ‘Brave’ carries on with those expectations.

According to Entertainment Weekly, ‘Brave’ will be about Princess Merida, voiced by Kelly Macdonald. (Reese Witherspoon was going to do the voice until she had to pull out due to scheduling issues.) Merida lives in a “mystical” version of the Scottish Highlands. A few actors have already been announced, such as Billy Connolly as King Fergus and Emma Thompson as Queen Elinor. Other voice actors include Kevin McKidd, Craig Ferguson, Robbie Coltrane, and Julie Walters.

‘Brave’ will be directed by Pixar alum Mark Andrews (who was nominated for an Oscar for his short ‘One Man Band’) and Brenda Chapman (who worked on ‘The Prince of Egypt’). It’s a bit strange not seeing one of the Pixar notables in the director’s chair. There’s no mention of Lasseter, Docter, or Stanton. If anything, that’s what scares me the most. Yes, I know that those three are probably working in some capacity on this movie, but we’ll see if it makes a difference in the final product.

Pixar has set itself such lofty expectations that we now expect every one of its movies to be genius. I’m hoping that ‘Brave’ is the same, but I also wonder if it’s too similar to the stories that Disney tells over and over. Will Pixar be able to put its own unique spin on the fairy tale story? You’ll have to wait until 2012 to see, but that shouldn’t stop you from expressing your opinion on this in the Comments. Are you excited for Pixar to take on a fairy tale of its own making?

In the meantime, here are a few concept art renderings of what the movie will look like.

Photo Credits: Disney – Pixar

[via ScreenRant]

13 comments

  1. Drew

    So… Here’s the deal with “Brave:” at one point it was described to me by an insider as “Brenda Chapman’s feminist Viking movie” (this was before it was announced with the much-cooler title “The Bear & the Bow”), which is endlessly exciting. I couldn’t help but cringe when you said that you were worried that you didn’t see one of the studio’s table players directing, because 1.) It kind of reeked of sexism (thank god Chapman was recently replaced by a white guy, whew) 2.) Chapman has been a part of the “Pixar Brain Trust,” the informal group of Pixar geniuses that acts in an advisory capacity for each movie (they’ve also expanded out to tweak “Tron Legacy” and the forthcoming “Muppets” movie) for probably the last five years or so. So just because she hasn’t directed anything yet for the studio yet (PS – she didn’t “work on” “Prince of Egypt,” she directed it, the first woman to ever direct an animated film for a huge studio like Dream Works, so some props would be nice), doesn’t mean she isn’t more than qualified to handle the “Brave” workload.

    There are reasons to be concerned about “Brave,” like what exactly happened behind-the-scenes to make Chapman step down from the director’s chair (there are conflicting reports that Chapman has left the studio altogether) and why there was such a shake-up in the voice cast (“scheduling issues” with Reese Witherspoon, who makes a movie what, every 18 months? Really?) But this being a “fairy tale,” which isn’t totally correct, it’s probably closer to Norse folklore than anything else, shouldn’t be one of them.

    • “Feminist Viking movie” sounds kind of terrible. Does every animated film need to be a feminist revision of notoriously anti-feminist historical time periods? Don’t we get enough of that with every single Disney and DreamWorks fairy tale movie?

      Vikings weren’t exactly known for their progressive social values.

  2. Well to be fair to Aaron and be equally as nit-picky with the facts…

    Saying Chapman directed Prince of Egypt is also slightly misleading, she was one of three directors for that movie. and it was Chapman herself who described this project as a fairy tale “tradition of Hans Christian Anderson and the Brothers Grimm set in Scotland.”

    Being worried about someone being fully seasoned, and being worried because of their gender are tow very different things. Hypersensitivity is also a form of sexism.

    The absence of Pete Docter on the writing team worries me more than Lasseter not directing.

    But quite honestly anything that takes Pixar away from becoming a franchise machine is ok in my books until they deliver an original dud.

    and I don’t care what color or gender of person get’s the job done. as long as the end product is good.

    • So, does Cars count as an “original dud” or (now that there’s a sequel coming) a franchise dud? 🙂

      I’ll probably take some heat for this, but Up was a pretty big original dud for me – aside from the opening scene, which is a beautiful little short film on its own, but is let down by the rest of the movie.

  3. Rolltide1017

    Why does the adsence of Peter Docter as a writer worry you? He wasn’t part of the writing tema for A Bug’s Life, Finding Nemo, Cars, Ratatouille and Toy Story 3 and they all turned out just fine.

    Also, each Pixar director was new at some point so, that doesn’t worry me at all. In fact, I will never worry about a Pixar movie until they actually make a bad movie.

  4. I’m not really worried. I’ve loved pretty much everything Pixar except for Cars.

    Docter just happened to work on the ones I loved the most. Not actually worried about his absence to be honest. Other than to say the most probable short coming would be the writing if anything, in any Pixar film.

  5. Drew

    Is Ryan a rockin’ priest? If so, this conversation is a thousand times more awesome.

    And Docter has too many “let’s turn this into a buddy comedy” impulses for me!

  6. I still dont get the animosity that everyone feels for cars, so many people that talk about Pixar always seem to pick that one out as the worst one, I just dont see it, its my favorite one hands down, I love the detail in the world, love the characters, love the message of the film, it all stands out to me as one of their best films

    Up was one of the first animated movies to really bring me to tears, it had heart (as do most of their movies) but it felt more real than any of their other films, it dealt with real adult issues without making it useless for the kids, Pixar is the best at bringing amazing stories to life for everyone and Up was no exception

    I’ve loved every single movie from them and I really cant pick out one that would make it last on a list of their films, I also dont get the love for The Incredibles either, while its a great movie I cant put that ahead of gems like Wall-E, Toy Story 3 and especially Cars (in my book anyways), but hey everyone has their favorites

    As for Brave, cant wait, Pixar and their take on an adventurous “fairy tale”, I’m all there and then some 🙂

    • I don’t think Cars is a terrible movie or anything, but it’s much more of a kid’s movie than a *family* film. It’s aimed at a really young audience, and doesn’t have as much for adults to enjoy. The fact that the characters look like Playskool toys is bothersome, and the plot’s obvious recycling of Doc Hollywood (not a great movie to start with) just feels kind of lazy, by Pixar standards.

      As for Up, I agree with everything you have to say… about the first 10 minutes. Unfortunately, the rest of the film with the balloons and the talking dogs and whatnot really lost me.

      To each their own, though.

      • Up is an interesting film, but you are right, that the opening is sheer brilliance and beauty. the rest cannot measure up.

        that, and the damned scenes in the sky, F THAT!!!! that film fucked with my vertigo, bad.

  7. RBBrittain

    I’m not worried as much about Brave as Pixar’s recent recycling binge (TS3, Cars 2, TS shorts, Monsters, Inc. 2–though it sounds a lot better as Monsters University). At least Brave is an original story, and it’ll keep the Disney fairytale machine alive until WDAS can fully overcome Bob Iger’s overreaction to PATF’s slightly-less-than-expected B.O. numbers (which thankfully was stopped by Tangled’s much-higher-than-expected B.O. numbers).

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