Pixar, the animation studio that created such greats as "Toy Story" and "UP," has pulled back the curtain on its next original film debuting next summer called "Brave."

It's a good thing, too, since reviews for the studio's latest, "Cars 2," have been uncharacteristically poor with an average critic approval rating hovering around the 33 percent mark. (Audiences have been a bit more forgiving with a 66 percent rating.) Based on the new trailer, "Brave" gives hope that "Cars" is but a speed bump on the road back to greatness.

According to the synopsis, the film takes place in the Highlands of Scotland and follows a young female protagonist (Pixar's first!) named Merida.

"Determined to carve her own path in life, Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the uproarious lords of the land: massive Lord MacGuffin (Kevin McKidd), surly Lord Macintosh (Craig Ferguson) and cantankerous Lord Dingwall (Robbie Coltrane). Merida’s actions inadvertently unleash chaos and fury in the kingdom, and when she turns to an eccentric old Witch (Julie Walters) for help, she is granted an ill-fated wish. The ensuing peril forces Merida to discover the meaning of true bravery in order to undo a beastly curse before it’s too late."
The setting is dramatically different from "Cars 2" — eschewing the neon racetracks for lush forests, lakes and rugged mountains topped with castles. It reminds me of the beautiful scenery featured in "UP," which took place on the Tepuis of Venezuela.

Then there's that giant bear, which is likely a nod to the brown bears that once roamed Scotland's vast Caledonian forest. Today, less than 1 percent of that woodland survives.

Check out the trailer below — or for more, visit the official site here.

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Pixar's 'Brave' paints a lush world
2012 animated film will feature a young girl living in the rugged and mysterious Highlands of Scotland.