Brave – Disney New DVD Feature
Since ancient times, stories of epic battles and mystical legends have been passed through the generations across the rugged and mysterious Highlands of Scotland. From Disney and Pixar, a new tale joins the lore when the courageous Merida (voice of Kelly Macdonald) confronts tradition and challenges destiny to change her fate.
Brave follows the heroic journey of Merida, a skilled archer and headstrong daughter of King Fergus (voice of Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (voice of Emma Thompson). Determined to carve her own path in life, Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the unruly and uproarious lords of the land: massive Lord MacGuffin (voice of Kevin McKidd), surly Lord Macintosh (voice of Craig Ferguson) and cantankerous Lord Dingwall (voice of Robbie Coltrane). Merida’s actions inadvertently unleash chaos and fury in the kingdom, and when she turns to an eccentric Witch (voice of Julie Walters) for help, she is granted an ill-fated wish. The ensuing peril forces Merida to harness all of her skills and resources — including her clever and mischievous triplet brothers — to undo a beastly curse before it’s too late, discovering the meaning of true bravery.
Directed by Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman, and produced by Katherine Sarafian, Brave is a grand adventure full of heart, memorable characters and signature Pixar humor that audiences of all ages around the world have come to eagerly expect.
This DVD title will be released on November 13, 2012. Available for pre-order now.
Be sure to read through all the tabs for more details.
Archery Maze * Banner Design * Coin Archery
Cut-Outs 1 * Cut-Outs 2 * Cut-Outs 3
Dancing * Recipes * Spot the Difference
Triplets Maze * Wisp Maze
Download or print them all from the Brave Family Press Kit page.
About The Voice Cast
KELLY MACDONALD (Merida) portrays Margaret Schroeder on Boardwalk Empire. She’s also known for pivotal roles in work by some of the most influential filmmakers of our time: No Country for Old Men by the Coen brothers; Gosford Park, directed by Robert Altman; and Trainspotting by Danny Boyle.
For each of the past two seasons of Boardwalk Empire, Macdonald garnered an Emmy nomination, plus two consecutive Golden Globe Award nominations and successive Screen Actors Guild Awards with the ensemble cast of the hit HBO series from creator Terence Winter and executive producer Martin Scorsese. Macdonald stars as an Irish widow and mother who captures the attention of Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi), the undisputed ruler of Atlantic City during Prohibition. Boardwalk Empire returns to HBO for a third season in September.
The native of Glasgow, Scotland, made her acting debut as Diane, Renton’s (Ewan McGregor) one-night stand in Trainspotting (1996). In 2001, she played Mary, the visiting servant who works for Maggie Smith’s countess in Gosford Park (SAG, Critics’ Choice Awards for the ensemble). Macdonald garnered the London Critics’ Circle Award for British Supporting Actress, a BAFTA nomination and a SAG Award (ensemble) for her performance as the wife of Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) in No Country for Old Men. Macdonald is next seen opposite Keira Knightley, Jude Law and Aaron Johnson in Joe Wright’s adaptation of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, which opens September 7 in the U.K. and November 9 in U.S. theaters.
Macdonald’s screen credits include The Decoy Bride opposite David Tennant, Choke with Sam Rockwell and Anjelica Huston (Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize for the ensemble), Nanny McPhee with Emma Thompson, Lassie with Peter O’Toole, All the Invisible Children for Mehdi Charef and Emir Kusturica, John Crowley’s Intermission, Cousin Bette with Jessica Lange, Elizabeth with Cate Blanchett, Strictly Sinatra, Gregg Araki’s Splendor, Phil Joanou’s “Entropy,” Mike Figgis’ “The Loss of Sexual Innocence,” Hugh Hudson’s My Life So Far, Stella Does Tricks and Some Voices opposite Daniel Craig. For Two Family House, Macdonald received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Female Lead. She made cameo appearances as The Grey Lady in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, as Peter Pan in Marc Forster’s Finding Neverland, in Michael Winterbottom’s Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story, and in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
For television, Macdonald garnered an Emmy Award for her performance as the title character opposite Bill Nighy in the HBO original film The Girl in the Café, directed by David Yates from a screenplay by Richard Curtis. She also co-starred with Tim Roth and John Simm in Skellig for SKY and portrayed journalist Della Smith in the groundbreaking BBC miniseries State of Play.
Best known to U.S. audiences for his comedic work, BILLY CONNOLLY (King Fergus) gave a moving performance as the loyal servant John Brown in the highly acclaimed Mrs. Brown. A stand-up comedian who has toured the world, Connolly’s recent film credits include Gulliver’s Travels, The X-Files: I Want to Believe, Fido, Garfield 2, Lemony Snicket: A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Last Samurai and Timeline. His previous film credits include Peter Kosminsky’s White Oleander, Troy Duffy’s The Boondock Saints and the sequel All Saint’s Day, Stephen Metcalfe’s Beautiful Joe and Barry Levinson’s An Everlasting Piece, Stanley Tucci’s The Impostors, Absolution with Richard Burton, Bullshot and Water with Michael Caine, Crossing the Line with Liam Neeson, the Muppets’ Treasure Island, Gabriel and Me, Gentleman’s Relish and The Man Who Sued God, as well as the acclaimed BBC productions Down Among the Big Bad Boys and The Life and Crimes of Deacon Brodie. His voice is also featured on the animated films Pocahontas and Open Season. He is featured in Quartet, directed by Dustin Hoffman and co-starring Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon and Tom Courtenay.
