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OpEd: Brave’s 5th Anniversary and what it means to a Scottish person

Brave, Pixar

Posted by Joanna • June 22, 2017

In 2009, I saw Up in cinemas for the first time, and I left thinking I had just seen the best movie of my life. As soon as I got home that night, I googled Pixar to find out what movies they had in their pipeline, and when I saw they were making a movie set in Scotland, my heart leapt. Mainly with joy. But there was a little bit of worry in there too.

I have always lived in Scotland, and have seen my fair share of movies attempting to portray the country I have grown up in. These movies are riddled with horrible attempts at Scottish accents, actors that have no connection to the country at all, and scenery that wasn’t even filmed on location. They rely on blatant stereotypes and, at best, only skim the surface of what Scotland is really like. So after learning about the production of Brave, I was unsurprisingly cautious, at least until I grew to understand and appreciate Pixar and their values.

Pixar do their research. They made Paris feel real in Ratatouille, they took lessons in ichthyology for Finding Nemo, and they even worked out how many balloons it would take to lift Carl and Ellie’s house in Up (…then took some leniencies). For the creation of Brave, Pixar teams visited Scotland, sketched castles, and went walking in the highlands. They studied the scenery and foliage and experienced our weather and culture first-hand. The end result? Out of all the American movies I have seen, Brave did the absolute best job at capturing Scotland and its scenery, lighting, colours, people, and accents. They hired Scottish actors and learned from them, allowing them to really contribute to the movie. In an interview with Kevin McKidd, the voice of both Lord MacGuffin and Young MacGuffin, Pixar suggested he make Young MacGuffin have a particularly broad accent; almost incomprehensible. But instead of just spewing Scottish-sounding gibberish, McKidd proposed he did “a dialect from my home area, called the Doric, which is a very specific area in the north-east of Scotland.” This resulted in a joke that was funny for viewers in America, but hilarious for viewers in Scotland. It’s genius. Being from the north-east of Scotland myself, I have grown up with the Doric accent around me, and even I struggle to understand it without context (although I do understand all of Young MacGuffin’s lines!) It’s little touches and inside jokes like this that make Brave a film that Scottish people are proud to be associated with.

© Steve Pilcher

Even on the day it came out, Brave created a sense of community and pride across the country. It was released in cinemas a day earlier in Scotland than in the rest of the UK, and I saw it in a makeshift cinema that my village hall put on for the night – mismatched seats and a projector screen. The scenery was breath-taking, and you felt you could almost recognise some places because the attention to detail was so perfect. When Young MacGuffin said his first line, people turned to each other with huge grins on their faces. We were in hysterics. Even the ‘obvious’ jokes (that had to be done) were done completely tastefully.

It’s so refreshing to have a movie that depicts Scotland with such accuracy and respect. We don’t have bears, of course, but…leniencies. Animation allows leniencies. And on top of all of that, Brave is a wonderful movie with a beautiful message and strong, memorable characters. Merida will always be my favourite ‘Disney Princess’.

Pixar places so much importance on being able to transport you to these different worlds and settings that they create and imitate. They fully appreciate how crucial it is to know these worlds themselves before they’re able to make us believe that we know them too. Coco debuts this November, and I can’t wait for the people of Mexico to feel the way I did when Brave was released 5 years ago. Happy 5th anniversary, Brave!

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Next ‘Disney Infinity’ Adds Marvel Characters, Toy Box Enhancements

Brave, Disney Infinity, Video Game

Posted by Brkyo614 • April 30, 2014

Last year’s Disney Infinity was not only an enjoyable game, but also a huge moneymaker for Disney – from the starter pack to additional toys, Infinity has raked in over $500 million since it launched in August. It’s no surprise, then, that the company is eager to get a sequel out. At a Los Angeles event this morning, Disney Interactive unveiled its plans for the next Disney Infinity, which shifts its focus to Marvel characters while still offering a handful of surprises for fans of the original game.

Though the announcement trailer above focuses almost entirely on the Marvel elements of Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes, it does hint at one Pixar-related newcomer: Merida from Brave, who briefly appears in the opening of the trailer. At the reveal event, Disney detailed some of the gameplay improvements that will come with the sequel. Characters will now unlock abilities as they level up, and new power discs will feature support characters and alternate costumes. The Toy Box has also been upgraded; terrain can now be drawn with ease using brushes, and buildings with separate interior rooms can be built. Figurines, power discs, and Toy Boxes from the original game will be compatible with the sequel (no word on playsets).

