“Home on the Range” co-writer/director John Sanford sounds off against John Lasseter’s animation studio
Pixar's decision to replace Brenda Chapman as the director of the girl-centric animated adventure "Brave" provided a lightning rod of controversy in the comments section of Cartoon Brew, the website that first reported the news on Monday. Here's some of it.
>> "They f—ed Brenda over. Period. They took a look at her movie and couldn’t fit it into any box they had, and so they took it away from her and gave it to someone else. A movie that SHE concieved, She nurtured, and she worked hard to make a reality. Then, they trumpet it to the heavens that “Pixar has a FEMALE director!!! Huzzah!” … I do know that her movie was unconventional and that it was unpopular with certain members of the “Brain Trust” because of this. I know how things work up there, Guy. You play by their rules. It’s their game. — John Sanford, co-writer/director of Disney's "Home on the Range"
>> Brenda is indeed a class act, and for this old animation veteran the news is heartbreaking." – Animation veteran Floyd Norman, who worked as a story artist on Pixar's "Monsters Inc." and "Toy Story 2"
>> “I don’t think women deserve the spots just because they are women … but at the same time I think that they can bring something unique to a production and encourage younger girls in the field to aim high in a predominately male industry.” — Killskerry
>> Pixar does have a reputation as a boys club that focuses on boy movies starring boy characters for boys … Because Pixar is so good they SHOULD be held to a higher standard.” — Joffe
>> "I can’t help but think that what happened to Brenda is the same thing that happened to Glen Keane’s Rapunzel. Stupid stupid dumb-ass decisions. Go back to Dreamworks, Brenda! Pull a Chris Sanders." — Amelia
>> As Katheryn Bigelow said, it would be nice to mention directors without having to point out whether they were men or women. This isn’t the first time a director has been pulled off a movie, even at Pixar (Jan Pinkava off of Ratatouille), and in most cases the movie turns out better than before (such as Brad Bird’s Ratatouille). And Brenda will surely go on to do great things, just like Chris Sanders did after losing American Dog. Hopefully Brave turns out for best and Brenda goes on to make even better movies. – Jay
>> “Brave” strikes me as a response to the “boys club” accusation against Pixar and a kind of obvious one at that. If you take Disney’s overall animation product, animation oriented towards girls: Bolt, the Tinkerbell series, Princess and the Frog, Tangled (?) and 90 percent of the Disney channel programming it pretty much balances out. — Shawn's Bro
>> I’m a little disappointed by this… I’ll wait til I see the movie to decide just how disappointed. I was so looking forward to a Pixar movie – or really, an animated movie, period – with a strong female perspective. I just want to see a girl go on an adventure that’s not just a platform for a romance. If that can still happen with Brave, I’ll be satisfied, regardless of the director. — Kecky
>> "The hopeful thing, I suppose, is that one needn’t necessarily be a woman to create a strong heroine. Just look at Miyazaki; has anyone in animation produced stronger heroines than Hayao Miyazaki? I’m curious, though; did Pixar make a big deal out of Chapman being their first female director, or did the media? — Gray
>> At Annecy 2009, they were quite proud of the fact that they had a female director, if only to emphasize “we make the movies that we want to see ourselves” motto. They also talked a little about the fact that a female director brings different sensibilities to a production. It was a Q&A though, so no official press release or anything. — jb
>> I can’t help but feel disappointed. I’m not here believing that the switch was unfair, or that I know anything about the context in which that decision was made–I absolutely do not. But gender is not a “non-issue” here, as some have claimed. Pixar films (at least partly) showcase a director’s vision, and the last twelve features, as Amid stated, have been directed by men, and perhaps more than coincidentally, been told about male characters. Can we name one Pixar film that follows (and is mainly about) a female character’s journey–we can’t! — Emily
>> "Director driven my ass~ another example of how lasseter does not trust the talent in his studios! How can john say he wants his studios to be director driven yet if he doesn’t like what the directors do he demotes them? How is he any different from any other exec?" – daniel
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