Scotland: where legends come to life
“Brave” is a 3-D animated film which will be distributed world-wide by Disney. Set in the Scottish kingdom of DunBroch it is one of the hoped-for summer blockbusters in the US. It opens today there and reaches us in August. With Scottish actors such as Robbie Coltrane, Billy Connolly, Kevin McKidd, Kelly Macdonald and Craig Ferguson playing the characters, music by Patrick Doyle, Scottish folk music and instruments, the film reeks of Scotland (as the US sees it so I am told) so it is easy to see why Visit Scotland jumped in.
This is going to be a campaign in over 80 countries and the Scottish government has stumped up extra cash in its support. So before the film starts and you get stuck into the popcorn, up will come a thirty second commercial fronted by the Scot who seems to have monopolised historical features – Neil Oliver. He will highlight events like the Highland Games and such destinations as Eilean Donan Castle, Castle Kilchurn and the Ring of Brodgar in the hope that our enthusiasm for the sites will make us rush up there and see for ourselves. There is also a competion where you can win a five night trip to Scotland for four.
The release of the film in the US is more important for Visit Scotland than for many other countries because the US is Scotland’s biggest overseas market. And it grew by 15% so they hope that more people will come across than ever before. Will visitors from England, Northern Ireand and Wales respond as well? Given the dreadful summer we have been having, the film will probably come to late to persuade us to travel north of the border for the summer. And it could be too far ahead for us to think about it for next summer. So I expect day trippers and weekend break people will be those that may respond and head north from our countries.