brave_merida-icon brave_merida-icon
Feature FilmPixar

Japanese “Brave” trailer

Forget that two minute clip you saw last week – I want to see the Japanese version: Merida and The Forest of Fear. This is how you sell the film:

  • Matthew Koh

    I never knew that the Japanese are alot smarter than the Americans.

    • gavin mouldey

      I thought that was common knowledge.

      • axolotl

        Would that it were true…Then I could be happier with the trailer we got.

  • Chris Powell

    I tried watching it and then Stoppped halfway because I felt like it was giving away things that would have been more exciting to discover in the theatre……can someone tell me (yes or no)…Was I right in my assumption??

    • Chris Sobieniak

      That’s typical of Japanese trailers, they practically spoil the movie to the point you feel you’ve already been there!

      • mike B.

        It definitely gives away story points but I don’t believe it answers any questions. I think it creates more questions. The American trailer plays as though this film is based on gags. This Japanese trailer shows that there’s a deeper story to it. I was excited about this film before I saw this trailer but I am 100% more excited after seeing it.
        I say watch it. You wont regret it.

  • HM

    With this trailer and the clip last week, we know two things: 1. Pixar’s North American marketing is very flawed. and 2. That two-minute clip is still in the movie.

    And no better-late-than-never trailer, no matter how gorgeous, can change that.

    • Funkybat

      I’d amend that to “Disney’s N. American Marketing is very flawed.” I loved the overseas movie posters and other pre-release stuff for “Tangled,” but the stateside stuff seemed to try too hard to look “edgy” or mysterious. After seeing the film, I’d say the overseas marketing captured the overall mood/spirit of the film much better than the NA stuff, which felt like it was for some Dreamworks movie.

      About the only trailer that actually made a film look more fun and exciting than it actually was was the “Cars 2” trailer.

    • Scarabim

      From what I’ve seen, Japanese trailers seem to treat audiences as if they have some intelligence, while American trailers treat the audience as if they’re morons who will only respond to crudity, noise and visual stimulation.

      I’m getting pretty sick of Hollywood talking down to me.

  • Pauline

    What a difference! Feels like a completely different movie. Can’t wait to see it now!

    • E. Nygma

      Yes! Why is everything so dumbed down for the USA. Oh yeah, because we started walmart.

  • Sarah J

    Looks cool. Gives a much better idea of the movie’s plot than the American trailer does.

  • Tres Swygert

    Why in the world would Pixar tease North America with cheap teasers/trailers, and then have us wait on something as epic as this version for Japan?! Seriously, if Pixar had shown this trailer in the first place, there wouldn’t have been ANY DOUBTS about this movie’s potential…and Pixar’s credibility. It actually gives us an understanding of what the story is about now…not something that seems weak and whatnot.

  • Bud

    I don’t speak Japanese, but would love to know: Are they imitating a Scottish accent in Japanese?

    And I love how the three little brothers look to have been turned into three little bears.

    • Matt

      One of the many annoyances of watching animé in their original language is finding that Japanese voice actors are seemingly incapable of changing their accent no matter what nationality they are supposed to be portraying.

      • Chris Sobieniak

        That’s what you get when you deal with most production often residing in or around Tokyo.

    • Grafixsss

      Well, no they do not hardly ever speak in accents of other languages, only the accents of the different dialects found within Japan (which are many). Reason is simple, the language doesn’t cater for varied intonations, it is a monotone language meaning that if they were to add a Scottish accent, with it’s varied intonations to Japanese, then the audience will be having a hard time understanding what is being said. Japanese expressions too are quite simple but have deeper meaning than what English has a lot of the time. :)

      It may sound boring, but that is language for you. English has about 200 times more intonations to it than the Japanese language does. It doesn’t make it wrong or stupid, just different.

      I dare you to speak English with a Mongolian accent… ain’t no way in hell a native English speaker could do it, and even harder for the audience to understand what the hell your trying to say.

      Hell, I am an Australian and you yanks can never get our accent right and we speak the same language. :)

  • Michel Van

    OMG this has Studio Ghibli quality !!!
    is this Pixars answer to “Princess Mononoke” ?
    I hope yes !

    • Said Omar E

      haha i thought the same! :)

      • Gijs Grob

        Yep, me, too!

  • Melmac

    Damn! this looks great

  • Failed Art Student

    Man, ya’ll should of seen the Japanese trailers for Finding Nemo and Chicken Little. The Japanese trailers always focus more on the emotional aspects of the film, and much less on the comedic side.

