After getting pretty excited last year by teaser images of the new Highlands-based fantasy feature from Pixar, Brave, I've found the footage released so far to be disappointing. Narrative-wise it doesn't appear to stray from paths already walked by films like How To Train Your Dragon and Mulan, while the Scottishness is the clichéd arse-flashing boorish nonsense that too often acts as lazy shorthand for a Scottish character. Watching a complete 2 minute sequence from the film didn't help much - while technically it's astonishingly good (the detail on the hair! the archery!) it felt like Mulan by way of Disney's Robin Hood. Boo.
Huzzah, then, for living in an age where you can see what trailers are being used for other countries, because the Japanese trailer for Brave knocks the stuffing out of the English-language version (and it's got subtitles too!). Like the Japanese poster (see right) there's a much greater focus on the woodland fantasy that was so initially enticing - perhaps the whopping domestic success of Studio Ghibli's masterful Princess Mononoke had something to do with that. Also - and this may just be because I recently spent a huge amount of time playing it - this felt far more reminiscent of woodland levels in The Legend of Zelda than anything else presented before, the forests more primal, shadowy and ancient than the fairytale woodland of Tangled. There's hope yet.