Disney Pixar's Brave

When it comes to enchanting stories woven amongst magnificent landscapes Scotland is one of the richest treasure troves on the planet, and Disney•Pixar's animators certainly delved into this rich source when they were creating their Oscar-winning animated adventure Brave.

Though Brave is set in a fictional medieval Scotland, Pixar's animators were deeply affected by the real country's raw beauty and rich heritage, visiting Scotland both in the summer of 2006 and late 2007. The unique natural sights they witnessed during their tours dramatically influenced Brave's startlingly beautiful animated landscapes.

  1. Dunnottar Castle Aberdeenshire

    Dunnottar Castle on top of cliffs

    Some of Scotland's landmarks proved so mesmerising for Pixar's Brave team, they actually ended up altering ideas they originally had for the movie to incorporate what they'd seen on their memorable trip.

    Initially, Merida's DunBroch family castle was going to be set against a loch in the Highlands. Yet after visiting Dunnottar Castle, a stunning structure set on jutting cliff-side rocks just south of Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire, the team decided to imitate its staggering surrounds by making DunBroch an outpost by the sea.

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  2. Calanais Standing Stones Isle of Lewis

    Calanais Standing Stones

    Sarafian also admits the Calanais Standing Stones on the Isle of Lewis had a big impact on Pixar. "It felt like the perfect setting for something important to happen in the story. The stones are in a circle on a big, exposed cliff with the sky as their backdrop - it's very striking. On both trips it was really hard to get any of the artists back on the bus!"

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  3. Glen Affric The Highlands

    Open (Canadian) canoeing in Glen Affric, Highlands of Scotland.

    © Paul Tomkins, VisitScotland. All rights reserved.

    Merida spends much of her time in Brave travelling through landscapes heavily indebted to the Highlands on her horse Angus. Much of these fantastical, fictional climes were inspired by the filmmakers' trip to Glen Affric.

    With one of the largest Caledonian pinewoods, combined with impressive mountains, moorlands, heather-strewn hills and moss-covered land, the stunning glen, only 15 miles from Loch Ness, proved the perfect site to experience a slice of authentic Scottish wilderness.

The sound of Scotland

Not only does Brave draw on Scotland's landscapes and history for inspiration, it's mesmerising soundtrack (scored by South Lanarkshire-born composer Patrick Doyle) also evokes the sounds of the country, with bagpipes, fiddles, flutes, Celtic harps and Gaelic psalm singing all featuring.

Gaelic performer, Julie Fowlis, also contributes two heart-flutteringly emotive songs - Touch the Sky and Into the Open Air.

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