Friday, October 12, 2012

It's Film Strip Friday!! Brave

It’s Film Strip Friday!
Release Date June 22nd, 2012


"Brave" follows the heroic journey of Merida, a skilled archer and headstrong daughter of King Fergus and Queen Elinor. Determined to carve her own path in life, Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the unruly and uproarious lords of the land: surly Lord Macintosh, massive Lord MacGuffin and cantankerous Lord Dingwall. Merida's actions inadvertently unleash chaos and fury in the kingdom, and when she turns to an eccentric Witch for help, she is granted an ill-fated wish. The ensuing peril forces Merida to harness all of her skills and resources - including her clever and mischievous triplet brothers - to undo a beastly curse before it's too late, discovering the meaning of true bravery.


Brave (previously titled The Bear and the Bow) is a 2012 American computer-animated fantasy adventure film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures. It was written by Mark Andrews, Steve Purcell, Brenda Chapman, and Irene Mecchi, directed by Andrews and Chapman and co-directed by Purcell. The film's voice cast features Kelly Macdonald, Julie Walters, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Kevin McKidd, Craig Ferguson, and Robbie Coltrane. To make the most complex visuals possible, Pixar completely rewrote their animation system for the first time in 25 years. It is the first film to use the Dolby Atmos sound format.
In the film, set in the Highlands of Scotland, a skilled archer named Merida defies an age-old custom, causing chaos in her kingdom. After consulting a witch for help, her family becomes cursed and Merida is forced to undo the spell herself before it is too late. Brave premiered on June 10, 2012, at the Seattle International Film Festival, and was released in North America on June 22, 2012, to both positive reviews and box office success.
Preceding the film is a short film entitled La Luna, directed by Enrico Casarosa.


In Scotland, King Fergus of Clan DunBroch presents his young daughter Merida with a bow for her birthday. While practicing, Merida encounters a will-o'-the-wisp. Soon afterwards, Mor'du, a giant demon bear, attacks the family. Merida escapes along with her mother Queen Elinor while Fergus fights off the bear at the cost of his left leg. Years later, Merida has become a free-spirited teenager and an older sister of identical triplets: Hamish, Hubert and Harris. Her mother informs her that Merida is to be betrothed to one of her father's allied clans. Reminding Merida of a legend about a prince who ruined his own kingdom, Elinor warns her that failure to marry could harm DunBroch. Despite the warning, Merida is dissatisfied with the arrangement.
The clans arrive with their first-born sons to compete in Highland Games for Merida's hand. Merida declares she is eligible to compete for her own hand as the first-born of Clan DunBroch, causing a falling out between Merida and Elinor. When Merida cuts the family tapestry in anger, she flees into the woods. There, the will-o'-the-wisps lead her to the hut of an elderly witch posing as a wood carver. After some bargaining, the witch agrees to give Merida a spell to change her mother; in the form of a cake.
Merida returns to the castle and gives Elinor the cake, causing her mother to transform into a large bear. With the help of her brothers, Merida and Elinor return to the witch's now deserted cottage where they discover that the spell will be permanent unless undone by the second sunrise. The witch leaves Merida a riddle, mentioning that she must "mend the bond torn by pride." The two begin to reconcile their relationship while Merida observes that the spell is slowly becoming permanent, as Elinor often loses control and acts like a bear. After encountering the wisps again, the two follow them to ancient ruins and discover that Mor'du was once the prince in Elinor's legend, who received the same spell from the witch. Merida theorizes that she can reverse the spell by repairing her family tapestry.
At the castle, the clans are on the verge of war, but the princess quells their fighting and declares that the children should be allowed to get married in their own time. Merida then sneaks into the tapestry room with Elinor, who is losing control of her human self. Fergus enters the bed chamber and is attacked by Elinor until she regains human consciousness and races out of the castle in desperation. Fergus gives chase. With the help of her brothers, who have transformed into cubs by eating the cake, Merida rides after her father while sewing up the tapestry. The clan members and Fergus capture Elinor, but Merida intervenes just before Mor'du attacks. Elinor kills Mor'du by luring him under a falling menhir, releasing the prince's spirit.
Merida places the tapestry over Elinor, but nothing happens. After breaking down in tears and reconciling with her mother, Elinor is transformed back along with the triplets, and the family is reunited. A few days later, the clans depart for their respective lands and Merida and Elinor ride their horses together.
In a post-credits scene, the witch's crow asks a castle guard to sign for a delivery of wooden carvings that Merida bought simultaneously with the spell.

