A Beautiful Trailer, And A Stunning Coincidence

Brave, previously titled The Bear and the Bow,  will be Pixar Animation Studios’ thirteenth animated feature film. The script was penned by Brenda Chapman and directed by both Chapman and Mark Andrews, and is being produced by Katherine Sarafian. The score will be composed by Patrick Doyle.

The film was originally scheduled to be released on June 15, 2012, but Pixar moved it back one week to June 22. The movie is currently in production, and so far it looks amazing.

Fortunately it seems more than just a formula Disney princess story, though like other strong female characters before her, the princess Merida wants more from life than being a decoration on somebody’s left arm.  In the new trailer we see some of the characters, and a fair amount of the Pixar style slaptick comedy we’ve come to expect – but at the same time, the fiery-haired princess has some built-in internal conflicts which appear to drive the story forward. If previous Pixar films are any indication, the trailer doesn’t begin to tell the story of the movie, and in fact may be intentionally leading us all down the garden path, with the real excitement and power of the film lying secretly in wait for the unsuspecting movie-goer.

The graphics are amazing, of course, but we expect nothing less from Pixar, the leader in visual storytelling in animation.

Virginia Hankins as Merida - a striking, surprising resemblance
Virginia Hankins as Merida – a striking, surprising resemblance

Amazing Coincidence: A Real Life Merida

And now for a completely random discovery – when we found pictures of Virginia Hankins, professional actress and stuntwoman, we thought we’d found the real life inspiration for Brave’s Merida.  She does everything from riding motorcycles to riding horses and fighting in full medieval armor (and owns her own armor).  She founded the USC Archery team, and has ten years experience with the sport, including national competition.  She’s appeared on “Deadliest Warrior” as Joan of Arc, and bears a striking resemblance to Merida from Brave with really no effort on her part at all.  But no, Merida is not based on her.

A friend asked her on her Facebook page if she had been the inspiration for Merida. Virginia responded:

Merida of Pixar's "Brave", voiced by Kathy McDonald
Merida of Pixar’s “Brave”, voiced by Kathy McDonald

“No I’m not. It’s eerie similar though, right? I’m hoping to pick up some stunt work for Disney or Pixar off of it if I get get a good contact point.”

We think Pixar could do worse than hire Virginia to do public appearances as Merida.  We had a hard time selecting pictures of Virginia that most closely illustrate this point, but here are the two that really show the resemblance.

What do you think? We invite your comments.

– 30 –


SCIFI Radio Staff
SCIFI Radio Staff

SCIFI.radio is listener supported sci-fi geek culture radio, and operates almost exclusively via the generous contributions of our fans via our Patreon campaign. If you like, you can also use our tip jar and send us a little something to help support the many fine creatives that make this station possible.