Scottish tourism relying on Brave

Scottish tourism is looking for a boost from the latest Pixar Animations production. Brave is looking like it could be the biggest-grossing movie about Scotland ever, and tourist chiefs are hoping that it will have an even greater effect on visitor numbers than Mel Gibson’s Braveheart.

The animated adventure follows the tribulations of an independent-minded princess called Merida voiced by Kelly Macdonald. Some are already calling it a feminist fairytale.

Past Pixar hits like Finding Nemo reached huge global audiences. Brave will be far more family-friendly than Gibson’s violent, revisionist history of William Wallace. The potential for showcasing an idealised, animated Scotland is immense.

The VisitScotland agency is promoting the film avidly, with Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond set to attend the Los Angeles premiere. Mike Cantlay of VisitScotland explained the tourism industry’s enthusiasm for the film to The Guardian: "It's a stretch to say people will see it and immediately say 'wow, I must go to Scotland', but it incorporates many of the themes that work in different markets," he said. "It launches in 72 countries around the world, it's orientated to a younger market that as a tourist organisation we would potentially struggle to reach, and it's particularly clever in non-English-speaking countries."

There has already been a lavish reception for film writers and bloggers in the Scottish capital, and a chartered train trip into the scenic Highlands. "Pixar has spent a lot of time in the country," Cantlay emphasised. "They have used the cream of our acting talent, and they've captured and put over the good humour of the Scottish people, and in that it's unique."

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