is a screenwriter/director from Kalispell, Montana. His experience lies mostly within the realm of animation, and he's also known as one of the directors to actually bob and weave his way around the concept of the Animation Age Ghetto
, due to most of his works looking aesthetically cartoony, but having a maturity and depth that rivals most live-action pieces. Bird got his start working as an animator on Animalympics
's The Fox and the Hound
and Martin Rosen's The Plague Dogs
, and moved on to work with Steven Spielberg
in his Amazing Stories
anthology series, notably with a short titled "Family Dog". He got his big break after he managed to grab the attention of Tracey Ullman
, and began work alongside Matt Groening
on a crude animated series that premiered on her show, called The Simpsons
Bird's most recent claims to fame include two films that captured his love of the classic comic book stories, The Iron Giant
and The Incredibles
, the latter of which was the beginning of his tenure at Pixar
. His last animated film was the Pixar-produced Ratatouille
. He then moved into live-action by directing the fourth installment of the Mission: Impossible
films, which is his live-action debut. The film has received extremely positive reviews, particularly for its action scenes. Currently is working on Tomorrowland
, a film for Disney inspired by the area of the Disney Theme Parks
Tropes demonstrated by Brad Bird and his works include:
- Berserk Button: Bird has vowed to punch out the next person who calls animation a "genre", as he believes it is a medium that can tell any kind of story.
- Crossdressing Voices: Originally, Edna Mode of The Incredibles was to be played by a woman, though Pixar struggled finding an actress they liked. Eventually Lily Tomlin was asked, but when she heard Bird do his impression of how he wanted the voice to sound like, she suggested he do it instead.
- Deconstructor Fleet: It would appear that Bird loves to take his childhood to pieces and play with the bits.
- Reconstruction: But then he puts them back together better than ever.
- The Incredibles: In the first few minutes, he shows the negative effects of superheroes/villains on society, buries them Watchmen-style, then shows how difficult normal life is for supers like the Silver age. Then he gives them a villain to fight and shows that heroes aren't the problem.
- Fiery Redhead
- The Fifties: Two of his movies take place in the fifties and deal with specific sentiments of the period. The Iron Giant involves the looming fear of the Cold War and also invokes a bit of the classic sci-fi made during then. The Incredibles involves the "everyone should be equal, ordinary, and a nuclear family" value then.
- Hot-Blooded: Making-of videos show him at his most passionate (which you really need to be for filmmaking).
- Objectivism: He was a fan of Ayn Rand in college, and Ratatouille and The Incredibles have been accused of being thematically similar to her novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. However, he claims to have grown out of it.
- Take That: Has this to say about other studios who try to be like Pixar:
Everyone in Hollywood says they wish they could do it like Pixar, but they really donít. Thereís no secret at Pixar, but there is a belief in letting people pursue something with passion and take chances, and most of Hollywood, really, doesnít like that. Itís too scary. Some studio executives will say they love obsessive creators who take risks, but really most of them would rather play it safe. Projects cost a lot of money and people would rather follow patterns they know and make things safe and accessible. Hollywood wants there to be a math formula for making hit films. To make something really great and different and interesting means taking risks and following these ideas in your head.
- What Could Have Been: Brad Bird planned on doing an animated film of Will Eisner's The Spirit. An animated clip was made it was found by Will Einser, he then asked to see the person who animated this sequence. And it was none other than Brad himself. He had a script for an animated feature of The Spirit. This was turned down by Hollywood executives. Although they did like the script they couldn't picture it working out as a cartoon. One can wonder what would have happened if this got made instead of Frank Miller's take on the comic. While an attempt to to save the film is at hand.
- He was also asked to direct Star Wars Episode VII before Lucas asked Abrams. He declined because he was too busy with Tomorrowland.