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The Art of Brave

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Brave is Pixar's thirteenth feature film, but it marks two big firsts for the award-winning animation studio. It's Pixar's first feature film driven by a female lead and its first set in an ancient historical period. Against a backdrop of castles, forests, and highlands, Brave follows the fiery Merida as she clashes with the duty of her royal life and embarks on a journey Brave is Pixar's thirteenth feature film, but it marks two big firsts for the award-winning animation studio. It's Pixar's first feature film driven by a female lead and its first set in an ancient historical period. Against a backdrop of castles, forests, and highlands, Brave follows the fiery Merida as she clashes with the duty of her royal life and embarks on a journey through the rugged landscape of the dark ages of Scotland. At once epic and intimate, the latest Pixar masterpiece weaves a story of magic, danger, and adventure and the fierce bonds of family. Featuring behind-the-scenes interviews with the film's many artists and filmmakers, The Art of Brave showcases the gorgeous concept art that went into the making of this movie, including color scripts, storyboards, character studies, environment art, sculpts, and more. A Foreword by Brenda Chapman and Mark Andrews, the film's directors, and a preface by Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter shed light on the creation of this landmark film.


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Brave is Pixar's thirteenth feature film, but it marks two big firsts for the award-winning animation studio. It's Pixar's first feature film driven by a female lead and its first set in an ancient historical period. Against a backdrop of castles, forests, and highlands, Brave follows the fiery Merida as she clashes with the duty of her royal life and embarks on a journey Brave is Pixar's thirteenth feature film, but it marks two big firsts for the award-winning animation studio. It's Pixar's first feature film driven by a female lead and its first set in an ancient historical period. Against a backdrop of castles, forests, and highlands, Brave follows the fiery Merida as she clashes with the duty of her royal life and embarks on a journey through the rugged landscape of the dark ages of Scotland. At once epic and intimate, the latest Pixar masterpiece weaves a story of magic, danger, and adventure and the fierce bonds of family. Featuring behind-the-scenes interviews with the film's many artists and filmmakers, The Art of Brave showcases the gorgeous concept art that went into the making of this movie, including color scripts, storyboards, character studies, environment art, sculpts, and more. A Foreword by Brenda Chapman and Mark Andrews, the film's directors, and a preface by Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter shed light on the creation of this landmark film.

30 review for The Art of Brave

  1. 5 out of 5

    Elevetha

    A beautiful look at the art and the making of the movie Brave. Not my favorite of the Art Of books, but still definitely worth a pick-up nonetheless. Favorite piece was: and this one too:

  2. 5 out of 5

    Robbie

    This is such a beautiful book and carefully designed. Those Disney Art books are so inspiring! Brave is definitely my favorite Disney story because it's around love between mother and daughter, instead of a traditional love story between a princess and a prince. Merida is such a strong character fighting for her freedom that to see the development her development since 2005 is wonderful.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Drew Graham