Voice cast

  • Kelly Macdonald as Merida. She dreams of following her own path.
  • Billy Connolly as King Fergus, Merida's boisterous father and the king of Dunbroch.
  • Emma Thompson as Queen Elinor, the diplomatic queen of Dunbroch and Merida's mother, who just wants what's best for her kingdom and her daughter.
  • Julie Walters as The Witch, a wise woman who agrees to help Merida.
  • Robbie Coltrane as Lord Dingwall
  • Kevin McKidd as Lord Mac ]Guffin and Young MacGuffin
  • Craig Ferguson as Lord Macintosh
  • Sally Kinghorn and Eilidh Fraser as Maudie, the castle maid.
  • Peigi Barker as Young Merida
  • Steven Cree as Young Macintosh
  • Steve Purcell as The Crow
  • Callum O'Neill as Wee Dingwall
  • Patrick Doyle as Martin, the guard
  • John Ratzenberger as Gordon, the guard
Non-speaking characters include Mor'du (the evil bear), Angus (Merida's horse), and Harris, Hubert, and Hamish (Merida's triplet brothers).


Announced in April 2008 as The Bear and the Bow, Brave is Pixar's first fairy tale, and is somewhat darker and more mature in tone than its previous films. Brenda Chapman considers it a fairy tale in the tradition of Hans Christian Andersen and the Brothers Grimm. Chapman conceived the project and was announced as the director of the film, making her Pixar's first female director, but in October 2010, she was replaced by Mark Andrews following creative disagreements. Chapman later stated that her “vision came through in the film” and that she remains “very proud of the movie, and that I ultimately stood up for myself.”
Merida is the first female lead protagonist in a Pixar film. She was originally to be voiced by Reese Witherspoon, who declined due to scheduling issues. Instead, the character was voiced by Scottish actress Kelly Macdonald, recently acclaimed for her role as Margaret Schroeder in HBO's Boardwalk Empire.
The end credits include a special tribute to Pixar co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs, who died in 2011.


The film score to Brave was composed by Patrick Doyle. To bring some of Scotland's native flavor to the music, Doyle used native Scottish instruments such as bagpipes, a solo fiddle, Celtic harps, flutes and the bodhrán, with an electronically treated dulcimer and cimbalom to give it a more contemporary feel. "I employed many classic Scottish dance rhythms such as reels, jigs, and strathspeys, which not only serve the action but keep it authentic," said Doyle. Doyle had also written a drinking song for King Fergus and was traveling back and forth to Scotland for research. The composer has also been recording "unaccompanied Gaelic psalm singing."
In addition to Patrick Doyle's music, the film features three original songs. "Touch the Sky" (music by Alex Mandel, lyrics by Mark Andrews & Mandel) and "Into the Open Air" (music and lyrics by Alex Mandel) are both performed by Julie Fowlis. Mumford & Sons contributed the song "Learn Me Right" with Birdy to the film soundtrack.


Walt Disney Records released the soundtrack on both CD album and digital download on June 19, 2012.


The film was initially set for release on June 15, 2012, but it was later changed to June 22, 2012. On April 3, 2012, Pixar screened the first 30 minutes of the movie, and it received a positive reaction by its screeners. The film premiered on the last day of the Seattle International Film Festival on June 10, 2012. It had its Australian premiere on June 11, 2012, at the Sydney Film Festival, and had its domestic premiere on June 18, 2012, at the new Dolby Theatre in Hollywood as part of the Los Angeles Film Festival, its European premiere was at the Taormina Film Festival on Sicily on June 23, 2012, and its British premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival on June 30, 2012.
In the United States and Canada, Brave is the first feature-length film to use the Dolby Atmos sound format. Almost half of the 14 theaters set up to show the film in Atmos are in California (Burbank, Century City, Fremont, Hollywood, San Francisco, and Sherman Oaks), with the others located in seven states (Lake Buena Vista, Florida; Kansas City, Missouri; Paramus, New Jersey; Las Vegas, Nevada; Chicago; West Plano, Texas; Vancouver, Washington) and in Toronto, Ontario. It was released in other theaters with Dolby Surround 7.1. In total, it was released in 4,164 theaters, a record-high for Pixar, which was previously held by Cars 2 (4,115 theaters). 2,790 of the theaters included 3D shows.

