This week is another brief Masterpiece Monday as I am in Disney World. Once again I am featuring some concept art of one of my favourite characters, Merida from Brave. This also happens to be my first ever article about a Pixar film. I have been completely in love with this concept drawing of young Merida since the moment I saw it, I think it’s so cute and perfectly captures her personality. It was actually my desire to feature this piece of art on it’s own that initially sparked my idea for my Masterpiece Monday feature and I’ve been waiting for just the right week to feature it.
This drawing was done by Pixar artist Mart Nolte in 2009, 3 years before the film was released. Despite her brief appearance in the film, a lot of effort went into designing what young Merida would look like and how she would act, as it helped the animators better understand teenage Merida. Actually, early on Merida was intended to be an 8 year old girl, but the Directors quickly decided to make her a teenager instead. I feel this piece of concept art of a young Merida really expresses her wild and headstrong personality in a unique way. Though I’m sure it wasn’t hard for them to capture that personality in Merida , as they based her actions off of those of director Brenda Chapman’s own headstrong 8 year old daughter.
Even though this fun character idea was not used in the film, it did actually inspire a toy sold at the Disney store. Clearly I was not the only one who feels this cute sketch just leaps off the page and sparks your imagination about the adventures of little Merida. Things like this are actually a common occurrence with Disney characters. So often even when an idea or a drawing doesn’t make it into the film, it does not die, but instead gets a new life in the form of merchandise or an element at one of the Disney parks.
Image Credit: The Art of Disney Pixar Brave