The Walt Disney Company named new Chief Creative Officers to both the Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios. Jennifer Lee has been named the Chief Creative Officer for Walt Disney Animation Studios. Pete Docter has been named the Chief Creative Officer of Pixar Animation Studios. In each of their roles, they will be responsible for creative oversight of all films and projects from their individual studios. Each will report directly to Alan Horne, Chairman of The Walt Disney Studios.
“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.”
Jennifer Lee is known for being the director (with Chris Buck) and writer behind the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature film Frozen. She joined Walt Disney Animation Studios in 2011 to co-write Oscar-nominated Wreck-It Ralph. She was also part of the story team for Zootopia and is currently working on Frozen 2. She is currently an executive producer on Ralph Breaks the Internet. Lee is also a part of the Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Story Trust.
“I am deeply grateful to everyone at Walt Disney Animation Studios and The Walt Disney Company for this opportunity,” said 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.”
Pete Docter is a Pixar veteran. He has been both the writer and director for Up and Inside Out. Both of which won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. He also wrote and directed Monsters, Inc. Docter joined Pixar in 1990 and is an original member of the Pixar Brain Trust. In that capacity, he has contributed to many Pixar greats like Toy Story, where he was also the supervising animator. He also served as executive producer for Brave and Monsters University.
“I am excited and humbled to be asked to take on this role,” said 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.”
Docter and Lee split and replace the role of John Lasseter who announced he would be leaving Disney at the end of this year following missteps.
Jim Morris, President, Pixar Animation Studios, and Andrew Millstein, President, Walt Disney Animation Studios, will continue to report to Ed Catmull, President, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, who will continue to report to Horn.