Saturday, August 25, 2012

Brave (2012 Pixar animation) 3D

Urhea / Modig. US © 2012 Disney / Pixar. P: Katherine Sarafian. D: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman. SC: Mark Andrews, Steve Purcell, Brenda Chapman, Irene Mecchi - story: Brenda Chapman. Technical specs (IMDb): digital - digital intermediate 2K - 2,35:1 - released on 35 mm and DCP, on a flat version and Disney Digital 3D. Animation dept: huge. Art dept: Megan Bartel, huge. VFX dept: huge. M: Patrick Doyle - Scottish flavour with bagpipes, a solo fiddle, Celtic harps, flutes, the bodhrán, dulcimer and cimbalom: "I employed classic Scottish dance rhythms such as reels, jigs and strathspeys", and "unaccompanied Gaelic psalm singing". Plus original songs: "Touch The Sky", "Into The Open Air", "Learn Me Right". ED: Nicholas C. Smith.

Voice talent (from Wikipedia): Kelly Macdonald (Princess Merida, the heroine and the feisty princess of Dunbroch), Billy Connolly (King Fergus, Merida's boisterous father and the king of Dunbroch), Emma Thompson (Queen Elinor, the diplomatic queen of Dunbroch and Merida's mother, who just wants what's best for her kingdom and her daughter), Julie Walters (The Witch), Robbie Coltrane (Lord Dingwall), Kevin McKidd (Lord MacGuffin and Young MacGuffin), Craig Ferguson (Lord Macintosh), Sally Kinghorn and Eilidh Fraser (Maudie), Peigi Barker (Young Merida), Steven Cree (Young Macintosh), Steve Purcell (The Crow), Callum O'Neill (Wee Dingwall), Patrick Doyle (Martin, the guard), John Ratzenberger (Gordon, the guard). Non-speaking characters include Mor'du (the bear), Angus (Merida's horse), and Harris, Hubert, and Hamish (Merida's triplet brothers).

Finnish voice talent: MERIDA Heljä Heikkinen, FERGUS Jarmo Mäkinen, ELINOR Satu Silvo, NOITA Maija-Liisa Peuhu, LORDI DINGWALL Jouko Klemettilä, LORDI MACGUFFIN Sasu Moilanen, LORDI MACINTOSH Aku Laitinen, MAUDIE Eija Vilpas, NUORI MERIDA Seera Alexander, NUORI MACGUFFIN Santtu Karvonen, NUORI MACINTOSH Aksu Palmen, RAAKKU Antti Jaakola, WEE DINGWALL Petrus Kähkönen, MARTIN Mikael Eklund, GORDON Heikki Sankari. - Singer: Saara Aalto. - Other roles: Ella Pyhältö, Susa Saukko, Kari Tamminen, Tommi Haapaniemi, Katja Aakkula. Supervisor: Markus Bäckman. Äänitys ja editointi: Kari Leppälä. Tuotantokoordinaattori: Tarja Alexander. Dialogin kääntäjä: Marko Hartama. Laulujen kääntäjä: Tuija Korhonen. Studio: SDI Media.

Credited animation system: Presto. In memory of Steve Jobs. 93 min. 

Released in Finland by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Finland in three language versions: original, Finnish, and Swedish. 2K DCP, 3D XpanD, viewed at Tennispalatsi 1, Helsinki, 25 August 2012 (weekend of Finnish premiere).

It is very difficult to deduce the main animation credits from the long lists of names in the production information.

Facts from Wikipedia: This is the first movie to use the Dolby Atmos sound format. To make the most complex visuals possible, Pixar completely rewrote their animation system for the first time in 25 years. Pixar's first fairy tale, somewhat darker and more mature in tone than its previous films. Brenda Chapman considers it as a fairy tale in the tradition of H.C. Andersen and the Brothers Grimm. Chapman conceived the project and was announced as the director of the film, making her Pixar's first female director, but in October 2010, she was replaced by Mark Andrews following creative disagreements. Merida is the first female lead in a Pixar film.

This new kind of Pixar animation was very well received by our young companions of 8 and 10 years of age. It is a magic princess fairy-tale with some realistic insights in psychology: "I'd rather die than become like you", exclaims the princess to her mother, the Queen. Mastery in archery, will o' the wisp guidance, and a magic power that has terrible, unexpected side effects are among the ingredients in the fairy-tale set in medieval Scotland.

There are great sequences in the movie. Through magic, the Queen turns into a bear with a human soul, but gradually she is transforming into a true animal also inside. The daughter feeds her mother with raw fish, but she soon learns to fish herself. "Mother - is that you?" In a uniquely funny sequence the mother bear advises her daughter via pantomime (hand signs) in what she needs to say to the guests in the banquet hall.

In the Highland Games sequence there are fascinating details about medieval games and music instruments, and the lair of the witch-carpenter is full of interesting gadgets. All this detail flashes past too fast.

Brave is worth seeing, but as a whole it is not among the best Pixar features. The rhythm succumbs a bit too much to ADHD sensibilities, in contrast to the masterpieces of Pixar.

The literate script is well translated into Finnish, in verse, when needed. The Finnish actors speak sometimes in mannered-parodic 1950s theatrical, overdone accents, as seems to be required, but I'd prefer a more natural way.

Rated 7/4 in Finland, there were very young patrons (under seven years old) in the cinema. One family had to leave because the film was too frightening, and from the row behind we heard that another family also considered leaving.

I was the only patron in the cinema who stayed to the end and saw the bonus scene (the yawn, the witch, the magic crow).

Recently I have had no complaints about image brightness in 3D. Brave has been produced on a new Presto animation system in Disney Digital 3D, but perhaps in the huge Tennispalatsi 1 the lamps are currently not bright enough as the image seemed too dark. I tried five different 3D glasses on, but the result was the same. I missed the famous exquisite red hair effect, for instance.

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