Connolly is most recognizable from his hit television series Head of the Class, which was later spun off into his own series, Billy. His other television work includes appearances on the sitcom Pearl with Rhea Pearlman and Malcolm MacDowell, comedy specials for HBO and BBC, as well as Billy Connolly’s World Tour of Scotland, a six-part series documenting a tour of his beloved homeland, and The Bigger Picture, a series on Scottish art. Connolly has also released numerous home videos, including 25 BC, Billy and Albert, An Audience With Billy Connolly, Billy Connolly Live and Live ‘94.
Connolly’s eclectic career also includes performances in the BBC’s Androcles and the Lion, the Scottish Opera production of Die Fleidermaus and his own play The Red Runner, which performed to packed houses at the Edinburgh Festival. He began his career as a musician, touring with Gerry Rafferty and the folk band The Humblebums. Connolly’s humorous introduction soon became an audience favorite, and in 1971, he played his first solo concert. This led to The Great Northern Welly Boot Show, a mixture of music and talk that established his talent as a popular entertainer. He went on to release a double album and a No. 1 hit single, D.I.V.O.R.C.E. Since then, he has released numerous hit comedy records and published several comedic books.
EMMA THOMPSON (Queen Elinor) is one of the world’s most respected talents for her versatility in acting as well as screenwriting. She appears in Men in Black 3 and co-stars with Dakota Fanning and Greg Wise in the upcoming Effie, which features a screenplay by Thompson. She will shoot Beautiful Creatures this summer on location in Louisiana.
In 1992, Thompson caused a sensation with her portrayal of Margaret Schlegel in the Merchant-Ivory adaptation of E.M. Forster’s Howards End. Sweeping the Best Actress category wherever it was considered, the performance netted her a BAFTA Award, Los Angeles Film Critics Award, New York Film Critics Award, Golden Globe and Academy Award. She earned two Oscar nominations the following year for her work in The Remains of the Day and In the Name of the Father. In 1995, Thompson’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, directed by Ang Lee, won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay as well as the Golden Globe for Best Screenplay and Best Screenplay awards from the Writers Guild of America and the Writers Guild of Great Britain, among others. For her performance in the film, she was honored with a Best Actress award from BAFTA and nominated for a Golden Globe and an Academy Award.
In 2010, Thompson reprised the title role of the magical nanny in Nanny McPhee Returns, for which she also wrote the screenplay and acted as an executive producer. Thompson created the character for the screen originally in 2004, in her own adaptation of Nanny McPhee, directed by Kirk Jones.
In 2008, Thompson starred with Dustin Hoffman in director Joel Hopkins’ charming romance Last Chance Harvey and was nominated for a Golden Globe as Best Actress for her performance. In 2006, she co-starred, to critical acclaim, with Dustin Hoffman, Will Ferrell and Maggie Gyllenhaal in Stranger Than Fiction, directed by Marc Forster and produced by Thompson’s frequent collaborator Lindsay Doran. In 2004, Thompson brought JK Rowling’s character of Sybil Trelawney to the screen in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, which was directed by Alfonso Cuaron. In 2007, she reprised the role in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, directed by David Yates.
Thompson was born in London to Eric Thompson, a theater director and writer, and Phyllida Law, an actress. She read English at Cambridge and was invited to join the university’s long-standing Footlights comedy troupe, which elected her vice president (Hugh Laurie was president). While still a student, Thompson co-directed Cambridge’s first all-women revue Women’s Hour, made her television debut on BBC-TV’s Friday Night, Saturday Morning as well as her radio debut on BBC Radio’s Injury Time.
Throughout the 1980s Thompson frequently appeared on British TV, including widely acclaimed recurring roles on the Granada TV series Alfresco, BBC’s Election Night Special and The Crystal Cube, the latter written by fellow Cambridge alums Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie. She also had a hilarious one-off role as upper-class twit Miss Money Sterling on The Young Ones. In 1985, Channel 4 offered Thompson her own TV special, Up for Grabs, and in 1988, she wrote and starred in her own BBC series called Thompson. She worked as a stand-up comic when the opportunity arose and earned £60 in cash on her 25th birthday in a stand-up double bill with Ben Elton at the Croydon Warehouse. She says it’s the best money she’s ever earned.
Thompson continued to pursue an active stage career concurrently with her TV and radio work, appearing in A Sense of Nonsense, which toured England in 1982, as well as the self-penned Short Vehicle at the Edinburgh Festival in 1983, Me and My Girl first at Leicester and then London’s West End in 1985, and Look Back in Anger at the Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, in 1989.
