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Too much of this is written as though the trailer was the only source of information, belying its origins as an article written before the film's release

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File:Brave-Apple-Poster 1143.jpg

"Change your fate."


Brave is Pixar's 13th film, featuring their first journey into the Fantasy genre (of the Fairy Tale kind), and their first female lead protagonist. It tells the tale of a Rebellious Princess named Mérida in the mythical Scottish Highlands who defies a sacred custom for completely selfish purposes, bringing turmoil to the kingdom and ESPECIALLY to her mother, the very proper but also very strongwilled Queen Elinor. She takes action herself, sports a bow and arrow, and goes on an adventure to help her loved ones, right her wrongs, and learn the consequences of her own actions.

Originaly called The Bear and the Bow while in development, and also used to be helmed by Pixar's first female director, Brenda Chapman (The Prince of Egypt), but she was replaced by story artist Mark Andrews and Steve Purcell.

Tropes used in Brave include:
  • Almighty Mom: Mérida might be a mix of Rebellious Princess and Bratty Teenage Daughter at first, but Elinor REALLY doesn't help her own case here with her desire to all but micromanage her eldest daughter's life. Just like Mérida must learn to be responsible, Elinor has to learn to accept her more.
  • Ancient Artifact: Each of the three lords is in possession of an ancient relic; a lyre, a cauldron, and a rock. All are said to be magical ... except for the rock. Maybe.
  • Animorphism: The trailer implies that Mérida's family will be turned into black bears at some point.
  • Arranged Marriage: The sons of the three lords compete in the Highland Games for Mérida's hand in marriage. She prefers her freedom and doesn't want to get married at all, so she sabotages their chances by entering and winning the archery contest.
  • Badly-Battered Babysitter / Chew Toy: The triplets' nanny, according to the trailers. The poor woman crashes headlong into a wall, is the victim of the Carrying a Cake trope, and suffers a Funbag Airbag with a bear cub.
  • Ballroom Blitz: It's the throne room, actually, but still formal enough to qualify. The three lords and their clans gather at the castle for the Highland Games, in which their sons will compete for the right to Mérida's hand in marriage. At some point a massive fight breaks out (including biting and at least one purple nurple). Fergus makes a feeble attempt to restore order before literally diving into the fray, thus leaving Elinor to restore order.
  • Bonnie Scotland
  • Brave Scot: Up to Eleven
  • Break the Haughty: A good part of the plot is about Merida painfully learning that being a Rebellious Princess can potentially being BIG trouble, and that her rebellious streak in itself was motivated by something extremely selfish.
    • Counts for Elinor as well. She's not a bad person and is The High Queen for her and her husband's lands, but holy hell she can be smothering and controlling in private. So she also must learn to see Mérida's own POV, if she wants to understand her better...
  • Bright Castle: Castle DunBroch, though it looks more like a fortress than the traditional fairy tale variety.
  • Carrying a Cake: If there are sweets in the area, the triplets will steal them.
  • Continuity Cameo: The royal family appears in car form on a tapestry inside a pub in Cars 2.
    • Here is the pic as it appeared in Cars 2, and here is how it will look in Brave.
  • Cool Boat: The three lords each have one of these and use them to cross the loch to reach Castle DunBroch.
  • Curse: A "beastly curse" is unleashed on the land as a result of Mérida's wish, specifically Queen Elinor being transformed into a bear, as Merida wanted to "change her mom" so she could be free - rather than earning her freedom and Elinor's respect..
  • Darker and Edgier: Lee Unkrich described the film as a "very gritty adventure", darker and more mature in tone than the typical Disney Princess movie. The trailer also breaks Pixar's tradition with funny gag-based teaser trailers and Audience Alienating Premises, setting the audience up for a story akin to that of a traditional High Fantasy. Still, they're mind-bogglingly still aimed at the youngest crowds, choosing to focus on the comic relief and completely hiding the true premise of the movie, possibly because of its darker and edgier roots.
    • Then the story delivers the trope, and plays it genuinely straight. Merida has to do a LOT of growing up as she carelessly makes a wish and the consequences hit everyone and ESPECIALLY Elinor and her brothers HARD., and the consequences of her actions are hard on her and others.
  • Death Glare: Mérida and Elinor do this to each other right after the last arrow hits the bull's-eye.
  • Disney Princess: Merida was officially added to the roster in May 2013, though not without some controversy.
  • Everything's Louder with Bagpipes: Yup, it sure is.
  • Everything's Worse with Bears: The demon bear Mor'du, who is described by Pixar as "Moby Dick on land."
  • The Fair Folk: The Wisps are most likely this trope. They're also said to have the power to change fate.
  • Feuding Families: The three lords don't get along with each other and are the leaders of their respective clans. It's up to the royal family to keep the feuding from escalating into war, and ESPECIALLY to the very strongwilled and smart Queen Elinor. When she's turned into a bear and believed to have either gone missing or having been killed? everything goes to shit
  • Fiery Redhead: Mérida, her father, and her three little brothers are all redheaded and spirited.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: If you look at the title closely, you can see Mérida hidden in the letter B, and Elinor in the letter E.
  • Funbag Airbag: One of the bear cubs falls into a woman's chest.
  • Head Desk: One of the triplets drops his head on the dinner table while listening to Fergus retell his encounter with Mor'du. It would seem that the king is more impressed with the story than his sons are.
  • Hollywood Cuisine: "Boys! Don't just play with your haggis!"
  • Hunk: The only guy Mérida seems impressed with at all is a guy who looks like this. Too bad he's not really Lord Dingwall's son. According to Word of God he was supposed to be her Love Interest, but that was scrapped.
  • Hurricane of Puns: The clan names Macintosh and MacGuffin.
  • Ironic Echo: "I'm right here. I'll always be right here."
  • The Kingdom: DunBroch.
  • Landmark of Lore: The circle of standing stones is loosely based on the Callanish Standing Stones on the Isle of Lewis.
  • Licensed Game: Read all about it here.
  • The Lost Woods
  • Loyal Animal Companion: Mérida is joined by a bear in her quest — it's loyal because she's her now-cursed mom (plus her siblings).
  • Man Bites Man: Wee Dingwall, of all people, does this to Lord Macintosh during the Ballroom Blitz scene.
  • Man in a Kilt: Justified as the setting is the Scottish Highlands where the kilt originated from.
  • Meaningful Background Event: The bear in the poster. See Everything's Worse with Bears.
  • Medieval Morons: Look no further than the scene at the royal court where almost everyone is brawling like children.
  • The Middle Ages:

