Disney has announced that Pete Docter (Inside Out) and Jennifer Lee (Frozen) have been named Chief Creative Officers of Disney’s animations divisions. Docter will lead Pixar while Lee will be head of Walt Disney Animation. Both will replace John Lasseter after he stepped down earlier this month, after admitting to “missteps”, but will stay with Disney in a consultant role until the end of the year.
On Nov. 21 of last year, Lasseter acknowledged his problematic behavior and said he would take a six-month leave of absence in order “to start taking better care of myself, to recharge and be inspired, and ultimately return with the insight and perspective I need to be the leader you deserve.”
Alan Horn, Chairman of the Walt Disney studios said
“Jennifer Lee and Pete Docter are two of the most gifted filmmakers and storytellers I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with,” said Horn. “Pete, the genius creative force behind Up, Inside Out, and Monsters, Inc., has been an integral part of Pixar almost since the beginning and is a huge part of its industry-leading success. Jenn, in bringing her bold vision to the boundary-breaking Frozen, has helped infuse Disney Animation with a new and exciting perspective. 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.”
Lee released this official statement:
“I am deeply grateful to everyone at Walt Disney Animation Studios and The Walt Disney Company for this opportunity,” said Lee. “Animation is the most collaborative art form in the world, and it is with the partnership of my fellow filmmakers, artists, and innovators that we look ahead to the future. My hope is to support the incredible talent we have, find new voices, and work together to tell original stories. The great films of Disney Animation—the films I loved as a kid and my daughter has grown up loving—are magical, timeless, and full of heart, and it is our goal to create films that carry on and grow this 95-year legacy for future generations.”
Docter had this to say:
“I am excited and humbled to be asked to take on this role,” said Docter. “It is not something I take lightly; making films at Pixar has been my chronic obsession since I started here 28 years ago. I am fortunate to work alongside some of the most talented people on the planet, and together we will keep pushing animation in new directions, using the latest technology to tell stories we hope will surprise and delight audiences around the world.”
Disney announced today that the pair will report directly to head of the Walt Disney Studios Alan Horn while Jim Morris, President, Pixar Animation Studios, and Andrew Millstein, President, Walt Disney Animation Studios, will continue to report to Ed Catmull, President, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios.
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