Brave (2012) Poster



The chess set in Merida's room is the famous Lewis Chessmen from the 12th century, unearthed in Scotland in 1831.
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This is the first Pixar film set entirely in the historic past.
Kevin McKidd was particularly happy to work on this project because it was the first time in years that he'd been able to use his natural Scottish accent in a film.
The misunderstood dialect that Young MacGuffin (voiced by Kevin McKidd) speaks is called Doric. It is spoken in northeastern Scotland including Kevin McKidd's hometown of Elgin.
The original title of the film was "The Bear and the Bow".
Two additional software programs were specially developed for this film by Pixar in the period of three years. One of them allows simulation of Merida's 1500 strands of hair curls to move together with her movements.
The film has faced several "controversies" upon its release, the first being that despite not wanting to get married to a prince, Merida was still made an official Disney princess which many people considered something of a hypocritical contradiction to the film's moral. It was also criticized for being a fairy tale film made by Pixar, not by the in-house Disney animation, and many long time Pixar fans saw this as further evidence that after being bought by Disney that Pixar had "sold out" and was now just Disney's tool for marketing and merchandising productions.
SERIES TRADEMARK: The Pizza Planet truck, a fixture of nearly every full-length Pixar film can be spotted in the Witch's Hut.
Castle DunBroch, where the family lives, translates to Castle Castle Castle.
This is the first Pixar-produced film to have a female protagonist. Princess Merida is also the first Pixar character to be included in the Disney Princess line.
Pixar movie-makers created the family tapestry using a technology that allowed them to create billions of individual threads.
The name Lord MacIntosh (or McIntosh) is a common Scottish surname, also the name of a well-known variety of apple. It is a reference to the Apple computer. Steve Jobs was a co-founder of Apple and played a big role in Pixar. The movie is dedicated to Jobs with this quote at the end credits: "Dedicated to the memory of Steve Jobs, our partner, mentor and friend". It is also a reference to the repeated image of Merida being interrupted while trying to eat an apple by biting into it, which her mother considers unladylike.
If you look closely at the title, you can see Merida hidden in the letter B and Elinor hidden in the letter E.
Merida's name in Hebrew means "to rebel".
The reference to a long lost kingdom from days past where there was a king and he had 4 sons is a reference to the early French ruler Clovis, who had 4 sons and upon his death split the region of Gaul (modern day France) into 4 parts, one for each son to rule.
None of the footage shown in the preview trailer is in the finished film.
The name of the evil bear, from the legend told by the Queen, is Mor'du. In Gaelic it would be spelled Mor Dubh, and means the large black one.
The only thing we ever see Merida eat is apples.
In the witch's hut, when the broom flies across the room after attempting to sweep the bird, Sulley from the Monster's Inc. franchise can be seen. He is carved into a piece of wood.
HIDDEN MICKEY: The belt that Queen Elinor wears in the first half of the movie forms a hidden Mickey when viewed from the front. You can see the distinct Mickey head and the two ears as connecting circles around her waist.
Merida is the first Disney princess to not have a love interest.
Merida is the first Disney princess to not be based on any preexisting character or historical figure.
Reese Witherspoon was originally announced as the voice of Princess Merida, but scheduling conflicts prevented from taking the role. Kelly Macdonald replaced her.
Lord MacGuffin and his son are appropriately named. A MacGuffin (or McGuffin) is a film industry slang term that is loosely defined as an otherwise unimportant plot item/event that nevertheless drives the plot forward. In this case, the three suitors are only a means by which to escalate the tension between the princess and the queen.
There was a scene storyboarded where Merida was actually interested in Young Macguffin but the scene was scrapped because they wanted to show the love between a mother and daughter.
The necklace Merida wears at the clan gathering - and later uses to pay the witch for the spell - is the same necklace that Elinor wears in the prologue, implying that it is a family heirloom.
It took six years to make this film. Mark Andrews was initially the consultant, providing the Scottish themes for Brenda Chapman. However, by October 2010, Chapman left after four years of work with Andrews subsequently taking over but still keeping the intended story that Chapman wrote. Originally 80% of the film took place in snow, but when Chapman left the project so did much of the white stuff.
For the scene depicting Merida and Elinor's big fight, Emma Thompson worked herself into an intense motherly rage and ad-libbed the line "There'll be fire and sword if it's not set right."
Kelly Macdonald was in her thirties when she voiced the teenage Merida.
In spite of being replaced by Mark Andrews during production, Brenda Chapman has said she's very proud of the movie, claiming that "[her] vision came through."
