I've gone on record about my unnaturally high level of anticipation for Brave. To me it feels like the perfect jewel in Pixar's crown, the complete culmination of 20 long years of evolving animation, coupled with influences from some of the best examples of no Pixar animation. To me it feels like Brave is Pixar meets How To Train Your Dragon or The Secret Of Kells, or even most importantly today Studio Ghibli's Princess Mononoke.
Never more today have the influences of Hayao Miyazaki's fantasy classic been more apparent than in today's Japanese trailer for Brave. And while some have called it (at worse) a rip off of the epic fantasy about a girl from the wilds fighting against both an angry forest and destructive humans, at best it looks like Pixar have taken some concepts and made it uniquely their own.
I love the idea of Pixar/Disney looking east for inspiration and Mononoke has to be my favorite of Ghibli's output so this really feels like the perfect marriage of talent.
For those unfamiliar with Studio Ghibli's impressive resume (and for those who don't want to be) the below trailer offers the most exciting, interesting action and development we've seen in a trailer for Brave yet. Plus… those visuals. It looks better and better every time we see it, so look out for more will-o'-the-wisp and a couple of possible spoilers at the end of the trailer!
Drink it in!
Notice the mystical forest angle being focussed on a lot more than before. Natural laws, anthropomorphic animals and a huge feeling of overwhelming fate and destiny (and a lot less of the rebellious princess idea that seems to pervade the domestic trailers.) It's also quite the savvy marketing tactic by Pixar's Japanese distribution arm who are clearly looking for the same numbers that Mononoke did. For those unconvinced of my rambling about the (awesome) Princess Mononoke undertones allow me to demonstrate.
I got a huge reminder of this:
When I saw this:
(sorry about the quality) Agree? Disagree? I'm probably way off and letting my anticipation cloud my judgement here, but before you launch into a scathing attack on why i'm totally wrong (and please do, I love the comments) here's the Japanese poster for the movie to leave you in breathless awe. You're welcome.