Thompson’s feature-film debut came in 1988, starring opposite Jeff Goldblum in the comedy The Tall Guy. She then played Katherine in Kenneth Branagh’s film-directing debut, Henry V, and went on to star opposite Branagh in three of his subsequent directorial efforts, including Dead Again (1991), Peter’s Friends (1992) and Much Ado About Nothing (1993).
Thompson’s other film credits include Junior (1994), Carrington (1995) and The Winter Guest (1997). She has starred in three projects directed by Mike Nichols, including Primary Colors (1998) and the HBO telefilms Wit (2001, in a Golden Globe-nominated performance) and Angels in America (2002, Screen Actors Guild Award nomination and Emmy Award nomination). Also in 2002, Thompson starred in Imagining Argentina for director Christopher Hampton and Love Actually for director Richard Curtis. The latter film netted Thompson a number of accolades, including Best Actress in a Supporting Role at the 2004 Evening Standard Film Awards, a nomination for Best Supporting Actress at the 2004 BAFTA Awards, Best Supporting Actress at the 2004 London Film Critics Circle Awards and Best British Actress at the 2004 Empire Film Awards.
Thompson is chair of the Helen Bamber Foundation, a U.K.-based human rights organization formed in April 2005 to help rebuild the lives of survivors of gross human rights violations. On behalf of the foundation, Thompson co-curated “Journey,” an interactive art installation which uses seven transport containers to illustrate the brutal and harrowing experiences of women sold into the sex trade. Thompson and “Journey” have traveled to London, Vienna, Madrid and New York, among other locales, for exhibitions and interviews.
Thompson is also an ambassador for the international development agency ActionAid and has spoken publicly about her support for the work the NGO is doing, in particular about the HIV/AIDS epidemic that continues to sweep Africa. She has been affiliated with the organization since 2000 and thus far has visited ActionAid projects in Uganda, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Liberia, Burma and South Africa.
Thompson has served as president of the Teaching Awards. Founded in 1998, these awards are open to every education establishment in England, Wales and Northern Ireland teaching pupils between the ages of 3 and 18, to nominate and celebrate teachers (and schools) who transform lives and help young people realize their potential.
JULIE WALTERS (voice of the Witch) has portrayed the maternal Mrs. Weasley in all of the Harry Potter films. She served as the voice of Miss Montague in 2011’s Gnomeo & Juliet.
A two-time Academy Award nominee, Walters gained her first nomination in 1984 for her feature-film debut in the title role of Educating Rita, also winning BAFTA and Golden Globe Awards for her performance. She earned her second Oscar nod for her work in Stephen Daldry’s Billy Elliot. Her portrayal of Billy’s ballet teacher in that film also brought her BAFTA, Empire, Evening Standard Film and London Film Critics’ Circle Awards, in addition to Golden Globe and European Film Award nominations and two Screen Actors Guild Award nominations, one for Supporting Actress and a second, shared with her castmates, for Outstanding Cast Performance. Walters has also earned BAFTA Award nominations for her roles in Personal Services and Stepping Out, winning a Variety Club Award for the latter.
Walters more recently co-starred with Meryl Streep in the worldwide musical smash hit Mamma Mia! She includes among her other film credits Julian Jarrold’s Becoming Jane, Driving Lessons, Wah-Wah, Calendar Girls, Before You Go, Roger Michell’s Titanic Town, Girls’ Night, Intimate Relations, Sister My Sister, Just Like a Woman, Buster and Stephen Frears’ Prick Up Your Ears.
Walters is also well known to British television audiences. In 2010, she earned dual BAFTA TV Award nominations, both in the category of Best Leading Actress, for her work in the telefilms A Short Stay in Switzerland and Mo, winning the award for the latter. She previously won three consecutive BAFTA TV Awards in 2002, 2003 and 2004 for her roles in Strange Relations, Murder (for which she also won a Royal Television Society Award) and the series The Canterbury Tales (which also won a Broadcasting Press Guild Award). She has earned four more BAFTA TV Award nominations: in 1983 for the miniseries Boys From the Blackstuff, in 1987 for the series Victoria Wood: As Seen on TV, in 1994 for the telefilm The Wedding Gift and in 1999 for the series Dinnerladies. Her many other television credits include Filth: The Mary Whitehouse Story, The Ruby in the Smoke, Ahead of the Class, The Return, Oliver Twist, Jake’s Progress, Pat and Margaret, The Summer House, Julie Walters and Friends, Talking Heads and The Birthday Party.
An accomplished stage actress, Walters won an Olivier Award in 2001 for her performance in Arthur Miller’s All My Sons, and she was earlier nominated for an Olivier for her work in Sam Shepard’s Fool for Love. She had made her London stage debut in Educating Rita, creating the role that she would later bring to the big screen. Her theater credits also include productions of such plays as Jumpers, Having a Ball, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, When I Was a Girl I Used to Scream and Shout, Tennessee Williams’ The Rose Tattoo and the musical Acorn Antiques.
In addition to her acting work, Walters’ first novel, Maggie’s Tree, was published in 2006.
