Two industry veterans were tabbed by The Walt Disney Co. Tuesday to take over the Disney and Pixar animation studios, replacing the departing John Lasseter.
Lasseter, who had been on a leave of absence since November amid sexual harassment allegations, announced earlier this month he plans to step down at the end of the year as chief creative officer of both studios. He will remain with Disney in a consulting role.
Disney announced Tuesday the appointment of Jennifer Lee, co-director and writer of “Frozen,” as chief creative officer of Walt Disney Animation Studios. Meanwhile, Pete Docter — writer of films including “Up,” “Inside Out” and “Monsters, Inc.” — was named chief creative officer of Pixar Animation Studios.
“Jennifer Lee and Pete Docter are two of the most gifted filmmakers and storytellers I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with,” said Alan Horn, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios. “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 has been with Disney Animation Studios since 2011, when she co-wrote “Wreck-It Ralph.” In addition to her work on the film “Frozen,” she wrote the Tony-nominated script for “Frozen: The Broadway Musical,” and is now in production on “Frozen 2,” which is due to be released in theaters in November 2019.
Docter was one of Pixar’s first employees, joining the studio in 1990, according to Disney. He worked on many of the studio’s most famed productions, including “Toy Story,” “Brave” and “Monsters University.”