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First Look At Pixar's First Female Protagonist In 'Brave'

by Drew Taylor
May 27, 2011 3:04 AM
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Ah, "Brave." Pixar's next film, after "Cars 2" (and their first non-sequel since 2009's "Up") and according to daintily-worded press releases their first "fairy tale," has had its difficulties – Brenda Chapman, a member of the coveted Pixar brain trust and the first female director to helm a feature at the studio, was fired from the movie after developing it for six years. (According to a Los Angeles Times article from yesterday, she is on a "leave of absence" from Pixar and describes her removal as being for "creative differences.") After Chapman left, an empowered Reese Witherspoon, unhappy with the shake-up and loyal to Chapman, also bailed, replaced by "No Country for Old Men's" Kelly Macdonald.

But whatever has happened behind-the-scenes of "Brave," we now know one thing for certain: it's going to look really, really beautiful.

After some teasing concept art was released by Pixar not that long ago, we now have a more finished look at the protagonist Merida, in all her glory, thanks to Animatie. The film was described to us, before Disney had even announced that it was in production, as "Pixar's Viking movie," which this sturdy image of a female warrior on horseback suggests.

We should see a teaser trailer for this attached to "Cars 2" in late June (maybe there'll be a double teaser for this and the recently Mars-free "John Carter?"). In any case, "Brave" takes aim in theaters on June 27th, 2012.

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More: Films, Animated Films, Brave

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  • jimmiescoffee | May 27, 2011 11:59 AMReply

    can we just skip 'cars 2?'

  • Hackattack | May 27, 2011 8:13 AMReply

    Wish there was more info on what happened to Chapman. I'm sure Pixar wouldn't have made the move if it wasn't needed. Didn't Bird replace the original writer of Ratatouille ? And Lasseter fired Stanton and Doctor off of Toy Story 2 ....

  • Matt | May 27, 2011 5:49 AMReply

    I'm excited about this. Thank you for the news.

  • Drew | May 27, 2011 2:40 AMReply

    The really heartbreaking thing about Chapman being fired (besides the fact that she’s an immensely talented woman who has helped shape the last few movies at Pixar through her position as part of the Brain Trust) is that this was an incredibly personal movie, and inspired by her relationship with her daughter. Mark Andrews is a talented dude but he won’t bring the level of passion and personal involvement that Chapman would have.

    It’s hard to speculate on what happened (and it’d be foolish to do so), and Pixar isn’t exactly forthcoming about why certain changes happen in their animated films – has anyone ever gotten a concrete answer why Jan was sacked from “Ratatouille?” (Interestingly, if you want a taste, pun very much intended, on what the original iteration of “Ratatouille” looked like – check out the videogame. I’m told that the dreamy fantasy sequences were a huge part of Jan’s original visualization of what the sensation of taste looks like.)

    Let’s hope that Chapman ends her “leave of absence” and is able to develop projects further at the studio. As a guiding creative voice at Pixar since “Cars,” it would be a shame if the relationship couldn’t be repaired.

    Oh – and it wasn’t Stanton and Docter that were working on “Toy Story 2.”

  • Xander | May 27, 2011 1:11 AMReply

    This casting change is like Maggie replacing Katie for The Dark Knight. I'm so much more excited to hear Kelly Macdonald voicing the lead!

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