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Brave (2012) Poster

(2012)

Trivia

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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 movie.
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This is the first Pixar movie set entirely in the historic past.
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The misunderstood dialect that Young MacGuffin (Kevin McKidd) speaks is called Doric. It is spoken in northeastern Scotland, including Kevin McKidd's hometown of Elgin.
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Two additional software programs were specially developed for this movie by Pixar in a span of three years. One of them allowed simulation of Merida's one thousand five hundred strands of hair curls to move together with her movements.
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The name of the evil bear, from the legend told by Queen Elinor (Dame Emma Thompson), is Mor'du. In Gaelic, it would be spelled "Mor Dubh", and means the large black one.
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The original title was "The Bear and the Bow".
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For the scene depicting Princess Merida and Queen Elinor's big fight, Dame 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."
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The filmmakers decided to show Merida mucking-out Angus' stall herself, to challenge the audience's expectations of what a "Princess" should be.
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STUDIO TRADEMARK: The Pizza Planet truck, a fixture of nearly every full-length Pixar movie, can be spotted in the witch's hut, even though there were no cars at the time this movie takes place.
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This is the first Pixar Animation Studios movie to feature a female protagonist. Princess Merida is also the only Pixar character to be included in the official Disney Princess line.
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The reference to a long lost kingdom from days past where there was a King and he had four sons is a reference to the early French ruler Clovis, who had four sons and, upon his death, split the region of Gaul (modern day France) into four parts, one for each son to rule.
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Merida is the first Disney Princess to have brothers.
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Merida is the first Disney Princess to not have a love interest.
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There was a scene storyboarded where Merida was actually interested in Young MacGuffin, but the scene was scrapped because they wanted to focus on the love between a mother and daughter.
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Pixar moviemakers created the family tapestry using a technology that allowed them to create billions of individual threads.
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The chess set in Merida's room is the famous Lewis Chessmen from the twelfth century, unearthed in Scotland in 1831.
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None of the footage shown in the preview trailer is in the finished movie.
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While the surname MacIntosh (or McIntosh) is common in Scotland, and the name of a well-known variety of apple, here it appears to be 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 him at the end credits: "Dedicated to the memory of Steve Jobs, our partner, mentor, and friend." Merida's repeatedly being interrupted while trying to eat an apple, which her mother considers unladylike, may also be a reference to the Apple logo: an apple with a single bite taken out.
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If you look closely at the title, you can see Merida hidden in the letter B and Elinor hidden in the letter E.
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In the witch's hut, when the broom flies across the room after attempting to sweep the bird, Sulley from Monsters, Inc. (2001) can be seen, teasing its prequel Monsters University (2013). He is carved into a piece of wood.
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Lord MacGuffin and his son are appropriately named. A MacGuffin (or McGuffin) is a movie industry slang term that is loosely defined as an otherwise unimportant plot item or 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.
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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.
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Disney/Pixar registered and copyrighted the official tartan pattern of the DunBroch clan with the Scottish Register of Tartans in 2012. The color scheme is:
  • Ocean blue for the North Sea
  • Deep scarlet for the family's reverence for its own history, and the blood shed during battles between the clans
  • Deep green for love for the Scottish highlands
  • Navy blue and its clear central intersections for the forging of the clans within the DunBroch kingdom
  • Subtle grey for the inner soul of the Scots
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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.
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The animators had to personally learn the choreography for the fight scenes.
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Castle DunBroch, where the family lives, translates to "Castle Brown Badger."
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When Merida says "jings, crivvens, and help ma boab", this is a catchphrase of famous Scottish comic strip, Oor Wullie, a staple in Scotland since the early 1940s.
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Merida is the first Disney Princess to not be based on any preexisting literary character or historical figure.
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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."
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Princess Merida is the first teenage protagonist in a Pixar movie.
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Kelly Macdonald was in her thirties when she voiced the teenage Merida.
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It took six years to make this movie. Mark Andrews was initially the consultant, providing the Scottish themes for writer and director 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 this movie took place in snow, but when Chapman left the project, so did much of the white stuff.
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Writer and director Brenda Chapman based Princess Merida on her own daughter, while Queen Elinor was loosely based on herself.
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The filmmakers wanted the Walt Disney Pictures logo to have the DunBroch castle in place of the Cinderella castle. They also considered adding a bagpipe to the Pixar Animation Studios logo.
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Reese Witherspoon was originally announced as the voice of Princess Merida, but scheduling conflicts prevented from taking the role. Kelly Macdonald replaced her.
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Based on Queen Elinor's hairstyle (two knee-length braids bound in ribbons), this movie appears to take place around the 12th century. Taking that into account, Merida's hairstyle is appropriate. Unmarried women had their hair long and unbound during this time.
