‘Brave’ Director Shares Secrets Behind Merida’s Hair

Though Pixar’s latest film “Brave” is sure to impress with its story and scope when it hits theaters on Friday, there was only one thing that fans could talk about when they saw the movie’s first teaser trailer: Princess Merida’s hair.

Or, more specifically, just how realistic Merida’s hair looks. Apparently that was all created by a new technology that the folks over at Pixar came up with to immerse viewers in “Brave.” The Disney subsidiary wanted to make sure that its human characters looked especially realistic in its love letter to Scottish mythology.

“Because it’s set in a real place and time, 11th century Scotland, more than any other film we had to figure out how to layer and texture accordingly,” Tia Kratter, a Pixar shading art director, tells The Wall Street Journal.

Another big element of that was creating realistic kilts and tartans for the characters to wear. That meant Kratter was treated to two trips to Scotland with screenwriter and co-director Steve Purcell to get what WSJ calls “a crash course in kilt and tartan design.” Pixar had to come up with even more new technologies to make sure that the layering of “Brave’s” characters’ outfits looked as real and true to the time as possible. And from what we’ve seen, they’ve succeeded.

Of course, any person with real knowledge of ancient Scotland knows that kilts didn’t become a staple in Scottish wardrobes until the 18th century, which is seven hundred years after “Brave” is supposed to take place. Those are only minor details, claims Purcell.

“It’s a love letter to Scotland, not a documentary,” he said.

Are you looking forward to the new animation techniques used in “Brave”? Tell us in the comments section below or on Twitter!