Late last year, on the heels of the Harvey Weinstein debacle, John Lasseter, head of both Disney Animation and Pixar, was accused of sexual misconduct, and subsequently went on a sabbatical from his duties. More recently, it was announced that Lasseter would officially be leaving Disney Animation and Pixar, leaving a vacant spot at the top of these two animation powerhouses.
For a while, it seemed that the duty would ultimately fall to a brain trust of animation vets, but now, thanks to a report from Variety, it looks like Disney is looking to replace Lasseter with two vets, who will be splitting the duties.
Jennifer Lee, who is best known for her work as the director of Frozen, will be taking on the role of chief creative officer at Walt Disney Animation Studios. Similarly, Pete Docter, who directed Inside Out, will be taking over as chief creative officer of Pixar Animation Studios.
“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,” said Lee. “My hope is to support the incredible talent we have, find new voices, and work together to tell original stories.”
“I started here 28 years ago,” said Docter. “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.”
There’s no denying that Lasseter played a big role in creating Pixar’s brand with their quality feature films. He also helped to bring back Walt Disney Animation after they had around a decade of duds. Here’s hoping that both studios will continue to flourish after his departure.
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