Tuesday, 10 July 2012


The kids and I watched the latest little gem from the wizards at Pixar today on the big screen (2D), Brave. The tale of Merida with her simply wonderful mass of red hair is a simple little tale of a little magic not going to plan setting a cascade of events in motion. As is the strength of Pixar films, the characters must learn, the protagonists must overcome and evolve and draw from their hardships something that will see them through at the end. I almost would have preferred a bit more of a quest, there wasnt quite enough driving things forward in the middle, but the story was actually quite poetic in the end.

There are a few standouts for me in the film, there is the gorgeous Scottishness of the whole thing, the accents, the soundtrack, the kilts, the accents, the red hair, the tartans, the accents, the wisps and more. This dedication to the Scottish 'culture' gives the film a real charm and a grounding that works. The environments are just delicious, the creative team injected so much character and vibrancy - particularly the lush forests.

[Disney Pixar's Brave shots via the Pixar Wikia]

The character design is what we spent the most time discussing afterwards and with great reverence. King Fergus is a zillion leagues wide and yet has a lovely warm uncertainty about him and the clan leaders, their sons and off-siders are a legion of funny chaps. The visuals, animation and all the other layers really are a showcase of the Pixar talent now, every frame is stunningly crafted as these images attest. Films like this are definitely the high-water mark for animation and story telling of this sort, the more I think about it the more impressed I am.

The images here are all from the Pixar Wikia site where there is much more to be seen and learnt. The CGSociety article on Brave reveals much more, working out the new Hair simulator (Taz) and other technical feats. I like this snippet from animator Austin Madison "Every Friday at Pixar was Kilt-Friday. We'd have sword-fights, throw hammers, shoot arrows and generally get into the characters"

I adore this set of images on the CGSociety site so much I have reproduced them here as they demonstrate just so well the evolution of a single frame from storyboard through to finished rendering - inspirational stuff indeed. CGSociety is certainly one of the goto sites in this arena and features like this get us under the covers.

[Brave under the covers imagery via CGSociety]

I adore exploring concept art for many films and the work on Brave is no exception. Here are a few pieces that show off character and environment,

[Disney Pixar's Brave shots via the Pixar Wikia]

I still love this poster, it was the first thing I saw of the film and it really sets the tone, the quality, the mystery and that shock of red hair.

ps. La Luna was the short before the film and it is a lovely little piece!

No comments: