"Brave" wins Best Animated Feature Oscar

LOS ANGELES Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:03pm EST

Director Mark Andrews and producer Katherine Sarafian of the film ''Brave'' arrive at the 85th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California February 24, 2013 REUTERS/Adrees Latif

Director Mark Andrews and producer Katherine Sarafian of the film ''Brave'' arrive at the 85th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California February 24, 2013

Credit: Reuters/Adrees Latif

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "Brave," the story of a rebellious, red-headed princess, won the Oscar on Sunday for Best Animated Feature.

The fairy tale from Disney's Pixar studio is set in the ancient Scottish highlands and centers around horseback-riding teen Princess Merida, who defies her mother, breaks with tradition and does her own thing.

When a witch grants Merida an ill-fated wish and turns her mother into a bear, the girl must gather all her resources to bring her family back together.

Directed by Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman, "Brave" was a departure for Pixar because it was the studio's first film to feature a strong female as the lead character.

The film also had a scarier feel than many of Pixar's previous movies, which include "Toy Story" and "Cars."

During its 17-year history making films, Pixar has shown a knack for both making hit movies and winning Oscars.

The win for "Brave" gave Pixar its 7th Best Animated Feature Oscar since the category was first introduced at the Academy Awards in 2001.

Eight years in the making, "Brave" involved two research trips to Scotland where the creative team studied Celtic mythology.

Merida was voiced by Scottish actress Kelly Macdonald.

Chapman was the first woman to direct a Pixar feature, but she was replaced by Andrews in 2010 due to creative differences.

(Reporting By Nichola Groom; Editing by Jill Serjeant and Sandra Maler)

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