  • Jessica Plummer

    Such an improvement over the American trailers. I’m not joking when I say that this trailer actually gets me interested in seeing the film once and for all. I felt like I had my intelligence undermined with the American trailer.

    You know what I was reminded of when I watched this? The original Disney’s Little Mermaid trailer. Our expectations have been so dumbed-down with our film advertising lately that a trailer like that, or this Japanese one here, feel like they’re giving away too much. In reality I think they’re selling us exactly what we want to know about the film.

    • Chris Sobieniak

      Which is really quite rare around here.

  • Billy Batz

    American cartoons are ‘funny’, Japanese cartoons are ‘movies’.Just look what they chose to hi-light in their trailer, drama! 2012 and we still lag behind.

    • Sarah J

      I think that might be it. In Japan, animation is just another medium to tell a story, few if any people there see it as a medium exclusive for kids. So the American trailer is going to focus more on the jokes and silliness and comic relief characters, while the Japanese trailer would focus more on the story.

      • Hank

        That’s silly, and just not true. Boat Japanese still see cartoons as primarily for children. That is an established fact. And most Japanese cartoons ARE for children–or are juvenile for the stunted of emotional growth.

        The difference is that they’re not as prudish when it comes to the more psycho-sexual animation that helps evade strict laws on certain kinds of pornography available to them.

        I love how fans of Japanese cartoons like to pretend this old canard is so. But it ain’t.

      • Chris Sobieniak

        It’s all true!

    • Nic

      I don’t think that’s necessarily a /bad/ thing so much as it is playing into the culture of the audience. Just like you said, Americans expect cartoons to be funny, the Japanese expect them to be dramatic epics.

      Just because our culture is different doesn’t make it bad.

      • Dana G

        It’s bad when that stereotype limits the kind of animated films we can expect to be funded, created, and sold to a mainstream audience in the US; or in this case, it’s bad when the stereotype encourages advertisers to completely misrepresent a film in a way that causes people to take it less seriously.

      • Hank

        “Americans expect cartoons to be funny, the Japanese expect them to be dramatic epics. ”

        Baloney. Both expect a good film, worth their $15.00 and 2 hours.

      • Kyle Maloney

        Its not the culture thats the problem. People in general expect what is marketed to them. What happened to just being honest about the overall tone of a movie?

      • Bud

        Well, the Japanese need far more spelled out for them, and this trailer is a good example of what that means.

  • wgan

    not working on me, always prefer original version whatever the language is.

  • Randy

    Wow….this looks like a completely different – and way more interesting – film with this trailer. The story has so much more emotional heft when shown this way….I might actually go see it now – although I still maintain that the Ballsy Princess Chick Who Only Wants To Be Free And Buck Convention And Act Like A Guy is played the hell out, and looks like the tiredest aspect of the film.

    Fascinating to note however:

    American Trailer – Old guys with way too much nose hair, farting in their Kilts and showing their butts, and “funny” characters tripping and running around and a headstrong, VERY politically-correct Girl who kicks butt in Archery. Funny and disconnected!

    Japanese Trailer – Princess who feels trapped by convention tries to find herself and whose emotions and sometimes impulsive and selfish desires set into action events which have (apparently) dire consequences and must eventually (apparently) come to terms with the situation(s) she’s created, and learns about life and herself in the process. Strongly emotional and engaging!

    Is the US Trailer REALLY what Pixar thinks Americans want to go see? Apparently.

  • Old Man Father Time

    Oh wow. It made it to THIS website?! :D

    I’m still puzzled why Americans are still stuck with the elementary level, one-word titles!

  • Dennis Sisterson

    Princess McOnoke.

  • Daniel J. Drazen

    I got the sense that the North American trailer was designed to make “Brave” look like “How To Train Your Dragon” while the Japanese trailer felt more like “Spirited Away” or something else in the Miyazaki vein. Honestly, it’s hard to imagine the two of them being about the same movie.

  • Rufus

    Mericans get the lowest common denominator title. Japanese title tells you something about the story. You know, cause all the Americans are too dumb to comprehend, so we won’t go see a movie that isn’t titled with only a monosyllabic word.

    I prefer the longer title. Although I can’t wait to see this movie and will be there opening day, from the title I couldn’t fathom what ‘brave’ is about. Maybe it’s an animated Mel Gibson movie, like Braveheart.

