When it was announced that John Lasseter would be leaving Pixar and Walt Disney Studios Animation at the end of the year, Pixar’s Pete Docter and Disney Animation’s Jennifer Lee were immediately rumored as the frontrunners to take his place at the respective companies.
Now it has been confirmed the two will be overseeing operations at Emeryville and Burbank, respectively. More on the story below.
The report comes to us from THR, which states that Docter and Lee “will have creative oversight of all films and associated projects of their respective studios.” Both will report directly to Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn.
Here’s what Horn had to say:
“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.”
Docter is best known for his work on Inside Out, Up, and Monsters Inc. Both Inside Out and Up earned an Academy Award for animation. Lee co-wrote both Wreck-It Ralph and Frozen and is the co-director of the latter and Frozen 2. Not only is Frozen an Academy Award-winning film, it is also one of the highest grossing films in recent history, earning $1.2 billion in worldwide box office revenue. And if that wasn’t enough, there is also a soon-to-be-released Broadway show based on the animated film.
The hiring comes in the wake of Lasseter’s exit due to unspecified reports of missteps that occurred during his career. This includes sexual misconduct and excessive consumption of alcohol. Pixar also had a reputation for having a lack of diversity. While Lasseter took a six-month sabbatical in response to these allegations, he and Disney ultimately decided that it was best for them to part ways. He will continue to have a consulting role, but not have an office at either animation studio.
Pixar’s Incredibles 2 is out in theaters now.