Mark Andrews: It's actually a non-period in Scotland ... Between the 8th and the 12th centuries.

  • Misplaced Wildlife: In the trailer you can hear a red-tail hawk, found in California but not in Scotland.
  • The Mockbuster: Kiara the Brave.
  • Most Writers Are Male: John Lasseter on why Pixar hasn't had a female Main Character before: "We're a bunch of guys."
  • Never Trust a Trailer: None of the promos showed what the actual consequences of Mérida's wish for freedom really are. Some of the The Merch, on the other hand, includes toys of Elinor and the Triplets that transform into bears.
  • No Flow in CGI: Averted. The hair of various characters are animated realistically and have their own movements.
  • Not This One, That One: Mérida and her parents assume the big strong guy Lord Dingwall is pointing at is his son (and one of her possible suitors), when he's really pointing at the scrawny kid standing behind him.
  • Orange-Blue Contrast: The movie poster, pictured above.
  • Parody Commercial: "Kilt. Are you man enough to wear one?"
    • "Royalty Records presents 19 of the greatest bagpipe hits ever collected on one LP! Freedom Broch!"
  • Proper Lady: Elinor, and how.
  • Race Against the Clock: Mérida has a limited amount of time to break the curse before it's too late (most likely it's a Celestial Deadline).
  • Ravens and Crows: The Witch seems to have one as a familiar.
  • Rebellious Princess: Deconstructed hard here! At first Merida seems to think that rebelling against her mother the Queen's authority will be easy, especially if she makes a wish about it, but as the story advances she turns out to be very wrong - if Merida really wants to choose her destiny and forge it herself, she first has to take on quite the hard challenges and admit that she must be responsible for her own actions.
  • Recurring Extra: The Hunk from clan Dingwall.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Mérida's family seems pretty active for royalty.
  • Rule of Three: The Three Lords, the three failing suitors, and Mérida's identical triplet brothers that only she's able to tell apart.
  • Say My Name: Fergus shrieks "ElinoooooOOOOR!!!!" until he finds her torn dress and believes that she's been murdered by a bear.
  • Scenery Porn: Pixar animated the beautiful Scottish Highlands. Just look at the concept art.
  • Shown Their Work: According to this article, regarding archery.
  • Standard Hero Reward: A contest is set up for the hand of Mérida as part of tradition. Mérida does not approve. She gets out of it by competing in the contest for her own hand. She wins.
  • Stealth Pun: ACXIII. [1]
  • Tomboy Princess: Merida, in spades.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: As beautiful as the "Mother's Day" trailer is, the trailer may have given away a few of the ending shots of the film at the tail end of it.
    • Several movie tie-in books were released before the movie itself, too. Do not read them unless you want the movie completely spoiled.
  1. Hint, it's a Roman Numeral version of A113, a common Pixar Easter Egg.

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