    This book was a gift from my wife for our third anniversary earlier this year. It's been sitting on the coffee table for several weeks, and I looked through it a few times, but now I finally took the time to sit down and examine it more closely and read the text. When we saw Brave in the theaters I wasn't blown away exactly, but I think I'll like it better the second time (DVD currently also sitting on the coffee table), and whatever its story or character faults, I couldn't possibly deny that t This book was a gift from my wife for our third anniversary earlier this year. It's been sitting on the coffee table for several weeks, and I looked through it a few times, but now I finally took the time to sit down and examine it more closely and read the text. When we saw Brave in the theaters I wasn't blown away exactly, but I think I'll like it better the second time (DVD currently also sitting on the coffee table), and whatever its story or character faults, I couldn't possibly deny that the artwork was just beautiful. Disney's awesome "Art of" books have been around for a while, and they're such a great resource to see the inside scoop on the creation of some the best animated films ever made, and this one on Brave is generally no exception. The books corresponding to some of the latest movies (like The Art of Tangled or The Art of The Princess and the Frog) haven't been quite as hearty as books for some of the previous movies (like The Tarzan Chronicles and The Art of the Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Art Of Pocahontas), but it still has a lot of great stuff. As expected, it includes art from every stage of production (concept sketches, set and prop design, environments, character design, storyboards, color scripts) and every department (hand-drawn sketches, digital art, sculptures, story, character). There's a lot of art from production designer Steve Pilcher, as well as a lot of great work by Steve Purcell, Matt Nolte, Noah Klocek, and even some surprises from Mike Mignola. The conceptual character art is always the highlight for me, and this book does include a lot of that, though for these characters I felt like a lot more could have been featured. It seemed to get really quickly through the characters so they could spend more time on environments and LOTS of storyboards, which are interesting and valuable, it just seemed like the balance of content was a little off. As far as the text, it seemed to be just the right amount, though it did have a little bit of a veneer over the whole studio and project, making everything look like it ran smoothly and perfectly (just like Pixar wants you to think it did, ha ha), but I guess this was an Art of book, not a Making of book, so I appreciate that there wasn't a lot of artistically irrelevant material. It was nice to read some of the insight that went into developing this family-centered story and creating such a unique cast of characters (and yes, there's copious mention of a mane of fiery red hair, and also a world rich in texture and forests and castles and fantasy mixed with reality), and also to get a look at some abandoned concepts and story ideas that would have been really beautiful (not that the end product wasn't). It made me want to watch the movie again, which is a good result of a book like this. One note though, this book included some pretty heavy spoilers, though I imagine most people reading it will have seen the movie already anyway. Just always good to know. This is a great, glossy "Art of" book, and is a nice companion to Pixar's latest animated film. Fans of not only the movie and/or studio, but also Scottish/Celtic/Viking/European art will especially appreciate it. Though I wasn't thoroughly amazed by the movie itself in general, the art is undeniably beautiful, and though this book seemed a little unbalanced in some of its contents, it still contained some wonderful artwork. The work of many talented artists is featured, and it's always interesting to read about the process of development and creation and occasional difficulties that go into creating the rich visual world and characters of an animated film. It turned out to be perfect timing too, to finish reading it on Brave Day, just in time to re-watch the movie.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Molly

    Loved the movie, loved the art-book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Elena Delgado

    What an amazing book. It was extremely detailed, it didn't repeat itself (ehem, Art of Moana) and the attention to detail, the renditions of the early versions of each character and the amazing and numerous storyboards made it perfect, everything an Art of... book should ever be. It adds to an already magnificent film, and it's the perfect companion.

  6. 5 out of 5

    bex robertson

    Set in the Scottish Highlands, Brave tells the story of a young princess and her refusal to enter into an arranged marriage. The 2012 film is Pixar’s first fairy tale. It's also the company’s first film with a female protagonist in the starring role. This turned out to be a success, with Brave winning the Academy Award, BAFTA Award and Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature Film. Jenny Lerew’s The Art of Brave details the research trips to Scotland taken by the film’s director, producer and develo Set in the Scottish Highlands, Brave tells the story of a young princess and her refusal to enter into an arranged marriage. The 2012 film is Pixar’s first fairy tale. It's also the company’s first film with a female protagonist in the starring role. This turned out to be a success, with Brave winning the Academy Award, BAFTA Award and Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature Film. Jenny Lerew’s The Art of Brave details the research trips to Scotland taken by the film’s director, producer and development producer, as well as set and story artists, designers and editors. The team went all over the country to research colloquialisms and traditional songs, as well as aspects of Scottish scenery. The Ii>Art of book compiles photographs the artists took while in the country, which showcase Scotland’s architecture, landscapes and weather. The book focuses on capturing the land; the essence and feeling of the Brave’s setting. This is underlined by the many artistic experiments of the Brave art team. They tackled the task by putting together environment concept boards, Celtic inspired graphics and experimenting with different paintbrush strokes and textures. They had to take countless things into account – detailing the weave and fraying of cloth, capturing the running rivers of Scotland and demonstrating how the stones of a castle wall had been intricately layered. This is all complimented by stunning watercolour and acrylic paintings. The Art of Brave has the perfect balance of text and illustrations – the design development of the film’s characters is well flushed out and detailed by artworks made with various media. Merida, Brave’s main character, has four pages filled with sketches and paintings, alongside the reasoning behind her design. The book also features clay cast sculptures of each of the characters in Brave. The figures are beautifully detailed and add a sense of realness to a story that is filled with other-worldliness. The art book does an incredible job of capturing the themes of Brave and bringing them to life. Much like the film itself, The Art of Brave is filled with an undeniable magic.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    this was a beautiful book. I think that this is one of my most favorite Disney movies. I love to see how an idea comes to finality. I wish that I could own this book, but I got it through my library. I think that I am going to have to find this.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Marta Pérez

