When Brad Bird joined Pixar, he brought secret weapon Andrews along, tapping the Scottish toon talent to serve as his head of story on “The Incredibles.” After the success of that picture, Pixar brass approached Andrews about making his own directing debut, broadening the circle beyond John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Pete Docter.

“I’ve been in development three times,” admits Andrews, who ultimately proved too valuable assisting other productions, such as “Ratatouille” and “John Carter.”

“We never let him finish five story panels in development before going to get him again,” jokes “Brave” producer Katherine Sarafian, who pulled him in to replace helmer Brenda Chapman 18 months before the film was slated to open.

As part of the Pixar “brain trust” (in which key creatives offer feedback on works in progress), Andrews was already familiar with the project and helped keep the focus on delivering a fairytale princess unlike any audiences had seen before. For the moment, he’s back to developing an original feature for the studio.

“Now there’s a whole new stable of directors who come from the outside,” he says. “We have our own different mentors, and we see things differently. That just spices it all up.”