    The Japanese are clearly superior.

    • Old Man Father Time

      American titles are the World’s laughing stock of Movies.

    • Funkybat

      It’s just one of the many symptoms of America’s persistent “anti-intellectual” streak. For some reason, if you very smart in the U.S., you’re “too smart for your own good” or “elitist.” Maybe these misconceptions would be overcome if marketers stopped trying to talk down to us as if everyone were a preschooler or a mental deficient.

  • Toonio

    Now I can say I’ll watch this movie.

    This trailer provides more questions than provides answers. That teasing is what really sells, not a Robin Hood sequence regurgitation. In hindsight, that sequence doesn’t hurt the movie anymore.

    Guess Hollywood should stop appealing to the lowest denominator while promoting movies just for the sake of increasing its gross. Treat people with respect, let them chose and then adjust to their demands. Follow the golden rule for once.

  • EricB

    Feels to me like the North American spot focuses more on character, and this Japanese one more on the story. The part I like the most of the jp piece is that they’re not hammering the “Yea but it’s a girl!” aspect over the head. Either way, they’re both doing their job.
    I kinda miss the days when the Pixar trailers were not actually production shots, but little one off character pieces. Ahh well. Bring on the Brave!

    • Bobby Bickert

      “What would a movie be without BUZZ LIGHTYEAR?”

      “A really good movie!”

  • B.Richards

    Like Time magazine, who changes their covers depending on the demographic/ country they are selling in, this trailer markets to the tradition of Samurai warriors, ghost story and fable as used in “Princess Mononoke” and “Spirited Away”. The American trailer markets to the classic Disney “princess” crowd for young girls expecting Ariel or Belle.
    This trailer makes we want to see it more than the previous American version. It is tiring to be marketed to with concepts that are outdated and don’t factor in the global awareness of today or that try to keep Disney looking like a kid film industry when they release a film. Hope its a big success. It looks like it should be.

  • Megan

    First people compared it to HTTYD now they’re comparing it to princess mononoke? Frankly I dont see how things are similar if you’re comparing them with the most general of prerequisites like ‘setting’ or ‘strong female lead’. Little Mermaid could be similar to finding nemo because both are set under the ocean and both contain parents that are looking for their children. No one has seen the movie yet so its pretty early to start drawing comparisons based on such general observations – Unless I’ve missed some sort of discussion that points out specifics?

    That aside, the japaense trailer kicks some ass – and personally I’m way more excited to see it. I’ve seen lots of posts saying ‘ oh its the typical girl not wanting to be a princess BEEN THERE, DONE THAT’. Pixar has always made well rounded characters, I’ll give them the benifit of the doubt in this case. Seeing this trailer just confirms my suspicions that the pervious clips really only showed her surface traits and theres so much more to her character. Of course – gotta watch the whole movie to confirm!

    • Red Pill Junkie

      I think the perspective that changed the focus of this trailer is that Japanese animation fans are already used to strong female leading characters, thanks to Miyazaki-san and movies like Nausicaa and, yes, also Princess Mononoke.

      So they don’t have to waste so much time with the gender stereotyping aspects of the story, as the North American trailer felt it needed to :)

  • Gagaman

    Not only is the trailer much nicer (though it did maybe show a bit too much for my liking) but the movie title is miles better. In fact I thought it’s early title ‘The Bear and the Bow’ was lot better too, but Disney seems to have an addiction to giving their movies vague one words titles now like Tangled and Frozen, maybe trying to recreate the clever-ness of the title Up. Even ‘The Muppets’ was a bit too simple and made it sound like a reboot rather than ‘The return of the Muppets’ or something.

    • Funkybat

      The current “trend” to give features these one-word titles reminds me of how a few years ago Ford got it into their skulls that they’d sell more cars if all of their models had names beginning with the letter “F.” They awkwardly tried to shoehorn existing models into new names, and gave odd names with no particular meaning like “Five Hundred” to new models. They wisely abandoned this, and I hope Disney abandons this approach to titling. It feels kind of forced and simplistic, it’s as if someone figured the reason “The Princess and the Frog” didn’t do as well as expected was because the title was too long.

      • Old Man Father Time

        The Princess And The Frog didn’t do so well because the title was too long??!????

        That has got to be the downright dumbest statement I have ever read.

