LOS ANGELES Feb 24 "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 independent,
horseback-riding teen, Princess Merida, who defies her mother
and breaks with tradition.
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.
"Making these things is a struggle ... It's a huge organic
process and a delicate process along every step of the way," a
kilt-clad Andrews told reporters backstage.
"Hopefully by the end, you have something really special and
in 'Brave's case, I think we managed to pull that off," he said.
Chapman was the first woman to direct a Pixar feature, but
she was replaced by Andrews in 2010 due to creative differences.
When asked backstage whether the Oscar win had made her feel
better about being pulled off the film, Chapman said:
"Absolutely. It says a lot for me."
"Brave" had a scarier feel than many of Pixar's previous
movies, which include "Toy Story" and "Cars."
During its 17-year history making films, Emeryville,
California-based 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
Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond visited Los Angeles in
June for the premiere of the film as part of a four-day trade
mission aimed at luring California companies to Scotland.
Salmond also appeared on CBS' "The Late Late Show" with
Scottish actors Kelly Macdonald and Kevin McKidd, who provided
the film's voices of Merida and Lord MacGuffin, respectively.