Pixar’s Brave is one of the most underrated Disney animated films that deserve more recognition (and a sequel). It sets itself apart from the rest of Pixar movies and undoubtedly, is one of the best standalone films ever. With its rich storytelling and cultural references, Brave conveyed a strong message that defied all Disney movie stereotypes.
The plot alone transports the audience to a whole new era and location. The colorful aesthetics of the film paired with deeply-rooted characters are just the icing on the cake. There is so much to learn and enjoy in this movie.
Set In Medieval Scotland
Brave takes place in the 10th century medieval Scotland. This is definitely Pixar’s first attempt to write a film set in the past, as in way back in history, which is the Early Middle Ages. This is a feast for fans of the olden times. Everything is perfectly designed to make it look as medieval as possible.
It is also one of the Pixar animated movies that are set in Europe. The country’s location is so beautiful and reminiscent of Scottish history. The ring of stones, an important element in the movie, refers to the Callanish Standing Stones of Scotland.
The Princess Is A Hero
Female protagonists are no surprise as there have been many female leads in the past. What makes Merida special is that she is a princess who does not need saving. She excels in archery, horse riding, and sword fighting. Merida is also knowledgeable about the woods.
Aside from that, her story does not involve any Prince Charming or quest for love. Her story revolved around her and her mother. The film influenced lots of movies that came after it, including Frozen.
Celtic Instruments For The Soundtracks
The movie featured original scores from Scottish composer Patrick Doyle. The music is very much faithful to its Scottish roots with the use of Celtic musical instruments. They combined it with orchestral compositions producing an epic musical theme.
They also hired Scottish contemporary musicians and English bands to create the soundtracks. It is the best way to honor the movie’s cultural roots and to make it more acoustically appealing.
Display Of Scottish Culture
The writers also had to incorporate Scottish culture and traditions due to its setting – the beautiful and medieval Scotland. They featured clan tartans (worn by King Fergus), the Highland games, and even traditional food.
Even the legend of Mor’du is true to its origin. It is a Scottish folklore that inspired a lot of stories in the kingdom. Their medieval clothes are also distinct and carefully designed to pay homage to the culture.
English And Scottish Voice Actors
One thing remarkable about Brave is the accent of the characters. Scottish voice actress Kelly Macdonald lent her talent to Merida. Almost all of the characters were voiced by Scottish and English actors. This, in fact, makes their accents sound real and natural.
It is refreshing to watch a movie that stays true to its core, especially one that is heavily rooted in a specific culture.