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This movie has faced several "controversies" upon its release. First, despite not wanting to get married to a Prince, Merida was still made an official Disney Princess, which many people considered a hypocritical contradiction to this movie's message. It was also criticized for being a fairytale movie made by Pixar, not by the in-house Walt Disney Feature Animation, and many longtime Pixar fans saw this as evidence that, after having been bought by Disney, Pixar had "sold out" and was now just Disney's tool for marketing and merchandising productions. And finally, when Merida's image was being marketed in dolls and books by the Walt Disney Company, her proportions were altered to make her slimmer and curvier, in the manner of other Disney heroines. This produced such an outcry from the public that the alterations were scrapped.
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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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Originally, the triplets were to distract King Fergus with a bear puppet, but the filmmakers changed it to a chicken on a stick because they thought it would be funnier.
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This is the first Pixar movie to feature the Disney logo.
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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.
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The only thing we ever see Merida eat is apples.
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As Merida puts together a tray with the enchanted cake she means to give to her mother, she places a purple flower next to the plate. The flower is a thistle, which is the Scottish national emblem.
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Castle DunBroch bears a striking resemblance to a real Scottish castle: Eilean Donan, which is located a small tidal island where three sea lochs meet (Loch Duich, Loch Long and Loch Alsh) in the western Highlands of Scotland. The castle was founded in the thirteenth century, and became a stronghold of the Clan MacKenzie and their allies the Clan MacRae. Eilean Donan Castle is one of the most recognized castles in Scotland, and is a popular location for movies, television, advertisements, fashion shoots, and music videos.
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Due to Gordon the Guard having a Scottish accent, it has been one of John Ratzenberger's least recognizable role out of all of the Pixar characters voiced by him. Ratzenberger's also one of the few actors not from the U.K. to be in this movie.
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In the family tapestry (woven by Elinor), the image of Merida has braided hair, just like her mother. This confirms Merida's statement that Elinor wants Merida to be exactly like her, rather than let her daughter be her own person. At the end of this movie, Merida and Elinor are weaving a new tapestry together, where the Merida picture wears her hair down. This is to show Elinor's acceptance of her daughter's real personality.
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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.
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The third Pixar Animation Studios movie to receive a PG rating from the M.P.A.A., after The Incredibles (2004) and Up (2009).
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STUDIO TRADEMARK (Pixar): A113 can be seen carved in Roman Numerals in the Witch's hut.
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One fourteen-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.
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(At around 33 minutes) The Pixar ball from Luxo Jr. (1986) can be seen carved out of wood in the "wood carver's" cottage. The ball can be seen carved out of wood on the table to the right after the witch summons her weapons on Merida and exclaims, "I don't care!"
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The seventh Pixar movie to win the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film, after Finding Nemo (2003), The Incredibles (2004), Ratatouille (2007), WALL·E (2008), Up (2009), and Toy Story 3 (2010).
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Sir Sean Connery (specifically for King Fergus), Richard Wilson, David Tennant, Annette Crosbie (for The Witch), and Stephen Farrelly (for Young Macintosh) were all considered for roles in the movie.
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The first movie to use the new Dolby Atmos sound system. The new system expands from the 5/7.1 channel sound mixes to sixty-four discrete speaker feeds and one hundred twenty-eight simultaneous and lossless audio channels.
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Kelly Macdonald, Robbie Coltrane, Dame Emma Thompson, and Dame Julie Walters appeared in the Harry Potter film franchise.
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The third highest grossing animated movie of 2012, after Ice Age: Continental Drift (2012) and Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (2012). It is, however, the highest grossing animated non-sequel of 2012.
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Originally, a haggis-tossing competition was to be held for the suitors to win Merida's hand, before it was changed to an archery contest.
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Merida is the third protagonist of a Pixar movie to not have a love interest, after James P. Sullivan from Monsters, Inc. (2001) and Remy from Ratatouille (2007). Unlike Sully and Remy, Merida does not have a sidekick or a sidekick with a love interest.
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First Disney Princess movie to not have musical elements, since Pixar movies don't generally have any of that.
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Pixar's first original movie since Up (2009).
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Merida is the first Disney Princess to not sing. However, as a toddler, she and Elinor do briefly sing a lullaby.
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The first Pixar movie to have a Disney Princess.
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While Elinor is telling Merida that a Princess is compassionate, the cook is in the background cutting the head off of a chicken.
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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."
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Craig Ferguson's third theatrically released animated movie, after How to Train Your Dragon (2010) and Winnie the Pooh (2011), the former of which had a story about Vikings.
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Out of all of the cast members of this movie, John Ratzenberger (Gordon) and Frank Welker (Animal Vocals) are the only cast members of this movie that are not from British descent.
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The world premiere of this movie also marked the grand opening of Hollywood's Dolby Theatre featuring its first presentation in Dolby 3-D (June 18, 2012).
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Kelly Macdonald (Princess Merida) and Kevin McKidd (Lord MacGuffin) appeared in Trainspotting (1996).
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Kelly Macdonald and Dame Emma Thompson appeared in Nanny McPhee (2005).