One of the U.K.’s most prolific and respected film and television actors, ROBBIE COLTRANE (voice of Lord Dingwall) earned BAFTA and Los Angeles Film Critics Circle Award nominations for his performance as Hagrid in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. He reprised his role in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. He appears in Great Expectations for Mike Newell and, in November 2011, received the British Academy Scotland Award for Outstanding Contribution to Film.
Coltrane first appeared on the circuit in 1973 with Young Mental Health, a 50-minute documentary which he both directed and produced; it won the Scottish Education Council Film of the Year Award. He then enjoyed five successful years in live theater, before making a huge impact on fast-developing alternative comedy television shows in the early ‘80s. Appearances included Alfresco, Kick Up the Eighties, Laugh??? I Nearly Paid My Licence Fee and Saturday Night Live. He’s made star appearances in 14 Comic Strip productions, including The Hunt for Tony Blair, and was awarded the Peter Sellers Award for Comedy at the 1991 Evening Standard British Film Awards for his contribution to film comedy and for Nuns on the Run.
Coltrane is remembered fondly for his role in John Byrne’s drama Tutti Frutti, in which his performance earned him his first BAFTA Best Actor nomination. His towering performance in the phenomenally successful Granada series Cracker was central to the program’s success. Nine films over three years earned the series awards galore, most notably two BAFTA Best Drama Series Awards in 1995 and 1996, Royal Television Society Award for Best Drama, Broadcasting Press Guilds 1993 Award for Best Series; USA CableACE Awards for Best Movie or Mini Series.
Coltrane’s portrayal of Fitz has been recognized with BAFTA Awards as Best Television Actor in 1994, 1995 and 1996; a Silver Nymph Award for Best Actor from the 1994 Monte Carlo Television Festival; Best Television Actor at the 1993 Broadcasting Press Guilds Awards; Royal Television Society’s 1994 Award for Best Male Performer; FIPA’s Best Actor Award; and a CableACE Award in the U.S. for Best Actor in a Movie or Miniseries.
Among Coltrane’s TV credits are The Planman, which he also executive-produced; the final episode of Frasier; a one-off TV film of Cracker, written by Jimmy McGovern and directed by Antonia Bird; Robbie Coltrane’s B Road Britain, a documentary series for ITV; and Murderland, the critically acclaimed three-part British television series created by David Pirie and directed by Catherine Morshead.
Coltrane has written three books, including Coltrane in a Cadillac, Coltrane’s Planes and Automobiles and B-Road Britain.
Coltrane’s career also involves some 55 films, including Mona Lisa, Danny Champion of the World, Henry V, Nuns on the Run, Perfectly Normal, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Buddy, Montana, Frogs for Snakes, Message in a Bottle, Golden Eye, The World Is Not Enough, From Hell, Stormbreaker, Ocean’s Twelve, The Brothers Bloom, Tales of Despereaux, The Gruffalo and Arthur Christmas.
Coltrane was awarded the OBE in the 2006 New Year’s Honours List for his Services to Drama.
An established star of film, television and theater, Scottish actor KEVIN MCKIDD (voice of Lord MacGuffin/Young MacGuffin) made his feature-film debut in 1996, starring in Gillies MacKinnon’s Small Faces, which was quickly followed by a starring role alongside Ewan McGregor in the film Trainspotting.
Presently, McKidd is gracing the small screen in his fourth season on the hit ABC show Grey’s Anatomy. He stars as the psychotic armed robber Cameron in director Simon Aboud’s romantic thriller Comes a Bright Day. Imogen Poots, Craig Roberts and Timothy Spall co-star.
Demonstrating how easily he can transition from television to film, as well as from one genre to the next, McKidd co-starred in the 2008 romantic comedy Made of Honor, in which he captured the heart of Michelle Monaghan’s character as she embarked on a trip to Scotland and was swept away by his charm. The film was a box-office success and further solidified McKidd’s female fan base.
In 2010, McKidd was seen alongside Rosario Dawson, Uma Thurman and Pierce Brosnan in Chris Columbus’ film Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, based on the book by Rick Riordan. He also played Poseidon in the tale of a young boy who discovers he’s the descendant of a Greek god and sets out on an adventure to settle an on-going battle between the gods.
McKidd recently starred alongside Josh Harnett, Demi Moore, Woody Harrelson and Ron Perlman in Bunraku. In this action-packed drama, McKidd played an outrageous and virulent criminal who terrorizes the town. Bunraku was written and directed by Guy Moshe and was released in September 2011.
Taking on a different facet of the entertainment industry, McKidd voiced the lead role of Captain Soap MacTavish in one of the highest-selling video games of all time, Activision’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Breaking the first- and five-day sales records since its release in November 2009, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 lets gamers play as MacTavish. McKidd reprised the role in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, released in November 2011.
In 2007, McKidd made his debut on American network television in NBC’s drama Journeyman as a San Francisco newspaper reporter and family man who inexplicably begins to travel through time and change people’s lives. Prior to Journeyman, McKidd starred in HBO’s Golden Globe and Emmy-nominated historical drama series Rome.
