Kelly MacDonald is the voice of ‘Merida’ in Pixar’s ‘Brave!’

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NY Daily News (June 17, 2012) Disney/Pixar® Brave – Growing up as a young girl in Glasgow, Kelly Macdonald desired to become the gruff American frontier icon “Calamity Jane”  instead of the typical young girl fantasy of becoming a princess. This desire would lead Macdonald to become the voice of Merida, the fiery redheaded heroine in the new Disney-Pixar production, Brave.

Pixar’s new redhead is the latest in a long line of Disney princesses; however, she is the first to reject the “happily ever after” circumstance. Director Mark Andrews states the desire the studio had for a fresh concept for Merida’s character:

“Disney has this heavily trod ground of princesses and we knew that we didn’t want somebody who was questing for happily ever after,” “We wanted her to solve her own problem and be who she is, and not have anyone else define her.”

Originally, Reese Witherspoon was set to fill the role, but scheduling conflicts forced the actress to leave the project. Andrews, alongside co-director Brenda Chapman, discovered Macdonald and decided she was the perfect fit.

Macdonald confesses that she can relate to her voiced character “Merida” and her conflict with her mother–her relationship with her own during her teenage years was similar.  It was then, at the age of nineteen she received her big break while employed at a local pub. A co-worker handed her a flyer to an audition for the movie Trainspotting, starring Ewan McGregor, as a heroin addict. Her choice of clothing that day made her stand out to director Danny Boyle and secure the role of “Diane.”

Opening in theaters this Friday, June 22nd, Brave is a journey of a Scottish princess set on escaping an arranged marriage; even if it will disrupt the security of her father’s (voiced by Billy Connoly) kingdom. Merida’s stern mother, Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson) is diligent in attempting to tame her daughter.

The princess decides to consult a witch (Julie Walters) dwelling in the forest  to change her mother’s ways. Unfortunately, the woman misunderstands the request and now the kingdom is in great peril with Merida having to correct everything. Merida and Pixar’s latest family animation may inspire a new generation of young girls to not be afraid to aim higher, and reach farther for their goals.

If you had a chance to change your faith, would you?

Source: NY Daily News

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