The Legend of Mor’du supplies one-dimensional grizzly lore through two-dimensional simplicity. ‘Brave’, one of Pixar’s most underrated features, hosts a villainous prince consumed by greed whom is transformed into a monstrous bear by an eccentric witch, voiced enthusiastically by Walters. Mor’du garnered surface level characterisation in the animated film, merely supplying functional antagonism to a story that did not really require such menace. Consequently, this storyboard of what is clearly a deleted scene was projected to be its own companion piece to ‘Brave’, offering in-depth background to Mor’du himself. The problem being that Larsen’s onslaught of originating information and simplistic illustrations forced this short to be forgettable as soon as the minimal credits rolled.
The witch retells the tale, commencing with three-dimensional CGI before withering to hand-drawn stills, with an abundance of energy. Four brothers, three of which equipped with mental “gifts” whilst the eventual Mor’du facilitating the only physical “gift” of strength, all wanting a piece of the kingdom. It then proceeds to imitate ‘Brave’s’ narrative with the will-o’-the-wisps guiding the eldest son to the witch’s cottage and, oh, turned into a great black bear. A foundational layer of repetitive storytelling with predictability applied on top. Regardless, the bulk of the short is the retelling of Mor’du’s origins, and it’s excessive information to say the least. Considering the promising start and final attempt at forced humour, one was hoping for originality.
Whilst the traditionally drawn darkly fantastical stills looked beautiful and exuded fluidity, they are unable to masquerade the overall uninspired “deleted scene” structure that made the previous short ‘George and AJ’ just as forgettable.