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While this film is generally accepted to have taken place during 12th century Scotland, the great kilt or belted plaid, as worn by the clansmen in the movie and commonly associated with Scottish clothing, didn't emerge until at least the 15th century, and the first mention in writing did not occur until 1594 when referencing the Highlander soldiers that fought under Red Hugh O'Donnell. Instead, during the 12th century, men wore tightly fitting drawers over their legs (braies and hose) and a long tunic shirt, fitted at the sleeves, that reached either knee or ankle length and was belted at the waist.
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Pixar's thirteenth theatrical movie.
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The last Pixar Animation Studios movie to receive a video game adaptation for traditional video game consoles or computers (not counting mobile games, as well as LEGO The Incredibles (2018)), up until Cars 3 (2017).
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The seventh Disney animated movie to win the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film, after Finding Nemo (2003), The Incredibles (2004), Ratatouille (2007), WALL·E (2008), Up (2009), and Toy Story 3 (2010).
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The seventh Pixar movie to be produced in 2.35:1, after A Bug's Life (1998), The Incredibles (2004), Cars (2006), Ratatouille (2007), WALL·E (2008), and Cars 2 (2011).
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Is one of the two Pixar movies of the 2010s that's composed by neither Randy Newman, Thomas Newman, or Michael Giacchino. The other being The Good Dinosaur (2015).
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Is the second time that Dame Emma Thompson was cast as Elinor in a movie. The first being Sense and Sensibility (1995).
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The first original Pixar movie since Up (2009), considering the two movies in-between were Toy Story 3 (2010) and Cars 2 (2011), which were sequels.
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Pixar's last PG rated movie to focus on a human until Coco (2017).
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The first Pixar movie of the 2010s to not get a franchise (currently).
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Merida is the second redheaded Disney Princess. The first being Ariel.
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The first Pixar movie of the 2010s to be rated PG by the MPAA.
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Scottish animator Mark Flood was a guest at the European premiere of this movie in Edinburgh Festival Theatre.
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Sir Billy Connolly's third theatrically released animated movie, after Pocahontas (1995) and Open Season (2006), and the first of the three to not have a character voiced by Gordon Tootoosis.
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Pixar's first movie since Monsters, Inc. (2001) to not have any involvement from Bradford Lewis, following his departure from Pixar in 2011, just after the release of Cars 2 (2011).
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The message that the witch leaves on her cauldron for Merida claims that she is going to the Wicker Man festival and will not return until Spring. This might be reference to The Wicker Man (1973), a horror movie about the Wicker Man festival that occurs every spring on a small Scottish island.
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Pixar's fourth film to be rated PG by the ACB (Australian Classification Board) after The Incredibles (2004), Ratatouille (2007), and Up (2009).
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Pixar's first film of the 2010s to be rated PG by the ACB (Australian Classification Board).
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Disney's first fully animated film of the 2010s to be rated PG by the ACB (Australian Classification Board).
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Disney's sixth computer-animated film to be rated PG by the ACB (Australian Classification Board) after Dinosaur (2000), The Incredibles (2004), Chicken Little (2005), Ratatouille (2007), and Up (2009).
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Pixar's sixth film to release the same day as where a Walt Disney Animation Studios film previously released with this case being this film releasing on June 22nd 57 years apart from Lady and the Tramp (1955) and 35 years apart from The Rescuers (1977), the first was Toy Story (1995) which released on November 22nd 4 years apart from Beauty and the Beast (1991), the second was A Bug's Life (1998) which released on November 25th 6 years apart from Aladdin (1992), the third was WALL·E (2008) which released on June 27th 11 years apart from Hercules (1997), the fourth was Toy Story 3 (2010) which released on June 18th 11 years apart from Tarzan (1999), and the fifth was Cars 2 (2011) which released on June 24th 17 years apart from The Lion King (1994).
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The Very First Film With A Dolby Atmos Audio Track
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

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.
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The night Elinor turns into a bear, Fergus has two men put a taxidermy bear on, most likely, Elinor's throne. This foreshadows Elinor's transformation into a bear.
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The Legend of Mor'du (2012) is short film attached to the Blu-ray and DVD release which gives in-depth background about the movie's villain Mor'du. The witch made a small cauldron for him, which he could use to gain the strength of ten men as he wanted, or he could instead use it to heal the rift he caused within his family. He chose the former, slaughtered his brothers, and then his own men either turned on him, or fled in fear because they only saw a beast, not their leader.
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For the first half of this movie, Elinor wears her hair up in braids, symbolizing her uptight personality. After she's turned into a bear, she gradually learns to loosen up and listen to others. When she returns to her human form, Elinor wears her hair down, showing that she finally sees eye-to-eye with Merida.
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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.
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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.
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First Disney/Pixar animated movie to feature nudity (which is generally restricted to PG and higher); first with the clan leaders removing their kilts to make a rope after being locked out of the tower. You can see their bums as they walk back to the castle. Later, Merida's three brothers run naked to their parents after being turned back from bear cubs to little boys.
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Merida's brothers never talk for the entire movie.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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