Entertainment Weekly have just unwittingly brightened up my day by releasing a batch of concept art for Pixar's summer 2012 movie Brave. The film, previously titled The Brave and the Bow, is set to mark big changes for Pixar as it is both their first traditional fairytale and their first motion picture featuring a female lead. EW outlines the plot thusly;
Brave is set in the mystical Scottish Highlands, where Merida is the princess of a kingdom ruled by King Fergus (Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson). An unruly daughter and an accomplished archer, Merida one day defies a sacred custom of the land and inadvertently brings turmoil to the kingdom. In an attempt to set things right, Merida seeks out an eccentric old Wise Woman (Julie Walters) and is granted an ill-fated wish. Also figuring into Meridas quest and serving as comic relief are the kingdoms three lords: the enormous Lord MacGuffin (Kevin McKidd), the surly Lord Macintosh (Craig Ferguson), and the disagreeable Lord Dingwall (Robbie Coltrane).
Reese Witherspoon was previously on board to portray the heroine protagonist Merida but has had to drop out due to scheduling issues, with Boardwalk Empire's Kelly MacDonald now taking over. A more fitting choice anyway, not least because her Scottish heritage shall no doubt bring a degree of authenticity to the role. The three first look images seem to have captured the atmospheric gloom of the Highlands perfectly, and despite the film getting off to a controversially shaky start (Brenda Chapman was originally the projects sole director, before the powers that be replaced her with Mark Andrews - the two are now credited as co-directors), Brave is shaping up to be Pixar's most intriguing exciting film in development right now. Brave, Pixar's 13th feature film, is set for a June 22nd, 2012 release.