Disney has named two figures to replace former Disney/Pixar executive John Lasseter.
In the wake of Lasseter's announced departure from Disney Animation Studios and Pixar at the end of the year, Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn has named Frozen writer/co-director Jennifer Lee as chief creative officer of Walt Disney Animation Studios and Monsters, Inc. and Up director Pete Docter as 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," Horn said in a statement. "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."
Lee began her tenure at Disney in 2011 as co-writer on Wreck-It Ralph, which opened in 2012 to critical acclaim and earned $471 million worldwide. She later wrote and co-directed 2013's Frozen, which became an unequivocal success for Disney and earned an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. Lee is now an an executive producer of Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 while writing and co-directing Frozen 2.
"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," Lee said in a statement. "My hope is to support the incredible talent we have, find new voices, and work together to tell original stories."
Docter rose through the ranks of Pixar as animator on 1995's Toy Story before eventually directing and co-writing 2001's Monsters, Inc. Since then, Docter has played a creative role in many subsequent Pixar films, going on to direct and co-write 2009's Up and 2015's Inside Out, both of which earned Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature.
"I am excited and humbled to be asked to take on this role," Docter said. "It is not something I take lightly; making films at Pixar has been my chronic obsession since I started here 28 years ago."
Following a six-month sabbatical that began in November, Disney announced last month that Lasseter will leave his roles at Pixar and Disney at the end of the year in the wake of allegations of misconduct.