Brenda Chapman Leaves Pixar for Lucasfilm

6 August 2012

Brenda ChapmanDuring a lunchtime discussion this afternoon, Brenda Chapman broke the news that as of the end of July, she no longer works at Pixar. She is now working as a consultant for Lucasfilm animation, but wasn't able to share any details about the project with me. She started work at Pixar when Cars was in production, and lent a hand to many of the Pixar films that have come since then, while developing Brave in the meantime.

Brenda was the source for the original story behind Brave and was its first director before passing the baton to Mark Andrews for the last leg of production. She has had a lot of influence on many other iconic animated films, as the director of The Prince of Egypt, and story work on Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King and The Little Mermaid.

For a more detailed peek into her background, read the interview she granted Pixar Portal back in December: Part I: Career and Part II: Brave.

I'm sad to see Brenda and her unique perspective leaving Pixar, but am looking forward to all of her projects to come, regardless of the studio they originate from.

thomas   |   8 Aug 2012 – 3:40pm
This is actually good news. She was only dissed at Pixar, despite her filmography. Pixar has always had an anti-women mentality; the fact that she was thrown off her own project, only to be replaced by a male director who, apparently, didn't improve the storyline, indicates this double-standard. Hopefully, her new place of employment will offer more leeway and give her more opportunities.   |   15 Aug 2012 – 7:51am
Has Pixar really had an anti-woman mentality. I've never worked there, but they've led the industry in some ways in embracing women talent (although Kung Fu Panda 2 was directed by Jennifer Yu - go Dreamworks!). Some of Pixar's top animators and artists are women. And Brenda was one of their top story people. And Darla Anderson has been a producer (a big position) for years. I'm sure there are many reasons someone would leave Pixar : new opportunity, a change of scene. It's hard to know what exactly happened without having been there, but this could have been a sweet parting, with hugs and smiles. I don't know, but maybe....
JJ. A.   |   19 Aug 2012 – 12:20pm
If PIxar is such a great place to work at, then WHY leave? Brenda was dissed by the "boy's club"; she said sio herself in an interview last week. As for the fact that women are often employed as artists and animators--true, but if I made a circular apple pie 12 inches in diameter, the amount of women in the industry (relatively speaking) would only be a three-inch slice of that pie.

I am really beginning to question Pixar's methods.
Jake   |   19 Aug 2012 – 4:49pm
It seems like Ms. Chapman would be a good fit for Laika; I wonder if she'd ever be interested in working there? LucasFilms is great, but her attempted emphasis on magic in Brave would have been well-suited for Laika's mystic and entertainingly alternative production and direction styles.