    Brave is one of my all-time favourite films and seeing all the work people have put into it only made me love it even more. This book is about how Brave came to be what it is, but also about all the people, ideas, decisions and hours of work which make up this masterpiece.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Bryan

    A beautiful bit of film concept art.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Marie

    Its so pretty, and interesting, I love this book :)

  11. 4 out of 5

    Artemis

    My 150th book review! Now on to the review itself. I hadn't read any other 'The Art of --' books before this one. In hindsight I guess I should have, since I love film and animation and researching the behind-the-scenes and thought-processes of what makes a film what it is. It just so happens that on a visit to my old university, the library contained 'The Art of Brave' and no other 'The Art of --' books. Strange. Is it because this particular animation book is so rich in detail in going over the My 150th book review! Now on to the review itself. I hadn't read any other 'The Art of --' books before this one. In hindsight I guess I should have, since I love film and animation and researching the behind-the-scenes and thought-processes of what makes a film what it is. It just so happens that on a visit to my old university, the library contained 'The Art of Brave' and no other 'The Art of --' books. Strange. Is it because this particular animation book is so rich in detail in going over the process of animating - of hand-drawing and computer-generating? And because it emphasizes how a good, well-thought-out story is the most important thing in all films, including live-action? Are the rest of the 'The Art of --' books null and void then, even the Studio Ghibli ones? I'm not so sure about the others, and I'm not a librarian, so I'm just making up my own rubbish here. Regardless, I guess I should feel lucky that the only 'The Art of --' book my university has is about one of my favourite Pixar films - and one of my favourite animated films period. I'll start by saying that 'The Art of Brave' does indeed contain wonderful and diverse illustrations that really express character and show what the animators and directors had in mind during the development process of 'Brave'; even before Pixar green-lit it. Aside from drawings of Princess Merida and her awesome red hair, and of bears ranging from the cute to the terrifying, there are a lot of details going into researching Scotland and its highlands, moors, atmosphere, weather conditions, and myths and legends. Seeing as my family and I are planning a trip to Scotland in the summer this year, I would say that 'The Art of Brave' could count as an excellent tour guide! The medieval Scottish setting is a beautiful landmark in 'Brave', but the commenting directors and producers keep coming back to how they did not forget the true heart of the story. Which is the love between a parent and a child, and family bonds. Therefore the characters and their designs and personal development are just as important to the film as the setting, and free reign is given when it is in animation, where anything is possible. 'Brave' as a whole contains many subtle layers and themes to its story. It subverts elements of the traditional Disney princess and fairy tale formula, including the missing/dead mother and the evil witch and queen. It also says a lot about what it means to be a princess in reality, despite the fact that the film is still a fantasy. Forget for a moment about it being "feminist" and "empowering". There is more to it than that. What I interpret 'Brave' to really be about is: 1. Changing tradition can be okay as long as you want to do so for selfless reasons. 2. Being brave enough to admit to and learn from mistakes is a mark of a real hero. Don't repeat the tragedies recorded in history or legends. 3. Explore outside your comfort zone and be true to yourself, but respect others' point of view as well. Understand their position, and love them for who they are, and they may return your affections. 4. Stay close-knit to your family - even when your legacy is within a mere thread of tapestry, rather than in large, imposing stone. Many lessons which are important for children - and adults - to learn and to understand. I think that people who did not think much of 'Brave' when they first saw it - thinking it too simple - would find that there is a complexity to the film when they read 'The Art of Brave', and come to appreciate it a bit more. It is fascinating to read how the concept came about and what could have been during the six years it took for Pixar to make 'Brave' - their thirteenth feature film and their first that is a period piece, a fairy tale, and which features a female protagonist. Fans of the film will love 'The Art of Brave', however fans of animation and people studying the art form will too find it useful and captivating. Of course it has flaws - there is no mention of 'Brave''s original title, 'The Bear and the Bow', nor of co-director Brenda Chapman leaving the project four years into production. I guess it would look too negative, which isn't exactly honest, but neither is it lying; just omitting unimportant information. Animation is very complex; it is a time-consuming and expensive business, and this art book is only 160 pages long. The artwork is outstanding, and so is reading about its roots. If only libraries had more 'The Art of --' books lying around. Final Score: 4.5/5

  12. 4 out of 5

    Cecilia Porjefors

    Gorgeous book whit lots of breathtaking photos and lovely concept art. Although it wasn't as detailed as Tangled it still contains lots of beautiful artworks and really stunning nature drawings. I'd definitely say this is a must have for any Brave or Disney fans out there.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Violetta

