EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND – Pixar’s “Brave” arrives with prominent Disney billing, but it is, in many ways, an inversion of the studio’s classic animation formula.
There are no talking animals or cute sidekicks. Nobody bursts into song.
Arrow-slinging heroine Merida, is technically something of a princess, but she isn’t a Disney princess waiting for her prince to come. She’s in no hurry to wed, however regal her suitors may be.
Merdia is also, somewhat remarkably, the first female character to topline a Pixar film. Somehow, Pixar branched into male rats, male fish and male robots before human females.
“Brave” director Mark Andrews and producer and Pixar lifer Katherine Sarafian emphasized that they didn’t let Merida’s trailblazing status impact their conception of the character. She’s a Pixar character primarily, rather than a boundar-breaking young woman and then a Pixar character.
In a wide-reaching interview, conducted at Edinburgh’s Balmoral Hotel earlier this month, I chatted with Andrews and Sarafian about approaching “Brave” as the Anti-Disney Disney film, about the “labor of love” that was Merida’s ultra-complex hair and about what leading lady Kelly Macdonald brought Merida.
By now, you’ve had the chance to watch my interviews with the charming Kelly Macdonald and the spirited Kevin McKidd. Stay tuned tomorrow for my chat with Pixar head honcho John Lasseter. And maybe Friday or Saturday will be a good time for that embarrassing archery video.
“Brave” opens on Friday, June 22.