The PIXAR feature film, Brave (2012), features two songs Mandel wrote for the movie: "Into the Open Air", and "Touch the Sky" -- the latter, with lyrics co-written with Director Mark Andrews. They are both sung by Scottish musician Julie Fowlis, and feature guitar work and arrangements by Mandel. "Touch the Sky" has struck a chord with global audiences, with Millions of views on YouTube and more than 50 fan cover versions; it's even featured daily at Disneyland's "World of Color". The more contemplative "Into the Open Air" featured in the film during a touching scene between mother and daughter, and in a TV spot celebrating Mother's Day. Brave has been embraced globally, and has grossed over $500 Million worldwide.
recording guitar for "BRAVE"
As composer and musical director for the NPR/PBS radio and TV show Snap Judgment LIVE, Mandel's accompanied storytellers with a live band at sold-out venues in Oakland, San Francisco, Washington DC, Austin, Ann Arbor, and, most recently, at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles. One of the performances, a compelling story by 15-year old Noah St. John, went viral, racking up over 1,000,000 views.
Mandel recently composed his first musical: Norman Rockwell's America (songs by Mandel, book by Lynne Kaufmann). The musical will premiere this summer at Theatreworks as part of their New Works Festival. Our director is Theatreworks' founder Robert Kelley. Theatreworks has debuted many new musicals and plays, including Memphis, which went on to win the Tony for Best New Musical.
He also composed the orchestral score for the PIXAR short film "Your Friend the Rat" -- directed by Academy Award Nominee Jim Capobianco (Best Original Screenplay, Ratatouille) -- which won the Annie Award in 2007 for Best Animated Short Film, and is featured on the Pixar Shorts Volume 2 Blu-Ray, available in November 2012.
Mandel provided the score and songs for Tracy, Dan Scanlon's debut feature film (Director, Monsters University). Other film scores include Violet (dir. Mark Andrews), Trifles (dir. Pam Walker), and Mr. Incredible and Pals (dir. Roger Gould) from the Incredibles DVD.
Mandel started writing songs at the age of 7, and performing them in bands when he was 12 years old. Since then, he has released four critically-acclaimed albums of his songs, one with The Echo Falls and three with The Fingers.
Mandel has worked at Pixar for the past decade. As a manager on such films as Up, Toy Story 3, and Cars 2, Mandel is a filmmaker well versed in collaboration.