McKidd’s film credits include Hannibal Rising, Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven, the musical by Irwin Winkler called De-Lovely with Kevin Kline and Ashley Judd, and Sixteen Years of Alcohol, for which he was nominated for Best Actor at the British Independent Film Awards. Credits also include Nicholas Nickleby, Hideous Kinky with Kate Winslet and Max with John Cusack.
McKidd’s television credits include The Virgin Queen, Gunpowder, Treason and Plot, North Square, The Key, Anna Karenina, Richard II and Looking After Jo Jo. His theater credits include Richard III, Britannicus, for which he won an Ian Charleston Award, and Far Away.
Born and raised in Scotland, McKidd was a member of the Moray Youth Theatre. He became involved in the Bedlam Theatre Company while he was a student at the University of Edinburgh. He landed his first role in the Wild Cat Theatre Company-produced stage play The Silver Darlings, for which he won the Gulliver Award. He currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.
CRAIG FERGUSON (voice of Lord Macintosh) entered the world of late-night comedy following a diverse and eclectic career that encompasses film, television and the stage. Since taking the helm of the Late, Late Show on January 3, 2005, the show has set all-time viewer records in the seven years that it has been on the air.
Born in Glasgow, Scotland, Ferguson got his start in the entertainment industry as a drummer for some of the worst punk bands in the U.K., a profession he held for several years. Following his musical stint, he began bartending in a local pub in Glasgow where he was introduced to Michael Boyd, the artistic director of The Tron Theatre in Glasgow, who persuaded Ferguson to give acting a go. After several low-paying acting gigs, Ferguson discovered he had a knack for comedy and was soon the star of his own BBC television show, The Ferguson Theory.
After several stints on the English comedy circuit, Ferguson brought his act to America in 1995 to star with Betty White and Marie Osmond in the short-lived ABC comedy Maybe This Time. After the show ended, ABC decided to add the talented Scotsman to The Drew Carey Show, playing Drew Carey’s boss, Nigel Wick, from 1996-2003.
Ferguson has also become a huge success on the North American comedy circuit. He has performed to sold-out theaters all over the country and sold out Carnegie Hall in October 2010. Additionally, Ferguson has two widely acclaimed stand-up comedy specials, A Wee Bit o’ Revolution, which premiered on Comedy Central and was released on Home Video in 2009, and Does This Need to Be Said, which premiered on Epix in February 2011, aired on Comedy Central and was released on home video in fall 2011.
Ferguson wrote the feature films The Big Tease and Saving Grace. In 2003, he made his directorial debut with I’ll Be There, which he also wrote and starred in. I’ll Be There went on to receive the Audience Award for Best Film at the Aspen, Dallas and Valencia film festivals. Ferguson was also named Best New Director at the Napa Valley Film Festival. Ferguson’s other film credits include Niagra Motel, Lenny the Wonder Dog, Prendimi l’anima, Life Without Dick, Chain of Fools, Born Romantic and The Big Tease. In March 2010, Ferguson’s voice was featured in the animated feature How to Train Your Dragon as the Viking Gobber, and in 2011, he gave voice to Owl in Disney’s Winnie the Pooh. In October, Ferguson will be performing for the first time his highly praised stand-up at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall.
In April 2006, Ferguson released his first novel Between the Bridge and the River, a best-seller about two childhood friends from Scotland and two illegitimate half-brothers from the Deep South who suffer and enjoy bizarre adventures that are interconnected and, even more surprisingly, meaningful. The eclectic cast of characters features Socrates, Carl Jung and Tony Randall, while love, greed, hope, revenge, organized religion and Hollywood also make special appearances.
Ferguson came into his own on the Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson, winning his first Emmy nomination in 2006 as well as receiving the 2009 Peabody Award for Excellence in Broadcasting for his interview with Archbishop Desmond Tutu. In February 2008, he succeeded in becoming a U.S. citizen. Soon after, he hosted the White House Correspondent’s Dinner attended by President George W. Bush. Critics raved about his witty and comical speech to the 3,000 attendees, which included political journalists, celebrities and Washington’s power players. In 2009, HarperCollins published Ferguson’s memoir America on Purpose, a book about why and how he became an American. The book was listed on the New York Times best-seller list.
Ferguson also serves on the board of the Lollipop Theater Network. The mission of the Lollipop Theater Network is to bring movies that are currently in theatrical release to hospitalized children facing chronic and life-threatening illnesses nationwide.
OH MOTHER — The story of Merida and her relationship with her mother, Queen Elinor, was inspired by director Brenda Chapman’s own relationship with her young daughter.
COSTUME CHANGE — With five dresses, plus a cloak, quiver, hand wrap and necklace, as well as torn dresses, Merida has a total of 22 different costumes. She also has five different hairstyles. Diva? Never.
GOOD HAIR DAY — Merida has more than 1500 individually sculpted, curly red strands that generate about 111,700 total hairs.
BIG STRETCH — If Merida’s curls were straightened, her hair would be four feet long and reach the middle of her calf.
