First CG-Rendered Look at Merida from Pixar’s ‘Brave’

Photo: Disney / Pixar

I was just telling someone last night how I can’t wait to see Pixar’s Brave and lo-and-behold today, thanks to The Art of Disney Animation‘s Facebook Page (via SlashFilm), we get our first fully rendered look at the film’s lead character Merida, a character described as “a skilled archer who confronts tradition, destiny and the fiercest of beasts to discover the true meaning of courage.” The film is scheduled to hit theaters on June 22, 2012 and apparently a trailer may be ready for the release of Cars 2 on June 24.

The character will be voiced by Kelly Macdonald (“Boardwalk Empire”) and for comparison’s sake I’ve added a look at both the concept art and the rendered image directly below.

Concept art comparison
Photo: Disney / Pixar

The film does come with a bit of controversy as was detailed by Nicole Sperling at the Los Angeles Times yesterday in an article discussing women in animation as female director Jennifer Yuh Nelson helmed the newly released Kung Fu Panda 2 and Brenda Chapman was expected to be the first female director at Pixar on Brave until she was replaced by Mark Andrews.

Chapman will still be credited as co-director, but she told Sperling, “I think it’s a really sad state. We’re in the 21st century and there are so few stories geared towards girls, told from a female point of view.” Chapmanspent six years on Brave — which was inspired by her relationship with her daughter — before being fired because of what she calls “creative differences.”

Pixar declined to provide a comment for the piece, but I think it’s only fair to say this isn’t the first time this has happened with a Pixar film. As a matter of fact, it happened with Cars 2 as Pixar head honcho John Lasseter stepped in and is now listed as the film’s director with original helmer Brad Lewis getting co-director status.

As for Brave, the complete synopsis follows and you can check out four other pieces of concept art from the film in our gallery right here.

The rugged and mysterious Highlands of Scotland serve as the backdrop for Brave, a new tale that joins the lands ancient lore, stories of epic battles and mystical legends passed down for generations. Directed by Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman, and produced by Katherine Sarafian, Brave is the grand adventure of Merida (voice of Kelly Macdonald), a skilled archer who confronts tradition, destiny and the fiercest of beasts to discover the true meaning of courage. The film also features the voices of Emma Thompson, Billy Connolly, Julie Walters, Kevin McKidd, Craig Ferguson and Robbie Coltrane. Brave, full of heart, memorable characters and Pixar’s signature humor, takes aim at theaters on June 22, 2012, and will be presented in Disney Digital 3D in select theaters.