        There were tons and tons of more convincing points that led to Disney writing it off as a disappointment. It went up against Sherlock Holmes, AVATAR, and a Chipmunk movie! Maybe the word “princess” drove off some audiences, but not the whole title! The story wasn’t the best we expected from Disney. The theme was highly controversial.

        How would you feel if I went to the movies with you and said, “Nah I don’t want to see that! I GOTTA PRONOUNCE ITS WHOOOOOOOOOOLE NAAAAAAAAME!”?!

      • ctrayn

        @Old Man Father Time:

        You missed a couple words back there. Funkybat said “it’s AS IF someone figured…”. He wasn’t making the assumption that the title was the reason PaTF fizzled, he was making a joke about the seemingly thin reasoning behind the new method of titling movies.

  • Joe


    “Ursula’s back. And this time…she mean business. Another red head is goin’ down!

  • Aaron B.

    I brought this up in the ARRIETTY thread; that being how the difference between the trailers for different markets is often a credit to one’s understanding of an audience’s complacency toward the medium or its genres. Here in the U.S., BRAVE is being sold as a “princess film” that goes beyond princess films and little else. In Japan? It’s a dramatic coming-of-age tale set in an antiquated Scotland.

    • Funkybat

      In other words, in Japan the film is being marketed as what it *actually is*, instead of what someone believes that the local audience “expects to see.”

  • whofan

    Anime is the stuff of nightmares. This completely does not sell Brave

    • Ian

      You’re commenting on an animation blog, and you’re swing that all animation made in Japan is “the stuff of nightmares”. What an odd thing to say!

  • Eliza Jappinen

    This trailer version sold the movie for me a lot more than the north american versions, without a doubt. However, it is also a very japanese take on it… Skewed for their markets? I am a little curious to what the actual mix will be. With Pixar’s track record I am inclined to believe I will be moved and enjoy it. :)

  • Mike Cagle

    It makes one wonder if it really, actually is the exact same movie – or there are any differences (subtle or otherwise) in the editing between the US and Japanese (or other) versions.

  • Shunka Shuutou

    Is that Aya Hirano voicing Merida?

  • Lib

    I guess this is why Japanese feature animation can tell any kind of story, while American feature animation is mostly limited to family friendly comedies with the occasional fart joke. Western audiences are less sophisticated.

    Question is, what came first, conformist audiences or lazy approaches to filmmaking?

  • Snappy

    Wow, beautiful trailer, I kinda wanna see this in Japanese. I must ask, why is the us advertising so poor? I think a lot of people need to be fired on this side of the pond in regards to promotions of films, trailer production, poster and dvd designs. We need to import some talents from Japan for this.

  • Roberto

    Erm…It doesn’t look THAT different to me . The bear and the forest creatures had already been shown in the teaser and promotional images, so I already had the suspiction that there was a little more than the Mulan/Robin Hood premise.

    I’m interested in it, but not totally excited. It all depends of the story. It can be a little disjointed like the one in Up-which I loved on first watch, but I kinda find less interesting on rewatching- or it could be a good storyline. Right now the most interesting thing seems to be the bear(s).All the other elements look like a mixture of Robin Hood, Mulan or Mononoke.

  • Ki Innis

    I don’t think anyone should be so surprised about the stark differences.

    As we all know it all comes down to the marketing folks and CULTURE. Whether it’s the USA or Japan, they are always going to tailor it for what they perceive as the “mid-to-low brow” audience.

    “Mid brow” taste in animation the USA basically chalks up to “gags”, “one-liners”, “cliches” and the occasional flatulence jokes…(or someone getting kicked in the groin)

    “Mid brow” taste in animation in Japan still falls upon unabashed escapism or fantasy and cute, colorful but compelling characters.

    Can’t blame to marketing execs too much as it all comes down to a matter of culture. The “bad-ass female” lead is not a mainstream B.O. draw in Japan….it’s just not…”kawaii”(Cute in Japanese)

    Case in point, I ask any of you to compare Disney’s “Tangled” to what was marketed as Disney’s “Rapunzel” in Japan. Just looking at the posters are enough.

    The Japanese version heavily pushed the classical fantasy story as compared to “bad-ass female” and “sight gag” marketing in the USA.

    Maybe when America has a culture shift and a film like “The Secret World of Arrietty” makes $800 million USD, then maybe we’ll see more intelligent marketing in the USA.

  • JM Walter

    STUDIO GHIBLI presents a Disney & P I X A R film

    “Merida and the mystery of the forest bear spectre”
    A film by Miyao Hayazaki