'Brave' trailer shows a battle for the hand of heroine Merida

'Brave' will be the first Pixar film to feature a female main character

Pixar/YouTube screenshot
'Brave' follows the adventures of Princess Merida, who has a way with a bow and arrow.

Pixar animation will try its hand at telling an original princess fairy tale with this summer’s Brave, a Celtic-themed fable that chronicles the adventures of the independent-minded Princess Merida (voiced by Boardwalk Empire‘s Kelly Macdonald), whose “impetuous” behavior and manner forever changes life in the mystical Scottish highlands.

The new full-length theatrical promo for Brave isn’t so much a trailer as it is an extended clip; it encompasses a scene where the firstborn sons of the kingdom’s three lords attempt to prove their talent with a bow and arrow, so as to win Merida’s hand in marriage. Naturally, the feisty flaming-haired princess (who’s got some mad archery skills herself) decides to take matters into her own hands.

Check out that new trailer for Brave below:

While the “grrrl power” aspect and female empowerment metaphor of Brave play pretty heavy-handed in this new footage (Merida must break loose from the confines of her dress – get it?) the official synopsis suggests this Pixar flick will amount to more than simply another “modernized” spin on the stereotypical Disney princess coming-of-age storyline.

Brave will focus heavily on Merida’s transition from unruly teenager to mature young adult, no doubt, but the stakes are going to pretty high as the fate of the princess’ kingdom depends on her ability to “undo a beastly curse.” Similarly, the obstacles in Merida’s path sound more dangerous and threatening than, say, an evil step-mother who ultimately proves to be a pretty neurotic and powerless foe (a la Tangled or the upcoming Mirror Mirror).

That’s all to say: there’s good reason to suspect that Brave boasts a more complex and sophisticated narrative than early trailers might have you think. Even if that doesn’t turn out to be the case the film still looks like another solid family-friendly offering from the computer animation powerhouse, complete with some gorgeously detailed visuals and memorable characters.

Brave will arrive in 2D and 3D theaters around the U.S. on June 22nd, 2012.

Sandy Schaefer blogs at Screen Rant.

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