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The title hopefully sums up the question entirely. Brenda Chapman was one of the lead animators on "Lion King" and was to be Pixar's debut female director on "Brave" which she has sole story credits on.

About a year or so into the process, Ms. Chapman was replaced by Mark Andrews and took a (temporary?) leave of absence from Pixar.

Most Googleable articles simply state the transition and do not address what may have been the motivation.

Has any of this information been released or is this issue going to be another of Hollywood's mysteries?

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I would say from the comments on this site… that her direction for the movie was going away from the Pixar story style to much. This is pure speculation though. – Kevin Howell May 30 '12 at 20:23
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Unsurprisingly, the true details are hard to dig up, but this is nothing new. Pixar has a reputation for major shake-ups during production, see this extract from an article on

They have the best track record in the business for a reason. They have a carefully managed story department, and they are ruthless during development. They have had several major shake-ups on films, including "Cars," "Ratatouille," and "Toy Story 2," with directors being replaced and big chunks of story being thrown out.

A line from, which first broke the news and continues to cover it, reads:

“The key to their success is reworking and reworking a project until it becomes something great.”

Looking through comments from Pixar workers who had seen the original animatic for The Bear and the Bow, it appears Chapman's intentions were a little more off the wall (for that read 'daring and interesting') and not a guaranteed sell for Pixar - hence the change of director and storyline (and title).

It must be said, though, that this move raised a lot of eyebrows and led to much furious internet debate, exemplified in an article from which includes the opening paragraph:

Pixar reaped a heap of anger Wednesday as the blogosphere accused Disney’s animation house of sexism -- and worse, being formulaic -- for firing Brenda Chapman, the first female director in its history, from “Brave,” a film she had written and nurtured through the development process.

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