Brave’s Oscar Nomination

So… it was the most amazing thing in the world to me to be able to wake my daughter last Thursday morning saying, “Wake up! We’re going to the Oscars!” For once, she woke up right away. That will always be a great memory we will both share. (Have to say I was thrilled when I found out she told all of her friends at school how I woke her up that morning).

Then there was the wonderful surprise champagne toast at work and all the congratulations and excitement. The phone calls and emails. It’s truly a mind numbing experience in a really good way… yet at the same time it is bittersweet.

Not being there when I knew they would be toasting the Brave crew at Pixar was kind of sad for me. The memories of how hard everyone worked on the film to try and make it better than anything they’d worked on before… Not being there to raise my glass to them was hard for me.

They created groundbreaking technology that allowed us to do a more organic film – hair… CURLY hair!… fur, grass, moss, layers of clothing, weather, wisps, puddles… on and on and on. They made the film so rich and beautiful – truly beyond anything that had been done before.

And a new kind of story for Pixar – the story and editorial crew worked really incredibly hard for a really long time, anywhere from one to seven years, as we got bumped by other films for scheduling reasons over and over – and they never seemed to be burnt out. Of course we all had our days, but the enthusiasm in the room was always palpable.

The visuals, the sounds, the music, the voices  – all blended beautifully together because of the different kinds of artists that came together to make this film.

Absolutely every tiny detail of that film was scrutinized and worked on with such dedication by every member of the crew. They have more than earned the recognition the Academy has given them with this nomination. It’s because of their incredible work that I was able to have that magical moment of waking my daughter.

Win or not, I thank them all from the bottom of my heart for the beautiful film they created.

  • sianychick

    ahhhhh How exciting!

    I hope if you win you get to go up this time. Whatever happens Brave is a beautiful, funny and amazing piece of work. It may be bittersweet 🙁 but it is still your baby forever!

    Good Luck Brenda, I am literally crossing everything for you, which is awkward and quite frankly painful 😉 xxxxxxxxxx

    • brendachapman

      Awwwww… thank you so much!!! xoxoxo

  • Tiffany Elliott

    Nice tribute, now I really hope you win – I don’t think “The Prince of Egypt” was nominated for anything, which is a travesty. I was saddened when I learned that you were not the lead director, an experience that must have been painful for both you and the Senior Creative Team at Pixar. I have been reluctant to learn more because “Toy Story” had such a huge impact on my life. I saw the film in theaters when I was eleven and it helped give me the confidence necessary to become a storyteller myself (that is a story I will share one of these days). Your post has helped in this regard, thank you very much.

    • brendachapman

      Thank you for your kind words. 🙂
      Prince of Egypt was done before there was a category in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for Feature Animation.
      Good luck with your own stories.

      • What’s almost entirely unbelievable is that the category didn’t exist until 2001. What’s nearly unforgivable is that since (and possibly because of its creation), few animated films get nominated for Best Picture, with the exception of Beauty and the Beast (’91) which was only nominated, not awarded…

        • brendachapman

          They gave us that category because they didn’t want us getting best picture nominations. Beauty and the Beast scared the actors – who make up the majority of the Academy. So giving us a category insures that their faces appear on screen. I’m still very torn about that. I’m glad we get recognized every year… but again, I feel relegated to bastard child of the industry status. Animation can’t possible be “real” filmmaking – it’s just… animation! You know… kids stuff! That burns me.

      • What’s almost entirely unbelievable is that the category didn’t exist until 2001. What’s nearly unforgivable is that since (and possibly because of its creation), few animated films get nominated for Best Picture, with the exception of Beauty and the Beast (’91) which was only nominated, not awarded…

    • brendachapman

      Oh, and Prince of Egypt won an Oscar for Best Song category – Stephen Schwartz – for When You Believe. 🙂

  • Jeff Kays

    Although understandably bittersweet for you, I am so thrilled you and the rest of the Brave team are being recognized for how wonderful the film is! I will be cheering for you come February 24!

    • brendachapman

      Thank you so much!! 🙂

  • mary pat moriarty

    And it was fantastic to hear your name at the Golden Globes… the first person thanked and acknowledged in Mark Andrew’s acceptance speech……congrats!

    • brendachapman

      Thank you!!!

  • Ivan

    Congratulations Brenda.

    • brendachapman

      Thank you. 🙂

  • Kenny Barillas

    Brenda, I somehow get this to heart and I’m so sorry for what you went through!, Good luck for your future projects in animation!.. Oh, and thank you for the beautiful story of “Brave”. You got my support and you can!

    • brendachapman

      Thank you, Kenny – so much!

  • Frank Abney

    Huge congrats Brenda! First thing I mentioned while watching the Golden Globes was “Brenda Chapman better be mentioned!” haha! I’m happy that you get to share this Oscar memory with your daughter, and have this with you for the rest of your life!

    Really inspiring. Thanks!

    • brendachapman

      Aw… that’s sweet. Thank you!

  • What’s strange is you appeared surprised, considering the artistic quality of Brave, I would have thought your daughter would have told her friends about the Oscars long ago.

    If there is some way to vote let us know, Brave is one of my favorite films and I would sure like to see it win many Oscar’s, though personally Ive found that the Oscar’s leave out many great films that not only deserved nomination but also deserved to win, so should you come out with only a few, take into consideration that the Oscars dont trully do justice to the impact of a film to a generation, or define its artistic value.

