"Brave" heroine Princess Merida might be royalty, but she's no shrinking violet. And now we have the photographic evidence to prove it.
Pixar has released its first official still from the film, which will be released next summer, and it features the fiery Scottish redhead aiming her bow and arrow right at the camera. Duck and cover! Merida's interest in archery is discouraged, of course, and after a rebellious tussle with the 'rents, some unknown horribleness descends upon her daddy's kingdom.
We're hoping that means it's up to her to save the day and not some dorky prince dude with a butt chin.
Merida is a brand-new Disney leading lady, and there's been some considerable backstage drama leading up to her debut. "Brave" was originally titled "Bear and the Bow" and was written by Brenda Chapman, who was initially tapped to direct. Although she co-directed "The Prince of Egypt" and has an extensive history as a writer for animated Disney films, she was replaced by Mark Andrews, who has considerably less experience. There was a lot of talk about "Brave" being Pixar's first film directed by a woman, with a femme-centric twist, so although the former has been ditched, we have high hopes that there will still be plenty of the latter.
"Brave" boasts quite a fancy cast, too. Merida is being voiced by the superlative Kelly Macdonald ("Boardwalk Empire," "Choke," "No Country for Old Men,"), and her mother, Queen Elinor, will be played by Emma Thompson. Supercool Billy Connolly is lined up to voice King Fergus, and we can hear his magnificent rolling accent already! Julie Walters of "Henry Potter" fame is acting as the local wise woman, always a handy type of person to have around, while Hagrid himself (Robbie Coltrane) will also have a role as Lord Dingwall. The inimitable Craig Ferguson is on board as Lord Macintosh, while Kevin McKidd will be voicing Lord, uh, MacGuffin.
With the exception of Macdonald and Walters, the rest of the cast is actually Scottish and will no doubt be wearing kilts during their voice-over duties.
Even Emma Thompson. Yes. Bet on it.