Lauren Faust’s (developer and creative director of My Little Ponies: Friendship is Magic) recently wrote a deviantART journal entitled ‘Brenda Chapman, Brave and women in animation’, in which she expressed her disappointment upon hearing of Brenda Chapman’s departure from the director role of the upcoming Pixar film Brave. The following is TDIT’s posted response:

“Pixar has been noted for having pretty decent ‘diversity hire’. Darla Anderson (female and lesbian) and Peter Sohn (Asian-American) are two examples I can think of.

But the fact remains that they had a wonderful opportunity to make history with their first female director, and it is a shame that it didn’t work out, whether it was creative differences, political rivalry, or covert discrimination.

Pixar’s biggest rival, Dreamworks Animation, has already had several female directors for 6 of its 22 films. They are Vicky Jenson (Shrek, Shark Tale), Kelly Asbury (Spirit, Shrek 2), Lorna Cook (Spirit), Jennifer Yuh Nelson (Kung Fu Panda 2)… oh, and Brenda Chapman (Prince of Egypt).

Granted, Pixar certainly has a more diverse team of directors than one-man studios like Blue Sky (Carlos Saldanha) or Studio Ghibli (Hayao Miyazaki). But its Brain Trust is an oligopoly that needs to let in some fresh talent, or its productions will start to get stale, as we can see from their increasing reliance on sequels now. Not to mention there have been other high-profile Pixarians like Romano and Pinkava who have left the studio on less than amiable terms.

Thanks for the post, Lauren Faust, it was admirable of you to make a comment about this controversial issue.”

Lauren Faust’s dA journal entry
TDIT’s posted response
LA Times’ ‘When the glass ceiling crashed on Brenda Chapman’ article