This week the Walt Disney Company announced Jennifer Lee and Pete Docter as new chief creative officers of Walt Disney Animation and Pixar Animation Studios, respectively. The two will split duties previously held by John Lasseter, who served as chief creative officer of both studios up until allegations of sexual misconduct last fall and his subsequent six-month sabbatical.
Both Lee and Docter have multiple critical successes in their repertoire and have proven themselves as talented storytellers and capable leaders.
Lee joined Disney Animation Studios in 2011, and co-wrote Wreck-It Ralph, co-directed and wrote the $1.27 billion global hit Frozen, worked on the story team for Zootopia, adapted Frozen for the Broadway stage, and wrote the screenplay for Disney’s live-action adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time. She is currently executive producing Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2, in theaters November 21, and co-directing Frozen 2, due out in November 2019.
Docter has worked at Pixar Animation Studios for 28 years, having joined the studio as one of its first employees in 1990. He has directed a number of the studio’s hits including Monsters, Inc., Up, and Inside Out, and contributed to the screenplays of many Pixar feature films, including the original Toy Story. Docter is also an original member of Pixar’s Brain Trust, the esteemed group with creative input on all of Pixar’s productions.
Both Lee and Docter will report directly to Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn. President of Pixar Animation Studios Jim Morris and President of Walt Disney Animation Studios Andrew Millstein will continue to report to President of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios Ed Catmull, who reports to Horn.
In a statement, Horn said: “Jennifer Lee and Pete Docter are two of the most gifted filmmakers and storytellers I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with. 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.”
Via Cartoon Brew and Deadline.