It seems almost everything about Pixar's "Brave" is a shift in direction for the famed animation studio. Featuring a female protagonist for the first time in their history, the film is a fantasy-like fable that seems more in the wheelhouse of Disney during their heyday than in Pixar's much more contemporary catalog to date. But in keeping with the idea of shaking things up, the studio has enlisted a new name to score the movie, one that has never worked with Pixar before (sorry, Randy Newman).
The Scotsman reports that two-time Oscar nominee Patrick Doyle -- who has tuned up "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," "Thor," "Hamlet," "Sense and Sensibility" among others -- will pen the music for "Brave." Starring Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters and Kevin McKidd, the story, set in the Scottish highlands in years gone by, focuses on Princess Merida (Macdonald), the daughter of the rulers of the kingdom who one day “defies a sacred custom of the land, and inadvertently brings turmoil to the kingdom.” In order to fix things, she goes to a Wise Woman (Walters) and is granted a wish; one that is described as “ill-fated.” And appropriately, Doyle is drawing on ancient music for inspiration.
Some of his research thus far "has included trips to the Hebrides to listen to unaccompanied Gaelic psalm singing" but it's not all solemnity -- he has also written a drinking song for Connolly to sing. "It sounds great," Doyle said. "I've known Billy on and off for years. Our paths have crossed many times, and he's very musical."
"I want to make it accessible but to honour the Celtic traditions if I can," Doyle also said about his overall approach. "It's a real fable set in Scotland. I could possibly use the bagpipes as a drone or something that gives atmosphere, but I will resist instantly using them until I see what's going on…they are extremely loud."
The composer has yet to see the finished film, but undoubtedly has access to the six years worth of production research that Pixar gathered over the course of developing the film. "Brave" is definitely building up to be a refreshing change of pace from the recently sequel happy studio and we'll see the results on June 22, 2012.