Chapman was the first woman working in the Disney Animation’s story department. “Rather than isolating her, Chapman’s male colleagues treated her hiring as a more important crack in the glass ceiling than even she was inclined to do.” She was hired to direct the movie Brave. The film is set in the Scottish Highlands, and is about a skilled archer named Merida (the main character) defies an age-old custom (an arranged marriage), causing chaos in her kingdom. After consulting a witch for help, Merida accidentally curses her family and is forced to undo the spell herself before it is too late.
Chapman states: “I think by just having my presence in the room, and because we had such a mutual respect for each other, the men were more aware of what might be condescending, or to put it bluntly, ‘sexist’ toward women in their work… We all seemed to work together trying to move the Disney fairy tale into a more contemporary point of view for the heroines—and the audience.”
I felt that having a woman on the storyboard was a wonderful change which other movie producers should also follow through with hiring women as a step towards our new generation. The success of the movie Brave, which was about a tough young lady, should be an encouragement to hire more women in the storyboard department of the movie industry and to create films where the storylines show more women as heroines, rather than damsels in distress.
It has been too long since women have been portrayed as independent in films. The women who are usually main characters in movies show them weak, and in need of a man. If a woman is portrayed as tough, then she usually tends to be exploited and wearing revealing clothing or even nothing at all. Times have changed and so should be the way that women are portrayed. A woman can do anything that a man does, and that fact should be incorporated into a new generation of movies. Disney has taken a great step towards this, however, it still needs a long way to go.