    Rooting for you all the way.

    • brendachapman

      I guess I just don’t take things like this for granted. Thank you so much for your kind words. Wish you could vote, but the voting is Academy members only. Thank you, again.

  • What’s obvious is that it would get nominated. It’s a Pixar film after all. I’ve watched every film in the animated category and they are all fantastic films. However, Brave truly has got the most heart. Definitely rooting for it. And definitely rooting for you.

    • brendachapman

      Many many thanks, Chris! xo

  • Daniel

    Congratulations!

    Such a wonderful film. It touched my heart.

    I also really loved Prince of Egypt. I loved how dark it was! :X

    Just out of curiosity, have you seen this Japanese trailer for Brave:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=8zzSqWUmlts

    ?

    Was Brave also meant to be this dark at first?

    • brendachapman

      No, not quite that dark… maybe somewhere in-between. Boy, they really moved things around and even took funny scenes and cut them in a way that made it look really dark! I’m impressed by the editing of the trailer, I have to say. 🙂
      Thank you for your kind words about Prince of Egypt. 🙂

      • Daniel

        Hopefully you will one day tell us what was changed from your original vision for the film.

        For instance, I felt like Mor`du originally had a far bigger role to play…

        It’s like there was another, darker, story going on in the background of Merida’s story.

        The more I watch the film the more I keep seeing more connections and what appear to be deliberate similarities built in to the story between Merida and Mor`du and I think now that originally the idea was that both stories were supposed to run in parralel with the Mor`du part being a darker version of Merida`s tale.

        The Mor`du part eventually became an ancient curse that Merida by her actions triggered again by being the first born of her house and following her own path.

        Am I wrong?

        • brendachapman

          I’m glad you’ve made so many connections with the story of Mor’du. Yes, there are deliberate similarities between Merida’s story and Mor’du’s. I’ll just let you keep wondering about how deep it goes. It’s more fun than giving you all the back story and spoiling it for you. 🙂

      • You know, what’s so funny about that Japanese trailer… I assume you’ve watched Princess Mononoke (Mononoke Hime), Brenda? The trailer reminds me heavily of it now, and seems edited to fit the culture. So curious how much the message can be left up to interpretation.

      • You know, what’s so funny about that Japanese trailer… I assume you’ve watched Princess Mononoke (Mononoke Hime), Brenda? The trailer reminds me heavily of it now, and seems edited to fit the culture. So curious how much the message can be left up to interpretation.

  • Aminder Dhaliwal

    congrats!

    • brendachapman

      Thanks!

  • Chris Christiansen

    I believe “Brave” is one of the most human and endearing works of animation that I’ve ever had the privilege to see.
    Both your story and your vision of it are assuredly at the core of its success. Many thanks to you and all who labored on this polished work of art.

    • brendachapman

      Thank you so so much, Chris.

  • First of all, like many others, I wish they had let you stick around and do “Brave” your own way. Being a film student myself, hearing of directors going through what you did hurts me.

    Also, I loved “Prince of Egypt.” I truly believe it is one of the greatest animated films of our time. I feel a sense of awe just thinking about it. Not only is it beautifully animated (the Red Sea sequence, particularly the whale seen through the watery veil… breathtaking), but it’s also full of heart.

    Okay. Now to my main point– I know this might be a strange question, but boy, am I curious!

    Did you see the other nominees? 😀 And if so, what did you think about them?

    • brendachapman

      Thank you for all the kind words! 🙂
      Yes, I saw the other nominees… and what an amazing group of films to be amongst! Honestly – and I don’t mean to sound boring or politically correct – but I liked all of them. Truly. All are very different.
      I’m a huge Tim Burton fan… so that goes w/out saying.
      I LOVED LOVED LOVED ParaNorman! Had the pleasure of meeting the filmmakers at the BAFTAs.
      Hotel T is a real hoot and silly in a great way.
      Wreck-it Ralph was so much fun, too. I’m a big fan of Rich Moore and Jim Reardon, as well. I went to school with them. 🙂
      So whoever wins, it will be cause for celebration.

      • Indeed. This year, as opposed to every other year, all the nominees are very good films, and predicting the winner is tricky.

        All the best with future endeavors. I look forward to your work.

    • brendachapman

      Okay. I goofed! Below I listed Hotel T as one of the nominees. Wrong. It’s The Pirates! Band of Misfits. Sorry! It’s late… I’m tired… and I did see it. Love the British humor – those guys always crack me up. So – include that in the list below of what I thought. 🙂
      My apologies!

  • Such a lovely story, you deserve all the success in the world 🙂

    • brendachapman

      You are very kind… I think you do, too! 🙂

  • Beautiful description – who knew my heart could feel aching and inspiration at the same time!

    • brendachapman

      Aw. Thanks.

  • Hey Brenda, @littleanimation here from Twitter. I just wanted to say congratulations on the Oscar. As far as I’m concerned, it’s all yours!!!!

    • brendachapman

      Thank you so much! I am honored. 🙂 But I do have to share it with the amazing crew. Wish I’d had more time to thank them for their incredible work… a least more than just saying thanks to “the crew”.

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