Comments (2) Brad Lewis, Brave, Brenda Chapman, Cars Land, Lou Romano, News

Brenda Chapman Parts Ways with Pixar!

Despite being pulled from the head directorial spot during the production of Brave in 2010, Prince of Egypt director Brenda Chapman remained at work at Pixar through 2012. As of late last month, however, the mind behind Brave has joined a growing list of Pixar employees, including Doug Sweetland, Lou Romano, and Brad Lewis, who have left the studio.

Pixar Portal claims that Chapman is now working as a consultant for Lucasfilm’s animation department. A creative talent who worked in the story department on classics like Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King, we wish her luck at Lucasfilm and can’t wait to see what she works on next.

Still, the growing amount of talent leaving the studio could be a cause for concern. Disney cited "creative differences" as the reason for Mark Andrews taking the helm of Brave, which, combined with Andrews’ action-oriented directorial style, leads me to believe that executives wanted to broaden the appeal of the film to male audiences. A since-removed piece of art on Lou Romano’s blog depicted Pixar characters in chains beneath a Mickey Mouse caricature. Something could definitely be going on behind the scenes at Pixar following the 2006 acquisition by Disney, but we know little for sure.

New talent continues to be cultivated at Pixar, however. Dan Scanlon, Ronnie Del Carmen, and Peter Sohn, who are working as directors on upcoming Pixar productions, are all first-time feature directors at the studio. Brave and La Luna both prove that Pixar continues to release creative and exciting films, and all of their upcoming projects sound inventive and promising.

Regardless of any controversy at Pixar, Brenda Chapman and her creative contributions to Brave should be celebrated. Clearly one of the most talented women in the animation industry, we hope the best for her at Lucasfilm and anywhere else she goes in the future.

Your thoughts?

2 Responses to Brenda Chapman Parts Ways with Pixar!

  1. Anonymous says:

    Any chance to see Lou Romano’s piece?

  2. Anonymous says:

    sigh… I mean what I am about to write with all respect for Pixar. Things change, people move on, and sometimes a single loss can make insurmountable waves in the fabric of cohesion.

    Pixar is and has been the measure of quality that most everyone in the animation and film industry would like to be associated with. That being said, since Joe Ranft’s untimely death I have felt that the storytelling aspect has weakened in many many ways. The animation techniques and advances are still progressing and ever visually stunning, but the driving narratives on the most recent films has left me a bit worried. The heartbeats are still there, just slower and skipping a beat from time to time.

    I think Lasseter is stretched thin anymore in his job duties, especially since Steve Jobs passed on, and since taking over the animation depts at Disney (I believe that’s correct anyway).

    The more people you have to have approval on, the more investors and marketing opportunities that manifest out of a potential license, the more diluted the end result can become. It’s the reason I tend to like the offbeat animation shorts more than the feature length efforts that they’ve released recently, Brave included.

    When Pixar said they would not do sequels, and then that changed, I thought okay, they must know what they are doing. With the push of more sequels in such a disneyesque way for Cars and Monsters, I wonder if I really even WANT to see an Incredibles sequel.

    But I keep hoping it’s like a lot of things, popularity wanes and rises with time, mistakes are made, and no one can have a perfect record of genius in cinema every time. Pixar is going through growing pains and loss in ways that most large companies will, except the end results are showing up on screen.

    I used to envy Andrew Stanton and Lasseter for the incredible company that they created and the immense creativity and refreshing visions that came out of that studio prior to the acquisition by Disney.

    To believe there is no internal turmoil going on would be foolish. I think Pixar is probably still an amazing place to work and be, but there can always be a newer, younger and more aggressive studio that could just be years out from forming that could steal the spotlight.

    Mario – the Artisan Rogue

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