Home media

Brave will be released on Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD, and digital download on November 13, 2012. It will be accompanied with La Luna and a new short film The Legend of Mor’du. Exploring the history of antagonist Mor’du, the direct-to-video short will give fans the chance to delve deeper into the leg­end behind Mor'du, as told by the eccen­tric witch who trans­formed him.


Critical response

Brave received positive reviews from critics. Based on 209 reviews, the film currently holds a "Certified Fresh" rating of 78% on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, with an average rating of 6.9/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Brave offers young audiences and fairy tale fans a rousing, funny fantasy adventure with a distaff twist and surprising depth." Another review aggregator, Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 top reviews from mainstream critics, calculated a score of 69 based on 37 reviews, or "Generally favorable." The film was also well-received among general audiences, earning an "A" CinemaScore.
Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film 3 out of 4 stars and wrote, "The good news is that the kids will probably love it, and the bad news is that parents will be disappointed if they're hoping for another Pixar groundbreaker." He said that the film had an uplifting message about improving communication between mothers and daughters.
Peter Debruge of Variety gave a positive review of the film, remarking that the film "offers a tougher, more self-reliant heroine for an era in which princes aren't so charming, set in a sumptuously detailed Scottish environment where her spirit blazes bright as her fiery red hair." Debruge also said that "Adding a female director [Brenda Chapman] to its creative boys' club, the studio [Pixar] has fashioned a resonant tribute to mother-daughter relationships that packs a level of poignancy on par with such beloved male-bonding classics as Finding Nemo."
Conversely, Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter said that the film "diminishes into a rather wee thing as it chugs along, with climactic drama that is both too conveniently wrapped up and hinges on magical elements that are somewhat confusing to boot."

Box office

The film has earned $233,928,698 in North America, as of October 7, 2012, and $281,900,000 in other countries, for a worldwide total of $515,828,698. Worldwide, it is the ninth highest-grossing Disney·Pixar film, the third highest-grossing animated film (behind Ice Age: Continental Drift and Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted) and the eighth highest-grossing film of 2012, Overall, it is the 25th highest-grossing animated film and the 98th highest-grossing film.
In North America, pre-release tracking suggested the film would open between $55 million to $65 million in North America, which is slightly below average for a Pixar film. Trackers suggested that the film might not appeal to the male demographic, whereas the female protagonist was expected to draw females of all ages, and 3D was expected to boost earnings.
It opened on June 22, 2012, with $24.6 million. It finished its opening weekend with $66.3 million at the upper end of the numbers analysts predicted. This was the fourth-largest opening weekend in June and the fifth-largest for a Pixar film. Despite pre-release tracking indications, the audience was estimated to be 43% male and 57% female. Domestically, it is the eighth highest-grossing Disney·Pixar film, the highest-grossing animated film and the fifth highest-grossing film of 2012.
Outside North America, the film earned $14.0 million from 10 markets on its opening weekend, finishing in third place behind Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted and Snow White and the Huntsman. Overall, its largest openings occurred in France and the Maghreb region ($6.50 million), Mexico ($5.53 million), and Russia and the CIS ($5.37 million). In total earnings, its highest-grossing countries were the UK, Ireland and Malta ($32.7 million), France and the Maghreb region ($24.5 million), and Mexico ($21.3 million).

Video game

A video game based on the film was published by Disney Interactive Studios on June 19, 2012, for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, PC, and Nintendo DS. A mobile video game Temple Run: Brave (a Brave variation of Temple Run) was released on June 14, 2012, for the iOS and Android.

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