Disney promises that more Disney/Pixar content will be revealed soon. The game launches this Fall on Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Wii U, Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC, and iOS.

Which Pixar characters are you hoping to see in the sequel?

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Disney Parks News Round-Up!

Brave, Disney Parks, Monsters University, Round-Ups

Posted by Brkyo614 • April 30, 2013

The Disney theme parks have always served as both a celebration of the company’s legacy and a means to promote their latest productions. Earlier this week we showed you the recently premiered Monsters University concept art showcase at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, but that’s not the only Pixar-related attraction rolling out in the coming weeks:

MU Monorails Circle Walt Disney World: In a very clever bit of marketing, Disney has adorned several of the Walt Disney World monorails with characters from Monsters University. For more photos and a video, head over to The Disney Blog.

Mike Takes Over Spaceship Earth: To help announce Disney’s Monstrous Summer event, Imagineers projected an image of Mike Wazowski onto Epcot’s Spaceship Earth last week. Turns out Mike is a perfect fit for the iconic sphere! Watch a video of the announcement – featuring a pretty terrible Billy Crystal voice double – below.

Updated Mike and Sulley Meet and Greet On the Way: While the Monsters, Inc. characters have existed in the Disney parks for years, it makes sense that they’d be updated to match their younger Monsters University counterparts. Inside the Magic has a video showing off the (slightly creepy) new meet and greet characters, who will debut at Disney’s Hollywood Studios soon.

Merida Disney Princess Coronation Ceremony: When Brave was released last summer, there was some debate as to whether Pixar’s first princess would be added to the Disney Princess pantheon. Looks like that’s now the case; Merida will be crowned the 11th Disney princess on May 11 at the Magic Kingdom. To the right is the new 2D Merida design to be used on some merchandise and promo material, via Inside the Magic.

Will you be at Walt Disney World to check out any of these attractions and events?

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Woody’s News Round-Up! (3/1/13)

Academy Awards, Brave, Disney Parks, Monsters University, Ratatouille, Round-Ups

Posted by Brkyo614 • March 1, 2013

Monsters University is just under 4 months away! Get excited with a few new stories below:

Ratatouille
Coming to Disneyland Paris + MU at Epcot: Pixar characters’ presence in Disney Parks received a boost this week after Euro Disney’s Phillippe Gas announced a Ratatouille-themed ride making its way to Disneyland Paris in 2014. Further details remain undisclosed, but the attraction sounds like a smart (and obvious) choice for the park. (via Inside the Magic)

Additionally, a gorgeous Monsters University topiary recently debuted at Walt Disney World in preparation for the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival on March 6. Head over to MouseSteps (via Pixar Post) to see the astounding attention to detail.

Final Cover Art for The Art of Monsters University; Coming June 11:  Chronicle Books updated the Amazon listing for The Art of Monsters University, replacing the tentative cover art with a final, bolder design. Preorder now at Amazon or Chronicle Books, the latter of which currently lists a June 11, 2013 release date.

Monsters University Theater Standee: Another inventive step in the ad campaign for Monsters University, a Pixar Times reader recently spotted this standee for Pixar’s next film at the cinema. Step behind the blank ID and say ‘cheese’ for your student photo!

Pixar’s Oscar Toast for Brave: Spirits were high at Pixar Animation Studios this week following Brave‘s Oscar win. The official Brave Facebook page posted a few photos of the festivities that ensued; check out the gallery here.

Your thoughts?

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Pixar Takes Home an Oscar for ‘Brave!’

Academy Awards, Brave

Posted by Brkyo614 • February 25, 2013

At last night’s 85th Academy Awards, Brave won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature against Wreck-it Ralph, ParaNorman, The Pirates! Band of Misfits, and Frankenweenie. It’s Pixar’s seventh win in the category, and a return to form after Rango took the award over Cars 2 last year. Disney’s Paperman won for Best Animated Short Film.

