Brenda Chapman (1962 – )

Writer and director Brenda Chapman paved the way for many women in animation. Photo by Taylor Jewell/Invision/AP found here.


So maybe you’ve never heard of Brenda Chapman; you’ve almost certainly seen her work. This Illinois native has made major strides for women in animation. She was the first woman ever to direct an animated feature for a major studio. She has also been a writer for some of the most beloved animated films of the last three decades. She’s written for animated films such as Beauty and the Beast (1991), The Lion King (1994), and The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996). Her 2012 film Brave won her an Academy Award, despite the controversy surrounding apparent creative differences between her and then-Pixar head, John Lasseter. Following her departure from Pixar, Chapman made the move to live-action, and her film Come Away premiered at Sundance in 2020. Since then, she’s taken on other, more personal projects, including a novel and a possible return to animation.


Brenda Chapman’s career in animation is legendary. Listed below are just a few of the projects she’s been a part of and the awards she’s won.


  • Beauty and the Beast (1991)
  • The Lion King (1994)
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
  • The Prince of Egypt (1998)
  • Brave (2012)


  • Oscar for Best Animated Feature (2013)
  • BAFTA Film Award for Best Animated Film (2013)
  • Annie Award for Best Individual Achievement for Story Contribution in the Field of Animation (1994)

For more information about Brenda Chapman’s life and career, visit her IMDb page here.

Click here for an article about Chapman from IndieWire.

Or click here for an article from The Hollywood Reporter.

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