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Earlier this week I spent a morning learning to play a bagpipe and shoot a bow and arrow, then spent the afternoon learning how to create digital hair and invent an ancient castle out of nothing but pixels. This was all pretty spectacular even without factoring in the location: Pixar. To give journalists an early look at their summer film Brave, Disney and Pixar invited us up to the company headquarters in Emeryville, just outside of San Francisco, where they screened 30 incomplete minutes from the beginning of Brave, then brought in the director, producer and some of the technical team to explain the six-year process of getting Brave to the screen.

I'll have a lot more from those interviews next week, including 1:1 conversations with co-director Mark Andrews and producer Katherine Sarafian, but in the meantime I can tell you about what you're probably dying to hear about: the footage. Slashfilm's Germain Lussier and I recorded a video blog at the end of our long day of interviews, right in the front lobby of Pixar headquarters, next to a poster of Brave's heroine Merida. We were both really impressed with the opening 30 minutes and how Pixar seems to have gotten back in its original storytelling groove, but we found some faults as well. There are no spoilers here for anything not already revealed in the trailers, so take a look, and come back next week for much, much more on Brave.

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