Brenda Chapman (born November 1, 1962) is an American writer, storyboard artist, and director. In 1998, she became the first woman to direct an animated feature from a major studio, DreamWorks Animation's The Prince of Egypt. She co-directed the Disney/Pixar film Brave, becoming the first woman to win the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.
|Alma mater||California Institute of the Arts|
|Occupation||Director, screenwriter, storyboard artist|
|Employer||Walt Disney Animation Studios (1988–1994) |
DreamWorks Animation (1994–2003; 2013)
Pixar Animation Studios (2003–2012)
|Beauty and the Beast|
The Lion King
The Little Mermaid
The Prince of Egypt
|Children||Emma Rose Lima|
Life and careerEdit
Chapman was born in Beason, Illinois as the youngest of five. She went to Lincoln College in Lincoln, Illinois, receiving her Associate of Arts degree. She then moved to California and studied animation at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). During her summer breaks, she began her professional career working in syndicated television animation. After graduating with a BFA in character animation, she was a story trainee on the Disney animated film The Little Mermaid. She was one of several key story artists on Disney's Beauty and the Beast, where she worked closely with future Disney director Roger Allers to define many of the key sequences and motifs used in the film. She later served as head of story, the first woman to do so in an animated feature film, for Disney's animated classic The Lion King.
Chapman also worked in story and development for other Disney animated films such as The Rescuers Down Under, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Fantasia 2000. She joined DreamWorks Animation at its inception in the fall of 1994.
Chapman was one of a team of three directors who worked on 1998's The Prince of Egypt, along with Steve Hickner and Simon Wells. She became the first woman to land a directing role in an animated feature by a major studio; three others had helmed independent efforts before her (Lotte Reiniger of The Adventures of Prince Achmed, Joy Batchelor of Animal Farm, and Arna Selznick of The Care Bears Movie).
Chapman moved to Pixar in 2003 after being invited by her old colleague Joe Ranft, where she had a brief stint on Cars before beginning development on and directing Brave. Chapman conceived the project and was announced as the director of the film, making her Pixar's first female director. In October 2010, however, she was replaced by Mark Andrews following creative disagreements between her and John Lasseter. There were rumors that she subsequently left Pixar, but she remained on staff until shortly after the release of Brave, and started work as a consultant at Lucasfilm at the end of July 2012, where she helped solve story problems of Strange Magic. When asked whether she will return to Pixar, Chapman responded: "That door is closed. I made the right decision to leave and firmly closed that door. I have no desire to go back there. The atmosphere and the leadership doesn't fit well with me."
In 2013, she returned to her old employer, DreamWorks Animation, where she helped in developing Rumblewick that had a strong female protagonist and was described as "funny with magic and heart." Chapman then left DreamWorks shortly afterwards though. As of 2016, she is developing projects for Chapman Lima Productions, with her husband Kevin Lima.
In May 2016, it was reported that Chapman would make her live-action directorial debut with Come Away, a fantasy drama that serves as a prequel to Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan. In May 2018, it was reported that Angelina Jolie and David Oyelowo were cast to play the parents of Alice and Peter, with Jolie and Oyelowo also serving as producers. Anna Chancellor and Clarke Peters joined in August, with filming in London starting that same month.
Chapman is married to director Kevin Lima (A Goofy Movie, Tarzan, Enchanted), whom she met at California Institute of the Arts. They have a daughter, Emma Rose Lima, who was the inspiration for Mérida, Brave's young princess. They reside in Tamalpais Valley, California. Chapman claims Scottish ancestry. In 2014, Chapman urged Scots to back independence in the September referendum.
|1988||Who Framed Roger Rabbit||in between artist: additional animation|
|1989||The Little Mermaid||story artist|
|1990||The Rescuers Down Under||story artist|
|1991||Beauty and the Beast||story|
|1994||The Lion King||head of story|
|1996||The Hunchback of Notre Dame||story|
|1998||The Prince of Egypt||director|
with Steve Hickner and Simon Wells
singing voice of Miriam
|2000||The Road to El Dorado||additional story artist|
|Chicken Run||additional story artist|
|2003||Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas||special thanks|
|2008||WALL-E||senior creative team|
senior creative team
|2010||Toy Story 3||senior creative team|
|2011||Cars 2||senior creative team|
with Mark Andrews
senior creative team
|2015||Strange Magic||consultant, voice of Imp|
|1984||Heathcliff||lip sync checker|
|1985-1986||Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n' Wrestling||character designer|
|1986||Dennis the Menace||lip sync checker|
|1986-1987||The Real Ghostbusters||animator|
lip sync checker
|1997||Cartoon Sushi||special thanks|
- Chapman, Brenda [@brenda_chapman] (November 1, 2013). "This is amazing!RT @amightygirl: Remembering: Soviet "Night Witch" pilots flew cropduster planes vs. Nazi invaders" (Tweet). Archived from the original on November 24, 2013. Retrieved April 25, 2019 – via Twitter.
