This summer's new Pixar film is the Scottish-themed fable "Brave," which is somewhat of a departure for the studio, as it's a fairy tale set in a very specific time and place (medieval Scotland).
The production made news some time ago when original helmer Brenda Chapman (who was to be the first female director of a Pixar feature) was replaced with Mark Andrews after creative differences cropped up. Still, despite the behind-the-scenes shake up, "Brave" is looking like a strong film with the typical Pixar visual flair and a solid storyline. At the very least, it'll be a step up from "Cars 2."
The first clip (above) gives you a good idea of the characters' Scoot-ush brooogue (is this an early Danny Boyle movie?) as a group of unlikely suitors are shown off before a Princess and her royal parents. A Pixar first, "Brave's" protagonist is a female, namely the strong-willed Princess Merida (voiced by "Boardwalk Empire's" Kelly Mcdonald), who must save her kingdom from a witch's curse. Heroines have long been a tradition in Disney cartoons, from "Snow White" to "Mulan," but Pixar's CG films have typically centered on male heroes or, in the case of "The Incredibles," mixed ensembles.
Here, Merida's father, King Fergus (Billy Connolly) gives advice to Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson, currently co-starring in "Men in Black 3") on how to talk to their daughter:
Finally, we see that in the summer of expert archers (Hawk Eye in "The Avengers," Katniss Everdeen in "The Hunger Games"), Merida may give even Robin Hood a run for his money -- despite the protestations of the queen, who no doubt finds archery an un-ladylike pastime.
"Brave" opens nationwide June 22.