Walt Disney and Pixar get new heads

LOS ANGELES • Walt Disney tapped Frozen film-maker 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, Mr Pete Docter - director of Inside Out (2015), Up (2009) and Monsters Inc (2001) - will become creative head of Pixar Animation Studios.

Ms Lee, 46, and Mr Docter, 49, will have creative oversight of all films and associated projects of their respective studios and report directly to Mr Alan Horn, chairman of Walt Disney Studios.

The move brings two Academy Award winners into key roles following the ouster of Mr 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 film-maker to part ways with the executive.

The move also thrusts a woman into one of the highest-profile studio roles in Hollywood. Ms Lee co-directed Frozen (2013), which remains the highest-grossing animated film of all time.

"Jennifer Lee and Pete Docter are two of the most gifted film-makers and storytellers I've ever had the pleasure to work with," Mr Horn said in a statement on 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 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 last month.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 21, 2018, with the headline 'Walt Disney and Pixar get new heads'. Print Edition | Subscribe