Concept Art for Pixar’s BRAVE; Kelly Macdonald Replaces Reese Witherspoon in Lead Role [UPDATED]

     March 28, 2011

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I’m already looking past Cars 2 and on to Pixar’s next film Brave.  That’s partially because Cars 2 looks awful and partially because Brave will feature the studio’s first female protagonist.  It was also going to be the studio’s first film with a female director (Brenda Chapman), but there was a bit of controversy last October when Chapman was replaced by Mark Andrews, who previously directed the Pixar short One Man Band.

Behind-the-scenes drama aside, Brave looks like it could be a great film.  The film is set in Scotland and centers on a tomboyish princess who accidentally unleashes evil on her kingdom and must save the day.  The princess was to be voiced by Reese Witherspoon but scheduling conflicts forced her to drop out.  She’ll be replaced by they actually scottish Kelly Macdonald (Boardwalk Empire).  Hit the jump for more details on the film plus a first look at the concept art.  Brave is set to hit theaters in 3D on June 22, 2012. [Updated: Disney has provided some high-resolution images of the concept, which you can check out after the jump]

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Here’s the official synopsis for Brave:

The impetuous, tangle-haired Merida, though a daughter of royalty, would prefer to make her mark as a great archer. A clash of wills with her mother compels Merida to make a reckless choice, which unleashes unintended peril on her father’s kingdom and her mother’s life. Merida struggles with the unpredictable forces of nature, magic and a dark, ancient curse to set things right.

EW has a more detailed synopsis which also provides the roles the other voice actors will be playing:

Brave is set in the mystical Scottish Highlands, where Merida is the princess of a kingdom ruled by King Fergus (Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson). An unruly daughter and an accomplished archer, Merida one day defies a sacred custom of the land and inadvertently brings turmoil to the kingdom. In an attempt to set things right, Merida seeks out an eccentric old Wise Woman (Julie Walters) and is granted an ill-fated wish. Also figuring into Merida’s quest — and serving as comic relief — are the kingdom’s three lords: the enormous Lord MacGuffin (Kevin McKidd), the surly Lord Macintosh (Craig Ferguson), and the disagreeable Lord Dingwall (Robbie Coltrane).

Hopefully you can understand why I’m more excited to see a movie about an ass-kicking Scottish female archer than I am about spy cars.

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