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Pixar's Brave: Will Scotland Be the Next Big Thing?

Last week I took a trip to Scotland. No, no, not on a jet plane across the Atlantic but rather through the art of animation. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to view the first thirty minutes of the upcoming Disney Pixar feature Brave (and yes, I love my job). But, there was one big problem with the film, I didn’t get to see enough! It was such a tease, and one that was carefully crafted. The smart folks at Pixar knew we’d be dying to see more, the bit we saw was dynamic, dramatic and absolutely stunning. Not only will the heroine Merida become an instant idol to little girls everywhere but this film is going to awaken a love of all things Scottish…

Brave will introduce this rich and historic culture to kids whose only affiliation with Scotland is Scotch tape. After seeing the all-too-short teaser, we were treated to a crash course in Scottish culture that is featured in the film. The Pixar team responsible for Brave really researched their locale, spending weeks exploring the country as well as delving into the history of the people, the music and their way of life (and yes, at one point Haggis was involved).

At the gorgeous Pixar campus in Emeryville, California, we met with a bagpiper, an expert on all things kiltish and a team of archery instructors. The bagpiper explained how the contraption worked while manipulating the drones, bag and blowpipes. The kilt team explained the history of the kilt, how it was worn (sans underwear of course), and how the different patterns of plaids stood for different clans. But my favorite? The archery. Although I found out that archery is not my sport, it sure was a hoot giving it a try. In Brave, the main character Merida has a passion for archery (which is going to make the sport even bigger after the surge in interest post-Hunger Games). With the help of a team of archery experts, we were able shoot some arrows. Did I make a bullseye? No. Did I come close? No. Did it feel totally awesome? Yes!

The other thing besides an instant appreciation for ye olde Scotland that kids will come away with? Red hair. Merida’s flowing, wild and curly hair is like another character in the film, it is mesmerizing. Yes, the gingers will have their day.

Brave doesn’t open until June 22nd, it’s a bit of a wait but you have until then to start to save up money for that Scottish family vacation. Trust me, after your kids see this flick, they’ll want to go there for their summer vacation. Or maybe you’ll get off easy and you’ll just have to buy another set of movie tickets for a second viewing of the film. Either way, Pixar’s Brave will put Scotland on the map.

Check out new banners for the film and photos from the Pixar Brave event right here:


  • Merida 1 of 8
    Merida
    The star of Brave - Princess Merida. And yes, the hair is amazing (as is her skill with a bow and arrow).
  • Her Parents 2 of 8
    Her Parents
    Merida's parents, the King and Queen. The Queen runs a tight ship and has plans for her rebelious daughter.
  • The Clans 3 of 8
    The Clans
    The other clan families, a hilarious look at the other Scottish tribes.
  • The Brothers 4 of 8
    The Brothers
    Merida happens to have three red headed brothers, who are always causing havoc.
  • The atrium features a Brave tapestry art concept piece, as seen on April 3, 2012 at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, Calif. (Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar) 5 of 8
    The atrium features a Brave tapestry art concept piece, as seen on April 3, 2012 at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, Calif. (Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar)
    The atrium at Pixar which features a gorgeous Brave tapestry art concept piece, which also is featured in the movie.
    (Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar)
  • The Kilt 6 of 8
    The Kilt
    The kilt experts dressed up in the Scottish best at Pixar.
    (Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar)
  • Bagpiper Jeff Campbell 7 of 8
    Bagpiper Jeff Campbell
    Bagpiper Jeff Campbell peformmed and gave us a demonstration of the use of the bagpipe.
    (Photo by Jessica Brandi Lifland/Pixar)
  • Sunny with a Bow 8 of 8
    Sunny with a Bow
    Posing with the kilt model and Merida! And no, I did not shoot anyone by accident.
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