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Brad Bird Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (4) | Trivia (15) | Personal Quotes (11)

Overview (2)

Date of Birth 24 September 1957Kalispell, Montana, USA
Birth NamePhillip Bradley Bird

Mini Bio (1)

Brad Bird was born on September 24, 1957 in Kalispell, Montana, USA as Phillip Bradley Bird. He is known for his work on Ratatouille (2007), The Simpsons (1989) and The Incredibles (2004). He has been married to Elizabeth Canney since 1988. They have three children.

Spouse (1)

Elizabeth Canney (1988 - present) (3 children)

Trade Mark (4)

Use of the letter/number sequence A113, his classroom number at Cal Arts
Sometimes includes Frank Thomas & Ollie Johnston making an animated cameo in his films.
Most of his films are set in a 1950s or a retro time period
Rarely using big stars, the voice actors in his films are often character actors or unprofessional and unknown voice talents

Trivia (15)

Started training as an animator at 14.
Trained as a Disney animator.
Graduated from Corvallis High School (Corvallis, Oregon), 1975.
One of his sons, Nicholas Bird, did the voice of Squirt in Finding Nemo (2003) and Little Boy on the Tricycle in The Incredibles (2004).
His oldest son is Michael Bird, who provided the voice of Tony Rydinger in The Incredibles (2004).
With The Incredibles (2004), he was the first person to receive a solo writing credit on a feature-length film from Pixar Animation Studios.
2007 - Ranked #23 on EW's The 50 Smartest People in Hollywood.
Believes animation not to be a genre, but instead an art form.
In The Incredibles (2004), he provided the voice for the character Edna Mode on the temporary audio track. Lily Tomlin was approached to voice the character for release, but turned the part down after listening to Brad's scratch track stating that they already had the right voice for the character.
He is close friends with Pixar co-founder, John Lasseter.
His favorite character on The Simpsons (1989) is Krusty The Klown.
His movie Ratatouille (2007) is ranked #82 on the Top 100 Grossing Movies of all Time. It made $206,435,493.
His movie The Incredibles (2004) is ranked #40 on the Top 100 Grossing Movies of all Time. It made $261,437,578.
Has been referred to by some as the modern-day Walt Disney.
Designed the character Sideshow Bob for The Simpsons.

Personal Quotes (11)

When I write things, often at the moment I'm writing, I'm thinking of camera angles; it's not a separate part of the process, it kind of comes out all at the same time. So I have really strong opinions about how things are presented, but at the same time I'm thinking about things that I want to present. It's like when somebody speaks, they assemble words in a certain way, but it's not always that conscious, it just comes out. That's the way film is for me.
Well, I like superheroes, but I'm not one of those guys who knows what issue 437 is of "Whatever." And I think people assume that because The Incredibles is about superheroes, that I know all that stuff. I kind of got it second-hand, from the movies. I'm happy to hear from anybody that does know that stuff, but I'm fairly oblivious to that really large volume of comic book lore that's been generated.
I think there's a tendency [among some animators] to wink at the audience so much that you feel that you're above the world that you're presenting-like the filmmaker doesn't really believe in the world that he's putting on screen. And there's a safety in that, because if you try to make the audience feel something besides comedy, like if you try to make them feel moved, you risk looking really silly if it doesn't work.
I love, love, love the medium of film. But that is the strange dichotomy of film, is that the medium is so unbelievably magical and wonderful, and the business is so--UGH! It's kind of the price you pay. Some friend of mine said you're not getting paid to work in the medium; you'd almost do that for free. But you're getting paid to suffer all the, you know-[Laughs].
There is a contingent of the digital-effects community to whom that is the holy grail - to create photographically real humans. To me that is the dumbest goal that you could possibly have. What's wonderful about the medium of animation isn't recreating reality. It's distilling it.
Really, really little kids should not see this movie. They should wait till they get older. We're getting some reactions from people who were disappointed that their four-year-old was a little freaked out by it. Well, I don't want to compromise the intensity in order to please a four-year-old. [on 'Incredibles, The']
I reject that whole point of view - that animation is a children's medium. The way people talk about it is, well, hey, it's a good thing I have kids, because now I get to see this. Well, hey, no, man! You can just go and see it. There's no other art form that is defined in such a narrow way. It's narrowminded, and I can't wait for it to die.
(About Ed Catmull, John Lasseter and Steve Jobs at Pixar): "I refer to those guys as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Ed, who invented this cool medium and is the designer of the human machine that is Pixar, is the Father. John, its driving creating force, is the Son. And you-know-who is the Holy Ghost."
People think of animation only doing things where people are dancing around and doing a lot of histrionics, but animation is not a genre. And people keep saying, "The animation genre. It's not a genre! A Western is a genre! Animation is an art form, and it can do any genre. You know, it can do a detective film, a cowboy film, a horror film, an R-rated film or a kids' fairy tale. But it doesn't do one thing. And, next time I hear, "What's it like working in the animation genre? I'm going to punch that person! [From the audio commentary on the DVD for The Incredibles (2004)]
I think all movies are an illusion, whether they are live action or animation. And I think the best special effect that people don't pay enough attention to is caring about the characters who are going through the set pieces. If you can be invested in the characters that you are putting in danger, then you can amp up the pressure, and it really means something because people are rooting for them to survive. Characters are the special effect.
[on the nature of Pixar's ideas and how the commercial world views those ideas] If you explain the basics of any one of these ideas, they probably will sound as nutty as a cooking French rat or a silent film starring robots in a post-apocalyptic world," Bird said. "Each one of those films, when we were in preparation on them, the financial community said each one of them stunk and none of them had the ability to be a financial success. And then the film would come out and they'd go, 'Well, they did it that time but the next one sounds like a piece of crap.'

The truth of the matter is Wall Street is only interested in you repeating yourself. If you want to do something that sounds a little odd, the financial community is all about a feeling of predictable success. And the only thing that fits that model is something similar to what you've done before. Everyone was very enthusiastic about Pixar doing 'Toy Story 3' but they weren't excited about the idea of 'Up.' So if I told you about the ideas of various Pixar films, you and I might get excited about them, but the financial community would say 'Oh that sounds crazy.' But that's probably why Pixar films are the way they are, because they're films that the storytellers are excited to be getting on the screen. They're not some sort of focus group. So because Pixar comes from a very pure place, it's why I'm interested in staying involved with them as long as I can.

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