If you had the chance to find out more about the making of a gorgeous Pixar film, wouldja? Ever since Brave came out in 2012, we’ve been fantasizing about letting our hair flow in the wind as we ride through the glen, firing arrows into the sunset. The Will O’ the Wisps have yet to lead us back in time to DunBroch so we can frolic through the fields with Merida and the triplets (it’s a work in progress), but at least for now we can enjoy some fascinating behind-the-scenes stories. Change your fate with this awesome Brave trivia:
1. Brave’s filmmakers wanted to change the Cinderella Castle logo that shows at the beginning of every Disney movie into Castle DunBroch. They also considered adding a bagpipe to the Pixar logo!
2. Animators had to personally learn the choreography for the film’s fight scenes. They practiced with each other until they became experts in how people move during fights. (Thankfully, there are pictures.)
3. During the film’s production, Director Mark Andrews and Producer Katherine Sarafian would prepare for big meetings by taking turns pretending to be each other’s audience. This became the inspiration for the epic scene where Fergus pretends to be Merida while Queen Elinor practices her lecture.
4. Filmmakers decided to show Merida mucking Angus’ stall herself, rather than having a stable hand do it for her, because they wanted to challenge audiences’ expectations of what a “princess” should be. Merida definitely defies stereotypes, and we love her for it.
5. MacGuffin’s seemingly incomprehensible muttering is actually an authentic Scottish dialect called Doric. The voice actor was given his lines in plain English, and called his mother before recording so she could help translate them into Doric. Brave proves over and over that moms are the best.
6. Instead of an archery contest to win Merida’s hand, the script originally called for a haggis-tossing competition. We’re glad the writers changed it, because “I’ll be tossing haggis for my own hand” doesn’t have quite the same ring.
7. In the scene depicting Merida and Elinor’s big fight, Emma Thompson (who voiced Elinor) shocked the directors by working herself into an intense motherly rage. She even ad-libbed the spine-tingling line, “There’ll be fire and sword if it’s not set right.”
8. The movie originally depicted Elinor’s transformation into a bear on-screen. The directors scrapped that shot because when Elinor started sprouting hair, they feared audiences might think she was turning into Fergus (and what a different movie that would be).
9. Merida is five feet four inches tall, and Bear-Elinor is nine feet tall when standing. Their height difference created such a challenge for animators that sometimes they sunk Elinor into the floor a bit in order to fit both characters in the same shot. We suppose that’s just one of many hazards of turning into a bear.
10. The script originally called for the triplets to distract Fergus by projecting a shadow on the wall using a bear puppet. The writers changed the puppet to a chicken on a stick because they thought it was funnier (we agree).
11. Directors almost cut the touching flashback scene of Elinor and Young Merida singing a lullaby, due to the difficulty of animating Merida as a toddler. They eventually succeeded by scaling down the animation of teenage Merida and then making her features more youthful, resulting in the adorable little lass we all know and love.
12. Early versions of Brave called for most of the movie to take place in the snow, due to the witch’s spell affecting the whole land of DunBroch. Filmmakers scrapped this idea in order to show the colors of the beautiful Scottish landscape. (Pro-tip: You can spot some of the deleted snowy shots in the film’s trailer!)
13. Filmmakers recorded children whispering to create the distinct sound of the Will O’ the Wisps. They wanted something that sounded both cute and mysterious (nailed it).
14. The script originally called for Queen Elinor to turn back and forth from a human to a bear during her fight with Mor’du. Human or not, Elinor is the definition of fierce Mama Bear.
15. When Mor’du dies, his soul becomes a Will O’ the Wisp. The directors thought he should redeem himself by leading others towards their fate and away from the evil that consumed him during his lifetime.