The filmmakers wanted the Disney logo to have the DunBroch castle in place of the Cinderella castle. They also considered adding a bagpipe to the Pixar logo.
Brenda Chapman based Merida on her own daughter while Elinor was loosely based on herself.
Sean Connery (specifically for King Fergus), Richard Wilson, David Tennant, Annette Crosbie (for The Witch) Stephen Farrelly (for Young Macintosh) were all considered for roles in the movie.
The animators had to personally learn the choreography for the film's fight scenes.
Originally, the triplets were to distract Fergus with a bear puppet, but the filmmakers changed it to a chicken on a stick because they thought it would be funnier.
Dingwall is a town in Scotland which once contained the largest castle north of Stirling and was believed to be the site of a legendary battle between the Clan Mackay and the Clan Donald in 1411. The English name Dingwall means "meeting place of the local assembly." The town's Gaelic name Inbhir Pheofharain means "the mouth of the Peffery" but it is also known as Baile Chail ("cabbage town"), appropriate for Lord Dingwall's son.
Kelly Macdonald, Robbie Coltrane, Emma Thompson, and Julie Walters, who all play a role in this film, all had roles in the Harry Potter movies as well.
One 14-person team of animators assigned to deal with duplicating the musculature in horses and Princess Merida's curly hair included six graduates of Brigham Young University's highly vaunted computer-animation program.
The filmmakers decided to show Merida muck Angus' stall herself to challenge audience's expectations of what a "princess" should be.
Due to Gordon the Guard having a Scottish accent, it has been one of John Ratzenberger's least recognizable role out of all Pixar characters voiced by him.
Merida is the only Disney princess to have brothers.
The first film to use the new Dolby Atmos sound system. The new system expands from the 5/7.1 channel sound mixes to 64 discrete speaker feeds and 128 simultaneous and lossless audio channels.
Originally, a haggis-tossing competition was held for the suitors to win Merida's hand before it was changed to an archery contest.
The world premiere of this movie also marked the grand opening of Hollywood's Dolby Theatre featuring its first presentation in Dolby 3D [June 18, 2012].
The third Pixar film to receive a PG rating from the MPAA.
Merida is the first Disney Princess to be represented from Pixar.
The flashback scene of Elinor and Young Merida singing a lullaby was almost cut because of how difficult it was to animate Merida as a toddler. They basically scaled down the animation of teenage Merida and made her features more youthful.
Merida is the first teenage protagonist in a Pixar film.
Merida's horse is named Angus, a common Scottish name, but also a possible allusion to a P.G. Wodehouse character named Angus McAllistor, a Glaswegian of described as "all the ingredients of a first-class mule simply thrown away."
During production, Mark Andrews and Katherine Sarafian would take turns pretending to be each other's audience in order to prepare for big meetings. This became the inspiration for the scene where Elinor practices her lecture as Fergus pretends to be Merida.
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Kelly Macdonald (Merida) and Kevin McKidd (Lord MacGuffin) had previously worked together in Trainspotting (1996).
During the part where Elinor was telling Merida that a princess is compassionate, the cook is in the background cutting the head off a chicken.
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Merida's brothers never talk for the entire film.
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In the scene where Merida meets The Witch, a wood carving of Sully from Monsters Inc. can be seen.
The Princes' names are Hamish, Hubert and Harris.
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Scottish animator Mark Flood was a guest at the European premiere of this film in Edinburgh Festival Theatre.


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The three bear sculptures the witch tries to sell Merida all foreshadow the following major events of the story. The sculpture of two bears playing with a box that the witch describes by saying, "Add a touch of whimsy to any dark chamber" represents the comedic "whimsy" of Elinor moving through the castle immediately after she turns into a bear. The second sculpture of a bear catching fish represents the scene in which Merida teaches Elinor to fish. The third sculpture of bears recreating the creation of Adam from the Sistine Chapel represents Mor'du and Elinor both reaching their paws toward Merida as she tries to escape the ruins.
Elinor's transformation into a bear was going to be shown on-screen, but the shot was scrapped because upon seeing Elinor sprouting hair, the filmmakers felt the audience would think she was turning into Fergus.
The height difference between Merida and Bear-Elinor sometimes required the animators to shrink Elinor in order for both characters to fit in the same shot. Merida is 5'4" and Bear-Elinor is nine feet tall when standing.
The night Elinor turns into a bear, Fergus has 2 men put a taxidermy bear on, most likely, Elinor's throne. This foreshadows Elinor's transformation into a bear.

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