New Stills From Pixar's Brave

Another look at the Scottish tale

Pixar's Brave opens next August 17 in the UK, but the tiny drips and drops of teasers about the film are beginning to emerge from cracks in the Pixar strongroom, and here are two new exclusive stills from the already-gorgeous-looking, hopefully-awesome Highland epic. Set in unspecified ancient times and boasting an almost entirely Scottish voice cast, this is looking as sweet as shortbread. Mmmm, shortbread. Here's an exclusive look at Our Hero, Merida, and the lairds ranked against her, Lord MacGuffin, Dingwall and Macintosh (from left to right).

The synopsis goes a little something like this: "Merida (voice of Kelly Macdonald) is a skilled archer and impetuous daughter of King Fergus (Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson). Determined to carve her own path in life, Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the uproarious lords of the land: massive Lord MacGuffin (Kevin McKidd), surly Lord Macintosh (Craig Ferguson) and cantankerous Lord Dingwall (Robbie Coltrane).

"Merida’s actions inadvertently unleash chaos and fury in the kingdom, and when she turns to an eccentric old Witch (Julie Walters) for help, she is granted an ill-fated wish. The ensuing peril forces Merida to discover the meaning of true bravery in order to undo a beastly curse before it’s too late."

Anyone else think Hitchcock would be mightily amused at the tribute? Or that it's looking increasingly as though Scotland is the place to be, animation-wise? See also: How To Train Your Dragon, Disney short The Ballad Of Nessie, The Illusionist. (And on a personal note, animators of the world: try Ireland too! Read The Tain!)

Brave comes out almost two full months earlier in the US than it does here, and someone really needs to go over to Emeryville and persuade Pixar that these unnecessary delays are KILLING US. On the bright side, however, we recently learned that director Mark Andrews has instituted "Kilt Fridays" among the animators working on the project, which goes some considerable way to making us happy.