    The Art of Brave has a really good balance of art to text, so that any kind of reader can find something to grab their interest and hold their attention. The clay maquettes and the paintings with Merida and Mum-Bear in particular were incredible.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Parka

    (More pictures on my blog) This is a lovely art book for the movie Brave. This is number 13 for Pixar if anyone's counting. The book's 160 pages and it's all filled with art and commentary. The concept art is great and you can really feel that everything really fits well together, the characters, the landscape and the stories. There are character designs, environment drawings, sculpts, storyboards and colorscript. This is Pixar's first period film. The environment designs are a bit dark but that's (More pictures on my blog) This is a lovely art book for the movie Brave. This is number 13 for Pixar if anyone's counting. The book's 160 pages and it's all filled with art and commentary. The concept art is great and you can really feel that everything really fits well together, the characters, the landscape and the stories. There are character designs, environment drawings, sculpts, storyboards and colorscript. This is Pixar's first period film. The environment designs are a bit dark but that's because the movie is set in ancient Scotland. It's interesting to see a mythical and worn landscape as designed for animation. The colour choices are quite muted, perhaps to give more contrast to Merida. The characters and art are delightful to look at. They are so full of personality. They have all sorts of characteristics and shapes that make them stand out. There are a few pages of storyboard sequences that are really great, even without words you know the chemistry between the characters and how they are feeling. Steve Pilcher is the production designer and there's a lot of his charming drawings included. His pencil drawings really beautiful and dimensional. They really bring the characters and places to life. Other artists included are Carter Goodrich, Steve Purcell, Noah Klocek, Matt Nolte and more. The book doesn't really talk about the story as a whole, but the text do cover the characters and their development. So there's bits and pieces of spoilers throughout. Overall, it's a wonderful book put together by author Jenny Lerew. It's a good read with great art. Highly recommended for fans of Pixar and animation art.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Echo

    "Brave" is a beautiful movie, so of course a lot of the art in this book is beautiful as well. The art of the Scottish highlands was pretty awesome, as were the photographs taken when the team went to Scotland to study the place, and there were a few fun concept drawings of the characters. I also liked the overall design of this book more than I did the art books for "Tangled" and "The Princess and the Frog." The text, on the other hand, bored me a little and had me skimming through at times. The "Brave" is a beautiful movie, so of course a lot of the art in this book is beautiful as well. The art of the Scottish highlands was pretty awesome, as were the photographs taken when the team went to Scotland to study the place, and there were a few fun concept drawings of the characters. I also liked the overall design of this book more than I did the art books for "Tangled" and "The Princess and the Frog." The text, on the other hand, bored me a little and had me skimming through at times. The last third of the book was made up mostly of storyboards and information about how technically difficult it is to do water/layers of clothing/whatever in CGI animation. And while I have a lot more respect for the amount of work that goes into the process now, I wish the book had more information on the characters and the story and less on the technical process of how to make a CGI film. I also wish there had been more concept art and far, far fewer pages of storyboards. Storyboards are great and interesting, but, man, this book had a lot.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Andy