- Chapman, Brenda [@brenda_chapman] (November 1, 2012). "Thanks for the kind birthday wishes!" (Tweet). Archived from the original on November 24, 2013. Retrieved April 25, 2019 – via Twitter.
- Mallory, Michael. "Brenda Chapman and the See-Through Ceiling". animationmagazine.net. Retrieved October 23, 2017.
- Sperling, Nicole (May 25, 2011). "When the glass ceiling crashed on Brenda Chapman". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 11, 2013.
- Mallory, Michael (March 19, 2000). "Move Over, Old Men; Disney's fabled favorite artists weren't alone in the male-ruled animation world. Now women are in key jobs, and they aim to stay". Los Angeles Times. p. CALENDAR 8. Retrieved May 14, 2010.
- Laura (October 20, 2011). "Brenda Chapman". Animation Insider. Retrieved November 24, 2013.
- Poluan, Illona (November 30, 2012). "Interview with Brenda Chapman: storyteller, animator and director". 99 Designs. Retrieved November 23, 2013.
- Vorel, Jim (May 9, 2013). "Lincoln grad proud of her 'Brave' Oscar". Herald & Review. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
- Beck, Jerry (2005). The Animated Movie Guide. Chicago Reader Press. p. 48. ISBN 1-55652-591-5.
- Radulovic, Petrana (December 17, 2018). "Prince of Egypt director Brenda Chapman: 'We wanted to do something that reached more adults'". Polygon. Retrieved December 28, 2018.
- Powers, Lindsay (October 14, 2010). "Pixar announces first female director". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 29, 2011.
- Sperling, Nicole (May 25, 2011). "When the glass ceiling crashed on Brenda Chapman". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 19, 2011.
- Griffin, Andy. "Interview Part II: Brave". Pixar Portal. Retrieved December 21, 2011.
- Griffin, Andy. "Brenda Chapman Leaves Pixar for Lucasfilm". Pixar Portal. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
- Schavemaker, Peter (June 11, 2013). "An Interview From Abroad with Brenda Chapman". Animation Magazine. Retrieved November 23, 2013.
- McIver, Brian (December 9, 2012). "Director behind Brave reveals her agony at getting kicked off film". Daily Record. Retrieved December 10, 2012.
- Brenda Chapman (September 26, 2016). "Life After Pixar: An Interview with Brenda Chapman" (Interview). Interviewed by Ian Failes. Cartoon Brew. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
- "Story and Technology". Siggraph. June 19, 2015. Archived from the original on October 16, 2015. Retrieved July 21, 2015.
- Hipes, Patrick (May 11, 2018). "'Brave' Director Brenda Chapman To Make Live-Action Debut With 'Come Away'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
- Fleming, Jr., Mike (May 30, 2018). "Angelina Jolie & David Oyelowo To Star In Fantasy 'Come Away'; 'Brave' Helmer Brenda Chapman's Live-Action Debut". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
- Fleming, Jr., Mike (May 30, 2018). "Angelina Jolie & David Oyelowo To Star In Fantasy 'Come Away'; 'Brave' Helmer Brenda Chapman's Live-Acton Debut". Deadline Hollywood.
- Hipes, Patrick (August 10, 2018). "'Come Away' Fantasy Pic Starring Angelina Jolie And David Oyelowo Adds Cast, Begins Shoot". Deadline Hollywood.
- N'Duka, Amanda (February 5, 2020). "'Come Away' Director Brenda Chapman To Direct 'Ghost Squad' Adaptation Based On Upcoming Scholastic Book". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 10, 2020.
- Moody, Annemarie (April 9, 2008). "Disney Taps Deep Into DNA In Unveiling Animation Slate". Animation World Network. Retrieved November 23, 2013.
- Welte, Jim (March 12, 2013). "Tam Valley's Brenda Chapman Basks in Post-Oscar Glory". Mill Valley Patch. Retrieved November 23, 2013.
- Miller, Phil (April 17, 2014). "Brave creator urges Scots to back Yes". Herald Scotland. Retrieved April 17, 2014.
- "Surprise! George Lucas Wrote A Disney Animated Movie Called 'Strange Magic' & It Comes Out January 2015". Indiewire. November 11, 2014. Archived from the original on January 13, 2015. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
- Harris, Jeffrey (January 23, 2015). "Strange Magic Review". 411MANIA. Retrieved January 25, 2014.