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UPDATE: 2 CalArts grads win Oscars for ‘Brave’

Posted: February 25, 2013 1:52 p.m.
Updated: February 25, 2013 5:53 p.m.

Presenter Paul Rudd, from left, director Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman, and Melissa McCarthy pose with their award for best animated feature film for "Brave" at the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday, in Los Angeles.

Two California Institute of the Arts graduates have collected Academy Awards for the Best Animated Feature Film “Brave,” a CalArts spokeswoman said Monday.

Brenda Chapman and Mark Andrews each received an Oscar for co-directing “Brave,” the story of a young princess who relies on her bravery and her archery skills to undo a curse on her kingdom.

Some critics praised Disney/Pixar, which released the movie, for investing in a storyline that featured a strong female lead.

In an interview in June 2012, Chapman said the inspiration for the character was her own daughter.

“I wanted an athletic girl. I wanted a wildness about her, so that’s where the (wildly curly red) hair came in, to underscore that free spirit,” Chapman said in an interview published on Women’s Agenda website.

“But mainly I wanted to give girls something to look at and not feel inadequate.”

Chapman, who in 1998 became the first woman to direct an animated feature from a major studio — “The Prince of Egypt” from DreamWorks — has a daughter named Emma Rose Lima.

Andrews has a long list of film credits, including story supervisor for “Ratatouille” (2007), director of “Violet” (2007), co-writer and second-unit director of “The Quest” (2010), and co-writer of “John Carter” (2012). His credits date back to 1994.

He’s been quoted saying he’s not a fan of Disney films, preferring instead animation such as the anime series “Kimba the White Lion” or the TV series “Speed Racer.”

“We couldn’t be prouder of the Academy’s recognition of Mark and Brenda,” CalArts President Steven Lavine said in a statement issued Monday. “Our animation students are taught to fearlessly pursue their independent visions — and it is wonderful that moviegoers throughout the world have experienced Brenda and Mark’s powerfully compelling characters and gorgeous settings.”

CalArts, founded in Valencia in 1961 by Walt Disney and his brother Roy, has graduated animation directors whose films have grossed more than $27 billion at the box office, said CalArts spokeswoman Margaret Crane.

Since the inception of the award in 2001, half of all winners of Best Animated Feature have been CalArts alumni, including Andrew Stanton for “Finding Nemo” and “WALL-E,” Brad Bird for “The Incredibles” and “Ratatouille,” and Pete Doctor for “Up.”





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