After making films about toys, cars and various cute animals, Pixar moves into more traditional territory with its latest film, a tale of princess, Brave which turned out to be more complicated than the production company had expected it to be.
The US studio — which has built its reputation from films like Finding Nemo, the Toy Story franchise and Wall-E — finally released the movie on Friday in US, after seven years of its completion.
The Scottish-themed project had to undergo a lot of twists, including a change of director from Disney and DreamWorks veteran Brenda Chapman to an American debutant director Mark Andrews.
Brave, a princess film, was a double challenge — a genre defined for decades by its parent company Disney — especially to give the film’s central role to a female character for the first in Pixar’s history.
“It’s always a challenge. It doesn’t matter what your character is, it’s always a pain to figure out ‘What is the message? How do I create sympathy for the audience?’” Andrews told AFP. “That’s always hard. In the essence of any character, gender is not an issue.”
Brave follows the adventures of impetuous Princess Merida, voiced by Kelly MacDonald, a tomboy who rejects everything her family has planned for her, notably marrying the kingdom’s clan heirs. Determined to convince her mother Elinor (Emma Thompson), she seeks a witch’s help, which unleashes unintended peril and forces her to spring into action to set things right.
Andrews was already linked as a consultant with the film when Chapman was in charge. But in late 2010 Pixar Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter announced that due to creative differences a new director was needed. “Brenda was developing, and I started being unofficially consulted on all things Scottish and medieval. They pick me as a resource. We had lunch with Brenda about Scotland kings,” he said. Andrews decided to stick with the direction she had taken, but give it his own stamp.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 23rd, 2012.
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