    This a gorgeous book! Introduced by John Lasseter, and with a forward by the film's co-directors Brenda Chapman and Mark Andrews, The Art Of Brave shows off the superb conceptual art, including storyboards, character studies and environmental art from artists like Steve Pilcher, Noah Klocek, Daniel Lopez Munoz, Mike Mignola and many more, plus sculptures by Greg Dykstra and Andrea Blasich along with gorgeous photos of the behind the scenes process of making the film. Be warned though, as it featu This a gorgeous book! Introduced by John Lasseter, and with a forward by the film's co-directors Brenda Chapman and Mark Andrews, The Art Of Brave shows off the superb conceptual art, including storyboards, character studies and environmental art from artists like Steve Pilcher, Noah Klocek, Daniel Lopez Munoz, Mike Mignola and many more, plus sculptures by Greg Dykstra and Andrea Blasich along with gorgeous photos of the behind the scenes process of making the film. Be warned though, as it features some of the storyboards from the finished film, it does give away certain plot points that you might not want to know before watching the film when it's out in cinemas this summer. Aside from that though, packed with so much gorgeous art you'll just want to stare at, the book is very much worth adding to your bookcase!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    A great behind-the-scenes of the animated movie, Brave, from its start to finish. I enjoyed highlight moments especially of the pre-production team. Such as moments where Brenda Chapman and the other fellow artists designed the different characters and landscapes. It really displayed the hard and soft visuals that exist in Scotland's environments. I would have liked to have seen even more early character designs, but they kept it close to the heart of the film. Still I loved the stylization, par A great behind-the-scenes of the animated movie, Brave, from its start to finish. I enjoyed highlight moments especially of the pre-production team. Such as moments where Brenda Chapman and the other fellow artists designed the different characters and landscapes. It really displayed the hard and soft visuals that exist in Scotland's environments. I would have liked to have seen even more early character designs, but they kept it close to the heart of the film. Still I loved the stylization, particularly of Steve Plicher's drawn standing stones. I wondered if they were truly that exaggerated, or that erroded from the weather? And certain techniques such as acrylic on foam (might have to try that). It really makes me appreciate how the whole Pixar team goes about creating a movie, and challenging themselves at it too.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    This book is DARK. The concept art, the paintings, especially the sketches. But I love it. I love "Art of" books because (if they're good 'art of' books) they convey an ambiance from the film. You really get to see what inspired the artists, all the goods that went into the creation of the film. I'm trying to collect all of the "Art of" Pixar books, but this is a difficult (and expensive!) task, so I'm not really sure if I'll ever have them all, but this is a book that is on my future "to buy" li This book is DARK. The concept art, the paintings, especially the sketches. But I love it. I love "Art of" books because (if they're good 'art of' books) they convey an ambiance from the film. You really get to see what inspired the artists, all the goods that went into the creation of the film. I'm trying to collect all of the "Art of" Pixar books, but this is a difficult (and expensive!) task, so I'm not really sure if I'll ever have them all, but this is a book that is on my future "to buy" list.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Danny

    Lots of sketches and preproduction work for the Pixar movie Brave. The design of the book is similar to previous art books about the Pixar movies. If you've seen any of those, then this one won't be a surprise. If you like preproduction animation art then you definitely won't be disappointed. It's not anything special though and personally I don't like the format of the Pixar animated movies art books.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Renee

    I'm waiting for the movie to come out before I open the book. I don't want to accidentally spoil myself but I already know the book and the movie will be amazing. ____ I saw the movie and it was great! The overall energy of the film was peppier and more wittier than past films. The animation style and story developement reminded me of DreamWorks. I liked Brave (especially Merida's hair - amazing!) and can't wait for the next film :)

  21. 4 out of 5

    Adriana

    The fact that it contains color scripts, storyboards, character studies, environment art, and sculpts from the production of such an amazing animated feature should more than make up for the fact that it’s lacking some “meat” when it comes to insights and commentary. I’m aware that this is an art book, but I would have liked a bit more information on what informed the art to accompany the gorgeousness that inspired and created it.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Merary

    You don't have to see the movie (Wait, scratch that! Watch the movie first!) to appreciate the behind the scenes of the designs and story behind Brave. And believe me when I say the pictures are BREATHTAKINGLY BEAUTIFUL! You can't help but stare at them all day!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I really enjoyed this art book. Seeing the concept art and scrapped ideas really hurt me. The concept art and ideas were so much better than the final product. I appreciate the effort that the team went to in the making of this film.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Yan

    The plot of the movie was not at all what I was expecting from the trailers and movie title but this has got to be one of the nicest Disney Pixar's art-books ! Beautiful environment drawings, color scripts and characters sketches. Every page is filled with whimsy and fun. I love it !

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ian

    As gorgeous as any concept art--and therefore, more gorgeous than the movie it resulted in. The text was grating, as it didn't add much to the art or the film's controversial production, and it used "story" as a wholly incoherent buzzword.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mohamed Mangoulch

    i think it will be really fantastic book show how it's 2d and 3d art maked and other thinks i hope win to read this

  27. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

    Amazing art work, beautiful book.

  28. 5 out of 5

    George Seminara

    A gorgeous book. I love these behind the scenes Disney books. I don't have them all but this one attracted me from the first. Great work!

  29. 5 out of 5

    τλιϓλ

    أجواء آسرة حقا في كتاب جميل لفيلم لا يقل جمالا أحببت الكتاب كثيرا وأحببت ما عثرت عليه بين صفحاته أعتقد أن عشاق الفيلم سيكونون أسعد الناس بهذا الكتاب ^_^

  30. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    Giuliana: The text was mostly boring, some of it was interesting, and I loved the pictures. You could look at the pictures while listening to an audiobook or music.

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