Pixar’s new film Brave due out this year is their first ever fairytale. The film set in the Scottish Highlands promises to be a treat for all the family. Also a first for Pixar is a female heroine as the lead character, Merida played beautifully by Kelly Macdonald. Inspired by Scottish myth and folklore the film adds plenty of Disney sparkle to the myths and culture of the Highlands. The Highland location with its outstanding natural beauty of mountains, lochs and forests offers a great setting for this magical adventure. The historical sites, remote castles, standing stones and distinctive culture are central to the plot of the film. Every corner of the Scottish highlands and islands is steeped in ancient tale and legend so it is not surprising that its traditions have worldwide appeal. Scottish stories of heroes and adventure, of witches and banshees and of many other strange and dangerous creatures feature in tales passed down through the generations. Two such myths include the Kelpie said to live in rivers and streams, the Each Uisge (Water Horse) which makes its home in Lochs and coastlines and let’s not forget the Loch Ness monster. Tartan is central to the history and culture of the Highlands and the many of the film’s male characters wear the belted plaid fastened at the shoulder with a plaid brooch. The film features a number of fictional tartans for the different clans that appear in the story. Standing stones which can be seen in the trailer above are inspired by standing stone circles in Scotland and are integral to the plot. Catherine Sarafian, the film’s producer spoke of their importance in the film as they represent “a very powerful setting for the kind of things we want to have happen in the story.” Such stones serve as monuments to ancient cultures and although their original use is unclear, they are imbued with magic and ritual. Here’s what Pixar have to say about their latest offering: ‘Since ancient times, stories of epic battles and mystical legends have been passed through the generations across the rugged and mysterious Highlands of Scotland. In Brave, a new tale joins the lore when the courageous Merida confronts tradition, destiny and the fiercest of beasts. Merida is a skilled archer and impetuous daughter of King Fergus and Queen Elinor. Determined to carve her own path in life, Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the uproarious lords of the land: massive Lord MacGuffin , surly Lord MacIntosh and cantankerous Lord Dingwall. Merida’s actions inadvertently unleash chaos and fury in the kingdom, and when she turns to an eccentric old Wise Woman for help, she is granted an ill-fated wish. The ensuing peril forces Merida to discover the meaning of true bravery in order to undo a beastly curse before it’s too late.’ The film features some of Scotland’s top acting talent – Billy Connolly, Robbie Coltrane who star with acting royalty Emma Thompson and Julie Walters. This ‘Dark’ fairytale is sure to be a hit with Scots and others alike