UNWRAPPED — If Elinor’s hair were unwrapped, it would be about six feet, six inches long.
COMPLICATED KING — Fergus wears nine different simulated garments at the same time — each has its own movement that must be “simulated” by algorithms in the computer. His head hair and mustache are also simulated, as well as his sporran (pocket-like pouch) and scabbard (sheath for a sword). He has arm hair, chest hair, hair lining in his boot, as well as a full bear pelt on his bear-clawed cloak—all of which are simulated in some way.
LOTSA LAYERS — To achieve the mass of Fergus’s kilt, the drape going across his chest has eight layers of cloth folded over and interacting with each other and other garments. The left, right and back sides of the drape have six layers each.
A LITTLE FUZZY — Pixar artists divied up the Lords’ hairier characteristics in unique ways:
- Lord Dingwall has chest hair, arm hair, back hair and ear hair.
- Lord Macintosh and Fergus are the only characters with fur on their boots.
- Lord Macintosh is the only character with fur on his sporran.
TARTAN TIME — For each clan, artists at Pixar created a new, unique tartan design.
TAKING LIBERTIES — The DunBroch tartan pattern is physically impossible to make with traditional tartan weaving methods.
HAIRY SITUATION — There are more than 100 unique hair/facial hair combinations used in Brave for human characters and animals. Each variant can appear in any of nine different colors, creating more than 900 hairstyle/color variants.
FOUR-LEGGED FUR — Hair was created for 70 different animals — some living, some living forever as taxidermy — including 11 horses, 13 birds 7 bears, 16 other animals and 23 animal pelts.
THE WORLD IS MY INSPIRATION – The demon-bear Mor’du’s skin textures are based on satellite images of scorched earth.
INSPIRED — Several castles served as reference for the DunBroch family castle, most notably Eilean Donan Castle in the Highlands and Dunnottar Castle, located just south of Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire. Dunnottar, a ruined medieval fortress believed to be from the 15th or 16th centuries, sparked a pivotal change of plans for the filmmakers. They intended to set the film’s family castle on a loch up in the Highlands, but inspired by Donnottar’s dramatic location, decided to move it to an outpost of the sea.
BREAKING GROUND — No Pixar film before Brave has had a castle in it, so the DunBroch castle had to be designed from the ground up, inside and out. Everything from the architecture of the structure itself to the tapestries in the hall and the moss on the stone walls was designed and built as 3D models in the computer. The production team visited, researched and studied a number of castles for reference.
SAFETY FIRST — The walls of the castle have six lookout towers for guards.
WALK-IN CLOSET — For the tertiary characters, 29 different modular garments were created for Brave. From those (using varied boots and sporrans), 94 unique costumes were created.
TOP-NOTCH TAILORS — Some Pixar simulation artists worked as in-house, technical tailors on Brave, building three-dimensional garments in the computer based on sketches provided by the art department. The 3D garments were “sewn” together in the computer, and then extra details such as frills and gathers were attached.
LIMITED SELECTION — Because Brave is set in ancient Scotland, the types of fabrics available during that time were limited to wools and linens.
PLAY CLOTHES — Merida’s outfit for her everyday activities was designed using tightly woven, heavy linen that is colored a rich blue. The simplistic cut of the dress and the flexibility of the fabric allow her to move easily and comfortably.
SIT UP STRAIGHT — Merida’s formal dress was designed in a light colored fabric, tailored to be tightly fitted and constricting with stiffer fabric, which reflects Queen Elinor’s regal, controlling influence. The hem is decorated with beads and jewels.
CRAFTY — To develop the desired look for Queen Elinor’s emerald dress in the film, the art department took actual matte silk fabric samples and painted metallic colors onto the fabric, adding other subtle embellishments. Shading artists in the characters department then replicated the look in the computer.
The World of Ancient Scotland
AMBIANCE — The art department crafted approximately 350 paintings of leaves, brush and moss to create the appropriate atmosphere for the Scottish Highlands during ancient times.
LOCATION SCOUTS — The Brave production team took two research trips to Scotland. While the modern-day country does not reflect the ancient time period seen in the film, team members visited landmark locations and attended select events to get a flavor for the current culture, and observe how much of Scotland’s ancient history and tradition is still present.
ORDER UP — During the Scotland research trips, the production team frequented a restaurant near the Edinburgh Castle and feasted on its homemade haggis — a pudding made with sheep’s heart, liver and lungs.
WEE ROOM — On one of the research trips, the group stayed at the Kintail Lodge Hotel, in the western highlands of Scotland. There were eight men on the research team during this trip, and all eight were assigned to lodge in the hotel’s “Wee Bunk House,” a tiny room separate from the main hotel building that had six beds and one bathroom. (The women enjoyed more comfortable accommodations in the main building.) Lodging in these cozy quarters proved a memorable experience: the production team’s key meeting room at Pixar is named in honor of the Wee Bunk House.
