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The rolling Scottish Highlands. Those ephemeral wisps. That tear-jerking mother-daughter plot. And of course, the big star of the film—Merida’s crazy, curly hair. Brave boasted some pretty amazing animation and technical achievements; let’s take a look at why it’s one of our favorite Pixar films:
When Pixar sets out to make a film, they don’t just talk the animation talk. They send their filmmakers out to study the place they’ll be bringing to life on the big screen. That means trips to the sewers of Paris, racetracks, the bottom of the ocean, or in this case, the Scottish Highlands, castles, and the Standing Stones of Scotland. Pro Tip: research!
Merida is feisty, fierce, and she wants her freedom. We love her amazing red hair and even more amazing archery skills. You have to love a hero who is willing to take her fate into her own hands, and who is capable of admitting when she’s made a mistake. That said, the best part about Merida might just be her Scottish brogue which we could listen to (and impersonate) all day.
Fabric is one of the toughest things to animate, and Brave is brimming with it from kilts, to gowns, to tapestries. Pixar animators dressed like Merida and the lords to understand the movement of those thick layers of fabric. They even invented completely new tartan patterns for the film!
Even more challenging to animate than yards of fabric is hair, specifically the untamed, red, curly mane of hair that adorns Brave’s hero, Merida. It took Pixar years to create the technology to simulate such a complex system of curls, a process that involved wearing a Merida wig, studying real life curly locks, and Newtonian mechanics.
Just look at them! They don’t even have to speak to totally steal the show. Things get a little serious around the Merida/Mom/”But why a bear?” plot, so we’re thankful that these cute, curly-topped, dessert-thieves were able to add a little extra funny to the film.
We’ll just say that we laughed, we cried, we cried a whole lot more, then we watched it again.
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