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Friday, June 22, 2012
Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters
Scottish princess Merida defies her parents by perusing an interest in archery, but inadvertently jeopardizes her father's kingdom in the process.
Brave (2012) | Preview
A question was asked about the role of bears in the story.
MA: I think the bear aspect&ellips; There's all these things in Celtic mythology about transformations into animals. That was something we pulled from to put into the film. We knew we wanted this relationship between this parent and child—this mother and daughter—and by making them a queen and a princess and royalty, you have this very traditional society that she wants to break with to find her own sense of person. So by having her mother, i.e., society, be in her way of what she's not ready to accept yet, she gets a little selfish and she gets desperate. So that aspect of magic in the story was there so that we can illustrate visually the consequences of a mistake. She just wanted her mother to change her mind, but the spell goes totally bad and she gets more than she bargained for. But in the great tradition of folk tales, it's breaking that dynamic that puts us in a situation where people can actually see their true selves and what everything's really about.
KS: Particularly when you take big mommy and turn her into an animal, they're mute. They can't talk anymore. A core issue in this movie is they don't listen to each other, so they can't talk and all they can do is listen.
How was working on this film different from other Pixar films that you have done?
MA: I don't think it was different per se. Each film has its own challenges and story problems. I was Head of Story for The Incredibles and Ratatouille and those were very different in aspects of their stories. I think that's one thing for me as a storyteller, what gets me out of bed every morning is now I'm going to encounter something I haven't encountered before with whatever story I'm going to be working on. Brave was chock full of story challenges. Just to get the balances right. Just to make this mother and daughter appealing so you didn't hate the mother because she was too Mommy Dearest and you didn't hate the daughter because she's just a stinking teenager (and we all hate teenagers). So you get those appealing things right so we thought it would be understood where they were coming from and we cared about what happens to them. That's challenging in itself. How about producing?
KS: Definitely one difference was we were going into an ancient country. Pixar's never done that before. We haven't gone back in time. Some books said that teeth were crooked in that region, there's something growing on everything, the castles are worn and run down. No clean, sharp surfaces—computers like clean, sharp surfaces—so this was completely as difficult as you could make it for our technology and our team.
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