Disney has now released a two-and-a-half minute trailer for this summer’s “Brave,” and it’s basically a trimmed-down version of one of the movie’s key moments which was shown to the press last year at the D23 Expo.
It’s a smart moment to use for many reasons. FIrst, it’s a great example of visual storytelling, and in a few quick moments, we learn a lot about the characters, the situation that Merida (Kelly MacDonald) finds herself in, and how she and her parents are at odds over her future.
In addition, it’s a lovely example of how quickly Pixar can sketch character. I feel like even though this is just two-and-a-half minutes long, we get a sense of all three of the suitors who are trying to win Merida’s hand in marriage, and we get some sense of the dynamics between all of them.
Finally, I love the animation itself. In particular, there’s a moment in this scene when Merida is about to fire the last of her three arrows, and the physics of that arrow are so accurate, so well-done, that it reminds me just how far Pixar is ahead of most of their competition.
By now, they’ve got to be getting pretty close to finished with “Brave.” Like many of their movies, there was a major reworking of material, which is often part of the process. Both Brenda Chapman and Mark Andrews are credited as director here, and this is a significant film for Pixar in several ways. They’re dealing in more typical Disney territory here, with a fairy tale setting and a princess for a lead. It’s also significant because they’re coming off of their first critical failure, the largely-disliked “Cars 2.” I’m sure the veritable mountain of money they made on the film assuages any sting that comes from taking a beating after one of the greatest streaks of critical acclaim for any studio ever, but I’ll bet they’d be even happier if this was a big rebound for them.
I like the idea of using extended moments from a film to sell it, because it gives you more of a sense of the real voice of the movie. You can cut a good trailer for almost anything through deception, but it’s harder to lie when you see an actual scene from the film. And in this case, it looks like they’ve got the goods.
“Brave” arrives in theaters June 22, 2012.