It’s the film that has aimed to capture the true beauty and spirit of Scotland, and Brave actor Callum O’Neill says he thinks the animated tale has done the country proud.
Taking the movie world by storm this summer, Brave’s stunning scenes may have been created by a team of talented animators, rather than showcase real-life shots from the stunning Highlands.
But proud Scot Callum thinks the latest offering from Disney Pixar has paid perfect tribute to the real deal.
The actor, who plays the part of Wee Dingwall in the fairytale-with-a-twist, said: “As a Scot I’m very proud of how Disney Pixar have portrayed Scotland on the screen. There is always that concern, ‘is it something that’s going to be paid lip service to?’, ‘is it jumping on the bandwagon of something that’s culturally interesting?’.
“But the truth in the matter is Disney Pixar did a huge amount of research into Scotland, not just about the language they were using – they said be authentic to your accent, to the colloquialisms, to the vernaculars that you use – but also what they were authentic about was the scenery.”
Brave, which features the talents of other stars including Emma Thompson, Billy Connolly and Robbie Coltrane, tells the story of a feisty young woman who refuses to let her future be determined by tradition.
“The movie Brave is set in 10th century Scotland and it is the story of a young Princess, Merida, who by tradition is now eligible to marry one of the three clan chiefs’ sons,” Callum explained.
“However although it is set in 10th century Scotland she’s a bit of a 21st century girl and she believes she should be more in control of her destiny. The character I play, Wee Dingwall, is one of the suitors, he’s the son of Lord Dingwall played by Robbie Coltrane.”
The movie takes the audience on a journey through Scotland’s striking hills and glens, as well as its castles and other scenic attraction, and the hope is that tourism in the country will receive in a massive boost as a result, with a flood of excited visitors flocking to the area.
And Callum said there is no end of activities fans of the movie can indulge in, if they want to enjoy the real Brave experience once here.
“There are so many Brave-related things people can do in Scotland. When you look at the film, the entire landscape created is entirely authentic. When you see the castle that the King and Queen and Princess Merida live in, that has been inspired by the likes of Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle, Eilean Donan Castle, and one of my favourite castles, Dunnottar Castlin Stonehaven.
“If you want to learn archery, which is quite a large part of the story in the film, then by all means you can do that. In fact on my next trip up to Scotland I’m hoping to get some archery lessons because my character Wee Dingwall isn’t the best archer you’ve ever seen. So I thought it’d be good to get involved in that.”
If you’ve been inspired by the film and fancy trying some of the Brave-related things you can experience in Scotland, check out the VisitScotland website for loads of ideas.