‘Frozen,’ ‘Inside Out’ Filmmakers Take Leading Roles at Disney
(Bloomberg) -- Walt Disney Co. tapped “Frozen” filmmaker Jennifer Lee to become chief creative officer of its namesake animation studio, helping set a new course for the business after the departure of disgraced visionary John Lasseter.
As part of the reshuffling, Pete Docter -- the director of “Inside Out,” “Up” and “Monsters Inc.” -- will take become creative head of Pixar Animation Studios. Lee, 46, and Docter, 49, will have creative oversight of all films and associated projects of their respective studios and report directly to Alan Horn, chairman of the Walt Disney Studios.
The move brings two Academy Award winners into key roles following the ouster of Lasseter earlier this month. The 61-year-old was the creative force behind Pixar and Disney Animation until allegations of inappropriate workplace conduct led the Burbank, California-based filmmaker to part ways with the executive. He continues to consult on films, but will stop working for the studio at the end of the year.
The move also thrusts a woman into one of the highest-profile studio roles in Hollywood. Lee co-directed “Frozen,” which remains the highest-grossing animated film of all time.
“Jennifer Lee and Pete Docter are two of the most gifted filmmakers and storytellers I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with,” Horn said in a statement Tuesday. “Each of them embodies the unique spirit, culture and values of these renowned animation studios, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to have them to lead us into the future.”
Pixar is fresh from a massive box-office win this weekend with “Incredibles 2.” The film posted the best-ever opening for an animated film, helping ease Disney’s pain from its disappointing “Solo” movie earlier this year.
Jim Morris, president of Pixar Animation Studios, and Andrew Millstein, head of Walt Disney Animation Studios, will continue to report to Ed Catmull, who runs Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios. He, in turn, reports to Horn.
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