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Lucasfilm has always stood for something. For many years, it was a beacon of excellence thanks to Indiana Jones and Star Wars. Then, for a while, it was a whipping boy thanks to fan dissatisfaction. These days, after the sale to Disney, it’s a mystery box. A company whose inner workings and project slate are still quite secret. But there’s a list of stuff we do know the company is doing: the Star Wars movies, beginning with Star Wars Episode VII, as well as a new Star Wars animated series and video games. Now we have information on another project.

In a new interview the Oscar-winning co-director of Brave, Brenda Chapman, revealed she’s completed work on an animated feature at Lucasfilm which is now being directed by multiple Oscar-winning sound man and Pixar director Gary Rydstrom. Read More »

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Princess Merida

The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida rolled out the red carpet this weekend as they coronated Merida, the star of Pixar’s Brave, as the 11th official Disney princess. It was a lavish occasion and video of the event is now online.

While this universal acceptance into the Disney’s canon should be reason to celebrate, the character’s creator isn’t happy. Brenda Chapman, Oscar-winning co-director of Brave and the film’s original creator, has slammed Disney’s redesign of the character, saying it enforces stereotypes Merida was created to break. Read her quotes below. Read More »

The news of new Star Wars movies instantly raised question marks around a bunch of seemingly standard Hollywood departures. First was Matthew Vaughn, who suddenly left X-Men: Days of Future Past and soon mentioned as a possible director for Star Wars Episode VII (though he’s more likely working on Secret Service). Now Brenda Chapman, the co-director of Brave who left Pixar to work on a mystery project at LucasFilm, has been brought up as a possible conspirator.

The most compelling evidence comes from her own Twitter feed, where she’s been teasing her followers with questions about the project and offering emoticon-laced non-denials. But there’s more too. Could she direct? It’s unlikely, but it sounds possible that she’s going to be a part of it in one way or another. Check it out below. Read More »

The incredibly interesting career of Brenda Chapman has just taken a brand new turn. Chapman, probably best known for being removed from the Pixar film eventually called Brave, has been working in animation for decades, contributing to the stories of The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast and much more. She directed The Prince of Egypt for DreamWorks and was set to be Pixar’s first female director before she was removed from the project in favor of Mark Andrews. Andrews and Pixar downplayed the change, citing creative differences, but it seemed like Chapman – who got co-directing credit on the film anyway – was on her way out.

That became official this week as she’s now working at LucasFilm, consulting in their animation department on a mystery project. Read more and speculate after the jump. Read More »

Save for a few of the original directors, few people can give you a better snapshot of what’s going on at Pixar than Katherine Sarafian. The production coordinator turned director of marketing and now producer has been with the company since 1994 and their first film, Toy Story. For the past five plus years, she’s been working on Brave, Pixar’s upcoming feature about a wild Scottish princess whose fate is tied to the family kingdom. Sarafian has been with the production from its inception and has intimate knowledge on the controversial directional change, massive story rewrites, cast changes and more.

Recently, I was at Pixar to see the gorgeous first thirty minutes of the film (read about that here) and spoke to Sarafian not only about those things, but the surprising power of being a producer at Pixar, the marketing of the film (including when we might see a new trailer) as well as the company’s feeling facing their first critical disappointment: Cars 2. Check out the interview below. Read More »

Watch Two And A Half Minutes of Pixar’s ‘Brave’

Disney has released a third trailer for Pixar’s 2012 film Brave. The new trailer is actually more of a extended clip from the movie than a traditional trailer — I know it is being promoted as such, but I’m not sure if this will be screened in theaters. Watch it now embedded after the jump. Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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It’s hard to fathom that Brave, Pixar’s next feature film, is still almost a year away. To date, fans have seen the exciting, yet deliberately non-revealing, teaser trailer, a few concept images, and that’s about it. The D23 Expo changed that, though, as attendees got a much better idea of what June 22, 2012 holds. Director Mark Andrews and producer Katherine Sarafian presented footage on Saturday while production designer Steve Pilcher and art director Tia Kratter explained the visuals on Sunday. Combining the two panels, we learned a ton of new information. Is the Pizza Planet truck in the movie? When does the film take place? What visuals changed with the new director? After the jump, read 10 brand new Brave facts. Read More »

First Look: Merida From Pixar’s ‘Brave’

Pixar’s first original fairy tale, Brave, is about a young princess named Merida (Kelly Macdonald) who defies her parents and inadvertently brings turmoil to their Kingdom. She must then do whatever is in her power to make things right. Featuring the voices of Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters, Kevin McKidd, Craig Ferguson and Robbie Coltrane the Marc Andrews/Brenda Chapman-directed film is scheduled for release June 22, 2012 and a trailer should be in front of Cars 2.

We’ve seen some concept art from the film, such as the image above, but now we get out first glimpse of the main character in all her computer animated glory. Check it out after the break. Read More »

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