LA's green carpet rolls out for film premiere of Brave

The character Merida at the premiere A real life 'Merida', with curly red hair and wearing a medieval style dress, turned up to the LA showing
Kelly MacDonald with photographers Actress Kelly MacDonald, posing with Hollywood snappers, was the voice of main character Merida
Orkney scene, from marketing advert Tourism body VisitScotland has begun a marketing campaign with real-life images of Scotland - including this one from Orkney
Alex Salmond on the green carpet Alex Salmond, Scotland's First Minister, walks the green carpet sporting his tartan trousers
Scene from Brave the movie Brave, which will be on general release in the UK in August, features fighting scenes in the Scottish Highlands
Northern lights, Scotland Scotland's tourism bosses believe the country has much to offer visitors, including the spectacular northern lights
Alex Salmond at the Brave movie premiere Kilt-wearing BBC correspondent Raymond Buchanan interviews First Minister Alex Salmond on the green carpet
Brave sign outside Dolby Theatre The premiere showing of Brave took place at the Dolby Theatre - home of the Oscars

The latest Disney animation 'Brave' has held its worldwide premiere in Hollywood.

The movie tells the tale of a teenage princess who defies her mother and gets into trouble as a result.

Premiere build-up

Crowds outside premiere

Hollywood Boulevard was closed to traffic.

Crowds patiently stood in the heat ready to try and capture the attention of celebrities.

The premiere location was the Dolby Theatre - home of the Oscars.

The carpet was fake grass - a manmade hint of the lush Highlands.

As we waited for the celebrities to arrive a black horse turned up bearing a real life girl with curly red hair and wearing a medieval style dress.

This was Merida in the flesh.

The dozens of cameras snapped and shot away.

Then the Los Angeles pipe band marched down the green carpet.

This was a cliché rich premiere.

But the crowds and the international media loved it.

At one point Kelly MacDonald was asked what the film told us about Scottish culture.

She said a kilt should never be worn with underwear.

Then she looked at kilt-wearing me - I was able to reassure her tradition was being upheld.

Alex Salmond believes 'Brave' could be bigger than 'Braveheart'. Tourism bosses certainly hope so.

Once Hollywood is finished with the fictional Scotland they want the real thing to benefit.

  • By Raymond Buchanan in LA

Many of the real life cast are prominent Scottish actors, with Kelly MacDonald voicing the main character Merida.

She spoke to BBC Scotland on the Green (chosen instead of traditional red to represent the Highland landscape) carpet.

MacDonald said: "She is an adventurous tom boy, teenager and very happy young woman.

"The spell is broken when her mother says she has to get married and take on some adult responsibilities. That's when she takes things into her own hands and makes a mess of everything."

Former Trainspotting star Kevin McKidd voices Lord MacGuffin.

He believes the film will help audiences appreciate the Scottish sense of humour.

McKidd said: "There is so much history in Scotland and there is so much to see and to do.

"I think some people think the Scots are kind of dour folk and there is nothing dour about Scottish people you know.

"We're pretty wild, funny, alive people. I think that is what this film gives. A real sense of the spirit of Scotland."

For some Scottish actors this movie will be a chance to increase their profile.

For others it is an opportunity to be a part of a big Scottish film that isn't Braveheart.

That is the case for CBS chat show host and voice of Lord McIntosh, Craig Ferguson.

He said: "When I first came to live in Los Angeles it was just after Braveheart.

Start Quote

Brave is the next big thing and I think kids all over the world are going to absolutely love this film and because they love 'Brave', they'll love Scotland”

End Quote Alex Salmond Scotland's First Minister

"Every actor I knew was working on Braveheart and I was in Hollywood out of work. I kind of thought perhaps I have made the wrong move. But now, 10, 15 years later, finally my long term plan has paid off."

Tourism bosses hope the film will generate millions of pounds of extra business for Scotland.

First minister Alex Salmond was at the premiere and said the impact of Brave could be greater than that of Mel Gibson's Braveheart.

He said: "It is incredibly exciting, the crowds are wonderful. Brave is the next big thing and I think kids all over the world are going to absolutely love this film and because they love 'Brave', they'll love Scotland."

The film features many familiar Scottish themes - there are clans, castles, lochs and red hair.

Craig Ferguson, Kelly MacDonald and Kevin McKidd star in the film

But the first minister denied the film doesn't really represent modern Scotland.

He insisted: "This will put Scotland on the lips of people across this planet and it is up to us when people come to see our country to say that is the tradition of Scotland, the breath taking scenery and there is a modern Scotland of innovation."

Brave goes on general release across the United States on 22 June. It will be released in the UK in August following a premiere at the Edinburgh film festival.

The tourism agency, VisitScotland, hope it will boost visitor numbers and revenue by around £140m.

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