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SALT LAKE CITY — She is feisty, independent and shoots a mean bow and arrow. She is Princess Merida, the heroine of Pixar's newest release "Brave."
Set in the Scottish Highlands, Disney-Pixar's latest introduces Merida, daughter of King Fergus and Queen Elinor. The story follows her struggles to change her fate by defying the custom of marrying the young man who will win her in a contest.
The title of the movie — Brave — is about facing your challenges outside and in.
"Facing up to who you really are, not what you want to be, not what society wants you to be, but looking inside yourself and kind of growing up to the frailties and your mistakes," said Brave's director Mark Andrews to KSL. "And that's when people really become mature."
The film, Andrews says, is about family relationships. The conflict between Merida and her mother comes from the film's first director, Brenda Chapman. Andrews has a teenage daughter and three sons, just like King Fergus.
At Pixar, we're one big family as well, so, if one person's doing it, you don't want to be left out and everybody has fun if everybody's doing it.
"She'd roam around the house going, ‘Dad, the boys get away with murder and you're always busting me and they're never in trouble.' " Andrews said. "And I just lifted what she said and stuck it right in the movie."
Andrews, proud of his Scottish heritage, poses with cast members. He brought the idea of wearing kilts on Fridays at Pixar. As a result, many joined him.
"That morale boost, that pride in the thing you're working on," Andrews said. "At Pixar, we're one big family as well, so, if one person's doing it, you don't want to be left out and everybody has fun if everybody's doing it."
Being courageous is good, Andrews said, but you don't have to go it alone.