I was lucky enough to see a good chunk of Pixar's Brave a few weeks ago, running from the start of the film, through the previously released clip and on to somewhere around the thirty minute mark. Not to put too fine a point on it, I loved what I saw. The main taste is vintage Pixar but you'll definitely get a good whiff of Ghibli from the film too, and some older, oakier, folkloric flavours.
After the footage, I got to speak with Mark Andrews, the film's director. I'll be bringing you lots from that conversation as we go on, but let's kick off with a slip of the tongue that might represent an interesting spoiler.
Don't read on unless you're unafraid to find out what might be one of Brave's big secrets.
Here's a transcript of the key bit of conversation between Andrews and myself.
BC: Did you just say something you shouldn't? When you were talking about working titles, you referred to the film as The Bear King and His Daughter. Does that title still make sense? I was expecting it to be Queen Elinor who ended up with fur all over her, actually.
MA: Right… well the title is one of the trickiest things there is to get right to set up the movie. Toy Story, for example, was not the title of Toy Story at first. It was just their kind of working title for production. They were going to call it Woody's Roundup or something crazy until they realised "Toy Story is simple, why don't we just do that?"
BC: But would that title still make sense?
MA:I don't know if people would go to see it… it's not very dramatic. But Brave! When the title comes on the screen I wanted it to fill the screen. It's this big thing that people keep talking about, about charging on German bunkers in World War 2 or something, or pulling children out of fast moving rivers. That's not the Bravery of looking at yourself in the mirror, figuring out who you are and whether you like it or not.
BC: It is a great title. You've got the right one. But would the other one narratively make sense?
MA: I don't know.
You're not going to say?
So, that sounds like a yes to me. It could have been The Bear King and His Daughter. My mind boggles at the connotations.
Lots more on Brave soon.