Pixar's Brave: Voice Cast And Art

Updated: New concept art

This story has been updated to include a fourth piece of Pixar concept art.

It's been a long time coming, but we've just received some voice cast confirmation for Pixar's 2012 release, Brave (formerly The Bear And The Bow), and four new pieces of concept art from the film. As you'd expect, they look gorgeous, and the voice cast sounds interesting - although the headline news there is that Kelly Macdonald has replaced Reese Witherspoon.

Here's the blurb on the plot: "The film features Kelly Macdonald as the voice of Merida, a skilled archer and the daughter of King Fergus (voice of Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (voice of 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 (voice of Kevin McKidd), surly Lord Macintosh (voice of Craig Ferguson) and cantankerous Lord Dingwall (voice of Robbie Coltrane).

"Merida’s actions inadvertently unleash chaos and fury in the kingdom, and when she turns to an eccentric old Wise Woman (voice of 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."

Originally directed by Brenda Chapman, who's still credited as co-director, this is now being handled by Mark Andrews, who said of the story, "Brave’ is an epic adventure chock-full of action, humor and heart. There's no more perfect setting for this powerful tale than the dark and rugged Scottish Highlands. Imagine: magic, mystery and danger—all set within a haunting and beautiful landscape. It's like nothing you've seen before from Pixar.”

That's all still pretty non-specific and intriguing, but colour us excited to see Pixar's first female-focused story. And a thought: following DreamWorks' How To Train Your Dragon and Disney short The Ballad Of Nessie (narrated by Billy Connolly and screening in front of Winnie The Pooh this spring), Scotland seems to be the place to be for animators of all sorts right now.

Brave is due to hit cinemas in June 2012, although there's no word on whether that's a UK or US date. Since Pixar have a frustrating habit of delaying their UK releases by a few weeks, we might not see it until July if that is a US date.