Filmmaker and writer Jennifer Lee will replace John Lasseter as Chief Creative Officers of Walt Disney Animation Studios, while animator and director Pete Docter will take over from him at Pixar at the end of the year, reports said. Lasseter went on a leave of absence in November last year after he was accused of sexual misconduct. He permanently stepped down from the post earlier this month but will reportedly stay on as a consultant till the end of the year.
Pixar is a subsidiary of Walt Disney, and both animation studios were run by Lasseter.
Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alarn Horn announced the change of guard on Tuesday. “Jennifer Lee and Pete Docter are two of the most gifted filmmakers and storytellers I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with,” he said in a statement. “Pete...has been an integral part of Pixar almost since the beginning and is a huge part of its industry-leading success. Jenn...has helped infuse Disney Animation with a new and exciting perspective.”
Lee has written Wreck-It Ralph (2013) and A Wrinkle in Time (2018), and co-directed the Academy award-winning Frozen (2013) with Chris Buck. She is currently working on Frozen 2, and is the executive producer of the upcoming Ralph Breaks the Internet.
“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. “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.”
A long-time Pixar employee, Docter has directed Inside Out (2015), Up (2009), and Monsters, Inc (2001), among others. He was also the executive producer on the Oscar-winning Brave (2012) and Monsters University (2013).
“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.”