The win ignited some controversy over Pixar’s domination of the category, but the hard work behind all of the nominees, Brave included, should be respected. All five films are great, experimenting with some unconventional stories and a variety of animation techniques. But what made me glad about Brave‘s victory was seeing Brenda Chapman onstage with Andrews. It’s heartening to see her tumultuous experience with Brave end on a high note. Watch her and Mark Andrews discuss their win below (via Pixar Post):

Congratulations to all of the nominees and winners!

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‘Brave’ Nets Oscar, BAFTA, and Golden Globe Nominations! [UPDATE 2x]

Awards, Brave

Posted by Brkyo614 • January 10, 2013

Pixar has had a pretty strong track record in the awards scene –  their features have been nominated for almost three dozen Academy Awards – so it was disappointing, if somewhat predictable when Cars 2 became their first film not to be nominated in any category at the Oscars. Thankfully, the studio is back on track with Brave, which earned nominations at the Academy Awards as well as the Golden Globes and British Academy Film Awards.

Alongside Frankenweenie, ParaNorman, The Pirates! Band of Misfits, and Wreck-it Ralph, Brave is one of the five films nominated in the Best Animated Feature category at the 85th Academy Awards. The lack of a single nomination in any sound or music categories surprised me (seriously, Ted over Brave for Best Original Song?), but it’s nice to see Pixar back in the competition nonetheless. The movie also received Best Animated Feature nods at the Golden Globes and BAFTAs.

Look out for the Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Academy Award winners on January 13, February 10, and February 24, respectively.

(Ad via Awards Daily)

Which film are you rooting for?

UPDATE: Brave took home the Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature Film! Watch the acceptance speech by Mark Andrews here.

UPDATE 2: Pixarians also won two Annie Awards for their work on the film: Steve Pilcher for Production Design and Nicholas A. Smith, Robert Graham Jones, and David Suther for their editorial work. Check out their speeches (via Pixar Post) on YouTube.

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Woody’s News Round-Up! (12/8/12)

Awards, Brave, Pete Docter, Round-Ups, Short Film

Posted by Brkyo614 • December 8, 2012

Happy December! None of these new stories are earth-shattering, but they still provide a small glimpse into Pixar’s future:

Pixar’s Next Short Nears Completion: Over the past few months, Rainy City Tales 332 has been quietly cataloging the development of an animated short that’s all but confirmed to be from Pixar. Yesterday was the final day of sound mixing for the production, suggesting that the short is essentially complete. With Monsters, Inc.
3D launching in less than two weeks and still without an attached short film, I think it’s possible that the studio could unveil this
mystery short very soon.

Pixar Returning to Netflix: Disney and Pixar movies were once available on Netflix through a deal with Starz, but the expiration of their agreement caused the films to be pulled down earlier this year. This week, however, Disney signed a deal with the video streaming service stating that future films from Disney and Pixar will be available for streaming beginning in 2016. The deal also mentions Disney’s direct-to-DVD output launching on the service in 2013, which may include next year’s Planes. (Via Deadline Hollywood)

More Brave Rewards News: Continuing its recent awards push, Disney has opened up its official awards site, highlighting Disney Animation’s excellent year with pages for Brave, Frankenweenie, Paperman, and Wreck-it Ralph. Additionally, Awards Daily (Via Pixar Times) posted a trio of new awards ads for Brave here.

Possible Title for Pete Docter’s Next Feature: Previously known as The Untitled Pixar Movie That Takes You Inside the Mind, Bleeding Cool has learned that the final title for Pete Docter’s 2015 Pixar film could be The Inside Out. There’s still no word from Pixar, so look out for an official announcement in the future.

Your thoughts?

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‘Brave’ Up For 8 Annie Awards!

Annie Awards, Awards, Brave

Posted by Brkyo614 • December 3, 2012

With the new year swiftly approaching, awards season is finally kicking into gear; Disney recently began a for-your-consideration campaign for Brave, and now the film has received its first award nominations at the 40th annual Annie Awards.

