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Brave creator urges Scots to back Yes vote

The creator of Brave, the Disney Pixar animation set in Scotland, has backed independence - and said a sequel to the popular film is inevitable.

TARGET MARKET: The woman behind Brave's heroine Merida says a sequel is inevitable.
TARGET MARKET: The woman behind Brave's heroine Merida says a sequel is inevitable.

Brenda Chapman, who won an Oscar for writing and co-directing the film about a red-haired Scottish princess called Merida, believes a second movie is on the cards.

US-based Chapman, who has often visited Scotland, also urged voters in the independence referendum to vote Yes.

Brave was given a large marketing boost from VisitScotland and received its European premiere at Edinburgh International Film Festival, but the movie itself is an apolitical, and set in an imaginary Scottish medieval setting.

On the prospect of a sequel, Ms Chapman said: "I don't know, as I don't work for Pixar any longer, but knowing that they have become a sequel machine, I wouldn't doubt it."

She added: "It worries me, since Merida's my baby."

On the referendum poll, she added: "Without really knowing the economic effect it may have, I would say Yes. Go Scotland."

Ms Chapman, who is originally from Illinois but is based in California, last visited Scotland in 2012 with her daughter Emma - a partial inspiration for Merida -who is keen on a return visit.

Chapman is a writer, animation artist and director, and in 1998 was the first woman to direct a major studio animation film, Dreamworks' The Prince of Egypt.

Brave, which she co-directed with Mark Andrews, won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

Chapman was originally the sole director, but was joined in 2010 by Andrews amid rumours of creative disagreements.

Last year she spoke out when Disney released a new image of Merida that was markedly different from the original. She described the makeover as ­"atrocious" and blatantly sexist.

She added: "Merida was created to give young girls a better, stronger role model, a more attainable role model, something of substance, not just a pretty face that waits around for romance."

Chapman added that she had given Disney's CEO, Bob Iger, a "piece of [her] mind."

Brave features the voices of a host of Scottish actors including Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Kevin McKidd and Robbie Coltrane.

Earlier this year, Andrews said there would only be a sequel to Brave if the script was right. He said: "Pixar only does one if we find the right story."

VisitScotland made the film the basis of a £7 million campaign in 2012 with hopes the "Brave effect" would boost the Scottish economy by £140m.

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