Pixar Picked Its First Female Director Two Years Ago, So Why Is It News Today?
I'm a little confused by today's piece in The Hollywood Reporter claiming that, by hiring Brenda Chapman to direct the forthcoming Brave, Pixar has handed the reins to a female director for the first time in the studio's history. The news isn't confusing because it's untrue or unwelcome, but because we knew this over two years ago, when Disney first announced the film's existence under then-title The Bear and the Bow.
Ever since then Pixar directors and executives forced to respond to claims that the film has a lack of female protagonists has pointed to Brave, about a tomboyish princess in a "rugged and mythic Scotland" who dreams of being an archer rather than a proper royal. The gender equality argument is even stronger with Chapman on board as director, and even Katherine Sarafian producing-- it's practically ladies night around here. And while you can argue the validity of Pixar's first female director also handling their first "girl" movie, it's simply refreshing to see the best storytellers in the business finally tackle a female heroine-- refreshing and way, way overdue.
So why is THR reporting this today as if it's news? Honestly, I figure they've fallen victim to what happens to us sometimes, mistaking old news as something fresh. If there's actually something new to report here I'll keep an eye out, but otherwise just consider this your latest reminder that Pixar is writing its first heroine, and we can all be excited about that. Brave is set for release June 15, 2012.
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