Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Irish Roots of Merida's Hair

Brave was great.  I got totally sucked into it.   But whenever Merida and her crazy, tangly locks bounced through a scene, I couldn't help but think of my old pal, Miriam McDonnell.  Miriam was a clean up artist at Disney on every feature from Beauty and the Beast to Home on the Range.  She's originally from Ireland, and along with the accent, she carries a mop of curly black hair not unlike the heroine of Brave.

Director Brenda Chapman and a lot of the Pixar gang know the hilariously garrulous Miriam quite well.  So facetiously, I asked, "Is your hair getting residuals from Disney?"

"Funny you should say that."  she said, "Charlotte (her daughter) and I went up to Pixar to see Brenda, Doug Frankel, and Tony Fucile, and they took photos of our hair.  Brenda had always been talking about her Celtic girl she was going to write about and make a film of one day."

I haven't seen Miriam's daughter in ten years, and was amazed by the photo she sent.....
Merida and Charlotte
When I reminded Miriam that her hair is now the property of Disney, she replied, "So is my spinal fusion, but they don't want to pay for that either."  

So as there is no confusion, Miriam would like to emphasize: "It was just some photos of hair. Charlotte was not the Character."

(Editor's note: To find out more about Brave, learn about why director Mark Andrews likes to wear a kilt, and read our exclusive interview with writer-director Brenda Chapman.)