As John Lasseter exits Disney, Jennifer Lee (Frozen) and Pete Docter (Up) become chief creative officers at Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios, respectively.
In their new roles, Oscar winners Lee and Docter will have creative oversight for all films and associated projects of their respective studios. They will work under Alan Horn, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios.
Lee was first hired by Walt Disney Animation Studios in 2011 as co-writer on Wreck-It Ralph. She was also director and writer of the hit feature film Frozen. She’s currently working on Frozen 2 and Ralph Breaks the Internet.
Docter directed and wrote such movies as Up and Inside Out. He joined Pixar in 1990 and was the supervising animator on Toy Story. He also served as an executive producer for Brave, Monsters, Inc. and Monsters University.
“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.”
“I am deeply grateful to everyone at Walt Disney Animation Studios and The Walt Disney Company for this opportunity,” noted 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.”
“I am excited and humbled to be asked to take on this role,” added 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.”