MAGIC OR MYTH — In Scotland, there is a natural phenomenon of swamp and bog gasses that seep up through the earth, and are blue in color like the flame of a pilot light. Scottish lore says that some people would follow these lights, thinking they were little fairies. The production team took this myth and created the “will o’ the wisps” in Brave. The will o’ the wisps light a path and beckon Merida into the forest, leading her to change her fate.
ROCK AROUND — The Callanish Standing Stones on the Isle of Lewis are one of the oldest of Scotland’s mysterious wonders. They provided reference for the mysterious ring of stones Merida discovers in Brave.
DO THE MATH — In creating Brave, 111,394 storyboards were drawn, 84,421 of which were delivered to Pixar’s editorial team to create story reels of the work-in-progress film.
ON THE MOVE — There is simulation work (computer simulated movement) in 96 percent of all shots on Brave. This is an unusually high amount for a Pixar film — the studio’s simulation team was especially brave taking on such a challenge!
FOOD FOR THOUGHT — The Brave character team consumed more than 60 packages of double-stuff Oreos in 2011.
TRADITIONS — All of Pixar’s films feature some hidden gems and Brave is no exception. In fact, these time-honored traditions are all featured in one set. There’s also a tribute to longtime Pixar story whiz Joe Ranft in the same location.
- Visible somewhere in every Pixar film to date, A113 is the classroom at CalArts that has been “home” to John Lasseter, Brad Bird, Pete Docter and Andrew Stanton.
- Each Pixar film pays homage to Toy Story by featuring the infamous Pizza Planet Truck.
- Pixar films always tease a character from the next Pixar release.
LET YOUR GUARD DOWN — Actor John Ratzenberger, Pixar’s “lucky charm,” has had a voice role in every Pixar film. Brave is no different — Ratzenberger plays one of the castle guards at the entrance to the great hall. And the second of the hall guards is voiced by none other than Brave composer Patrick Doyle.
A story set in Scotland would be jiggery pokery without its share of Scottish words and phrases. And crivens, Brave has plenty! But it would all be for naught unless accompanied by a proper glossary, so here goes …
AUTOCHTHONOUS — Indigenous, native
Taught to filmmakers by Emma Thompson (voice of Queen Elinor), who used it to describe Brave‘s Castle Dunbroch because it appears to have grown right out of the earth.
BLUE WODE — A blue dye extracted from a cabbage-type plant used by inhabitants of ancient Scotland to paint their bodies
Lord MacGuffin and Young MacGuffin paint their bodies in blue wode to proclaim that they are ready for battle at any moment.
BRAE — Hill
BUNCH OF GALOOTS — Many fools
galoot = clumsy, oafish person
CARNYX — A Celtic trumpet with a bell shaped like a boar’s head. Held vertically so it can be heard in large crowds, a carnyx was used during wartime to send troops into battle.
In Brave, it signals the start of the Highland Games.
CRIVENS, YOU’RE FIERCE — Wow! You’re cool or ferocious or tough!
crivens = expression of surprise or shock
DANCING TATTY BOGLE — An expression that describes something outlandish or imaginary
tatty = shabby, cheap
bogle, boggle or bogill = ghost or folkloric being
DORIC — A dialect from the Aberdeenshire region in Scotland
Elgin native Kevin McKidd (voice of MacGuffin and Young MacGuffin), who learned Doric from his grandfather, proposed to filmmakers for Young MacGuffin to speak the incomprehensible dialect in Brave.
DREADFUL COLLYWOBBLES — Unwanted stomachache or a bad case of the nerves
collywobbles = upset stomach; intestinal disturbances or a feeling of apprehension
FOR NAUGHT — For no reason
FINISH WHAT HE GUDDLED IN THE FIRST PLACE — Fix, clean up or otherwise remedy something that’s been horribly mishandled.
guddle = make a mess of it
GAMY SPELL — An unfortunate bit of magic
gamy = bad
GLEN — Small, narrow, secluded valley
GOOGLY OLD HAG — Outlandish, unattractive senior
googly = strange, odd
GIANT HAVING A JIGGER IN THE BLUEBELLS — Similar to Dancing Tatty Bogle, something that’s absurd or fantastical
HAGGIS — Though some will joke that a haggis is a small animal native to Scotland, it is actually a traditional Scottish pudding made with sheep’s heart, liver and lungs, encased in a sheep’s stomach and cooked for several hours. Often served with “neeps and tatties” (turnips and potatoes).
HIGHLAND GAMES — Festivals that celebrate Scottish and Celtic culture and heritage, especially that of the Scottish Highlands. Includes competitions in piping and drumming, dancing, archery, caber tossing, stone put and other Scottish athletics, plus entertainment and exhibits.
JIGGERY POKERY — Nonsense
JINGS CRIVENS HELP MA BOAB — Oh my!
Exclamation of bewilderment or exasperation
KILT — A pleated and draped tartan fabric garment worn by Scottish men
During the production of Brave director Mark Andrews and several animators wore kilts to work on Fridays — dubbed Kilt Fridays — to get in the spirit of Scotland and the film’s characters.
LASS — Girl
LAD — Boy
LOCH — Lake
MANKY DOGS — Unsavory person or being
manky = dirty, worthless or in bad taste
MICHTY ME — Wow! Holy cow!