The International Animated Film Society revealed the nominations this morning. Pixar’s latest is nominated in eight categories, including thrice in Character Animation in a Feature Production, bringing it to a total of ten nominations:

Best Animated Feature
Brave – Pixar Animation Studios

Animated Effects in an Animated Production
Bill Watral, Chris Chapman, Dave Hale, Keith Klohn, Michael K. O’Briwn – Brave – Pixar Animation Studios

Character Animation in a Feature Production
Dan Nguyen – Brave – Pixar Animation Studios
Jaime Landes – Brave – Pixar Animation Studios
Travis Hathaway – Brave – Pixar Animation Studios

Music in an Animated Feature Production
Patrick Doyle, Mark Andrews, Alex Mandel – Brave – Pixar Animation Studios

Production Design in an Animated Feature Production
Steve Pilcher – Brave – Pixar Animation Studios

Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production
Kelly MacDonald as Merida – Brave – Pixar Animation Studios

Writing in an Animated Feature Production
Mark Andrews, Steve Purcell, Brenda Chapman, Irene Mecchi – Brave – Pixar Animation Studios

Editorial in an Animated Feature Production
Nicholas A. Smith, ACE, Robert Graham Jones, ACE, David Suther – Brave – Pixar Animation Studios

La Luna was nominated for Best Animated Short Subject last year, hence its omission – Partysaurus Rex, however, is nowhere to be seen.

Since Brave was a solid, but not stellar success with critics, it’ll be interesting to see how it fares against this year’s strong competition. Check back after the Annie Awards ceremony is held on February 2.

(Via Big Screen Animation)

Your thoughts?

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Woody’s News Round-Up! (11/20/12)

Academy Awards, Blu-Ray, Brave, La Luna, Monsters, Inc., Pixar Employees, Round-Ups, Steve Jobs

Posted by Brkyo614 • November 20, 2012

As the year comes to a close, the excitement surrounding Brave and other 2012 Pixar releases is settling down; all that’s left is the December 19 release of Monsters, Inc. 3D. Nonetheless, a few worthwhile Pixar stories have made the rounds recently.

Pixar Honors Steve Jobs: Many forget the influence of the late Steve Jobs on Pixar’s upbringing, providing essential financial support and leadership for the company up until his death. The studio’s staff, though, have certainly not forgotten – in honor of Jobs’ legacy, the studio recently erected a sign above the entrance to its main building in Emeryville, officially declaring it "The Steve Jobs Building". (Via Pixar Times)

Enrico Casarosa Unveils La Luna Statue: Following his previous tease, La Luna director Enrico Casarosa recently tweeted a first look at a maquette based on the short’s lead character, Bambino. Just 500 will be available exclusively at the Pixar studio store next month, and a wider release is unfortunately unlikely.

Amazon Lists Monsters, Inc. for 3D Blu-ray Release: A month prior to the 3D theatrical release, Amazon is already listing a 5-disc 3D Blu-ray edition of Monsters, Inc. for pre-order. No release date has been announced yet, but check back in the coming months. (Via Pixar Talk)

First "For Your Consideration" Ad for Brave: With the movie awards season rapidly approaching, Pixar is aiming to drum up some enthusiasm among critics through a new ad for Brave, recently seen in Variety. Likely the first of many, the print ad aims to net the film a few Oscar nods by reminding readers of the visceral beauty of Brave. (Awards Daily, via Pixar Talk)

Your thoughts?

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Reminder: New Pixar Blu-rays Hit Shelves Tomorrow!

Blu-Ray, Brave, DVD, Pixar Short Films Collection

Posted by Brkyo614 • November 12, 2012

The 13th should be a good day for Pixar fans in the US, as Brave and the second volume of Pixar Short Films Collection both arrive on DVD and Blu-ray in North America.

Brave, coming in standard DVD, 3-disc Blu-ray, and 5-disc Blu-ray 3D packages, includes the feature film, the new short film The Legend of Mor’du (see the first stills at Entertainment Weekly), and Enrico Casarosa’s La Luna. The Blu-ray editions contain a second disc with a plethora of bonus features omitted from the standard DVD. Blu-ray.com and Examiner both praise the pristine audio/video quality and solid supplemental features, so this should be a near-perfect home video release as expected from Pixar.

Pixar Short Films Collection Volume 2 compiles twelve of Pixar’s newer shorts onto one disc (see the full selection on the DVD and Blu-ray Amazon pages) and also showcases student films from John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, and Pete Docter. DVDizzy and Blu-ray.com suggest that this one isn’t a must-own, but Pixar loyalists should take interest in the audio commentaries and rare student films.

Both of these titles will be available on Tuesday, November 13. Additionally, be on the lookout for the Finding Nemo Blu-ray on December 4.

Which of these new releases will you be picking up?

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