This may not have been the most competitive year for the award, but “Brave” was never the automatic choice. The film’s competition — “Frankenweenie,” “Paranorman,” “The Pirates! Band of Misfits” and “Wreck-It Ralph” — were all solid choices, and no animated feature was an obvious pick in 2012. Still, it’s hard to argue with yet another ode to family and humanity from Pixar.
Co-directors and writers Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman, both rather wonderfully dressed in Scottish clothing, accepted the award. Their acceptance speech was not terribly memorable, except for a notable moment in which their Andrews’ daughter Maeve was mentioned. It seems that the teenage girl (sitting in the audience) was an inspiration in creating Merida, the rebellious girl hero of “Brave.”
The story of “Brave” focuses on Merida’s initial rejection her mother’s plans to make this princess into a lady. However, through a series of misadventures and some truly terrifying transformations, the girl realizes that growing up also means accepting that she has something to learn, even when it’s unpleasant.
With this award, the Best Animated Feature has gone to either Disney or Pixar (or both, after the companies combined forces) 7 out of the 12 times it has been won. Previous winners include “Toy Story 3,” “Up,” “The Incredibles” and “Finding Nemo.”