An exclamation of surprise, shock or being overwhelmed
NUMPTY — Useless individual
NUT ‘EM — Head-butt ‘em
SCAFFY WITCH — A tricky or slick being with magical powers
scaffy = trickster
SCARED SIMPERIN’ JACKANAPES — Belittling description of a goofy and unworthy opponent
simpering = silly smile
jackanape = an insulting reference to a monkey or ape; a braggart; a mischievous child
SCUTTLE THE VIKING LONGSHIPS — Sink Viking ships by making holes in the bottom
STUFF HER GOB — Eat with abandon
gob = mouth
TARTAN — A specially designed woven fabric that identifies a clan. April 6th is National Tartan Day in the United States.
TOSSING CABERS — A test of strength and skill seen in Highland Games in which the competitor raises a pole vertically with the small end down, and then throws it
Caber = a long, tapered section of a tree trunk
TUMSHIE — Turnip … or foolish person. Or both.
WEE — Small
WE’LL BILE YUR HEED WAE DUMPLIN’ BREED; TAE MAKE AN URSINE STEW — bile yer heed (boil your head) = don’t be ridiculous. Also used as an exclamation if someone is doing something stupid and it’s annoying
In Brave, King Fergus sings what he’ll do to the demon bear Mor’du when he catches him to avenge his lost leg. Not only will he boil his head, but he’ll add dumplings to make a bear stew.
WILL O’ THE WISPS — Ghostly lights or small blue spirits that lead the way to treasure or doom.
In Brave, the will o’ the wisps lead Merida to change her fate.
|Website and Mobile Site||Disney.com/Brave|
|U.S. Release Date||November 13, 2012|
|Voice Talent||Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters, Robbie Coltrane, Kevin McKidd, Craig Ferguson|
|Directors||Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman||Co-Director||Steve Purcell|
|Executive Producers||John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter|
|Story by||Brenda Chapman|
|Screenplay by||Mark Andrews, Steve Purcell and Brenda Chapman & Irene Mecchi|
Will O’ The Wisps
Travelers — particularly those who venture out after sunset on unfamiliar pathways — beware of the will o’ the wisps.
It is said — though by whom is a bit of a mystery — that on certain days for certain travelers in certain parts of the world, little lights dance on the horizon, whispering tempting invitations … pledging the answers to lifelong questions, the realization of dreams, a key to secret treasures — a change of fate.
Charmed and curious, unsuspecting travelers follow the floating lights, mesmerized by their whispers, their promises. Yet no matter how long or how fervently they follow, they never quite touch the beautiful beacons whose flickering lights eventually fade and disappear … leaving the inquisitors, the dreamers and the treasure seekers lost … and alone.
* * * * * * * * * *
In Brave, Merida spies tiny blue lights after escaping into the forest in search of a change of fate. Forming a path that dares her to follow, the lights lead Merida to a mysterious location that holds the power to change her destiny — just not in the way she imagines.
“The will o’ the wisps are in a lot of Scottish folktales,” says Brave director Mark Andrews. “They were said to lead you to treasure or doom — to change your fate — but they’re an actual phenomenon of swamp and bog gas seeping up through the earth and interacting with the natural resources to create the blue flames. People would follow these lights thinking they were little fairies, and basically drown or get sucked down into the bogs.
“We made the wisps like actual little spirits,” Andrews continues. “They’re almost like Marley’s ghost in a way, because Marley’s ghost isn’t an evil spirit — even though he’s frightening, he’s trying to warn Ebenezer to change his ways. That’s what the wisps are doing. There’s a duality to them, because they’re either good or evil — they lead Merida into more and more trouble, but in the end, they’ve led her exactly where she needs to go.”
Director Mark Andrews served as story supervisor for the Disney•Pixar films Ratatouille and The Incredibles, and was Oscar-nominated as the co-writer/co-director of the Pixar short One Man Band. He also contributed to the screenplay as co-screenwriter and served as second unit director for the 2012 Walt Disney Studios film John Carter. Director Brenda Chapman directed DreamWorks Animation’s The Prince of Egypt and was story supervisor for the Disney classic The Lion King. Producer Katherine Sarafian produced the Oscar-nominated Pixar short film Lifted and served as production manager for The Incredibles.
Two-time Emmy-nominated actress Kelly Macdonald stars as Margaret Schroeder on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, and as Ravenclaw’s ghost, The Grey Lady, in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. Her film credits also include No Country for Old Men, Gosford Park and Trainspotting.
Appearing in the movies Men in Black 3 and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Emma Thompson is an Oscar-winning actress (Howards End) and screenwriter (Sense and Sensibility) who most recently starred in, wrote and executive produced Nanny McPhee Returns.
Native Scot Billy Connolly is a comedian, musician and actor. His film credits include Gulliver’s Travels, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Last Samurai and the award-winning Mrs. Brown, for which he was nominated for a BAFTA. He also served as narrator for the Walt Disney Animation Studios short The Ballad of Nessie.
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