Walt Disney Animation Studio is ready to start churning out new original animated features and in doing so the studio has appointed four new directors each directing their own feature film set to be released theatrically.
According to Variety, Disney has hired Carlos Lopez Estrada (Blindspotting) and Suzi Yoonessi (Daphne & Velma), along with Disney veterans Josie Trinidad (Ralph Breaks The Internet), and Marc Smith (Zootopia).
The announcement comes as Disney and Walt Disney Animation’s chief creative officer Jennifer Lee works to increase the studio’s commitment to diversity and inclusion moving forward at the house of mouse.
We aim to have Walt Disney Animation Studios serve as the premiere home for filmmakers interested in telling engaging stories within the limitless animation medium,” Lee, who wrote and directed “Frozen” and its forthcoming sequel, said in a statement. “Carlos and Suzi are two incredible, inventive filmmakers who have both received acclaim for their work. Josie and Marc, master, lead story artists, have been instrumental in shaping such films as ‘Zootopia’ and ‘Frozen 2.’ We are so thrilled to have these four talented artists join our 96-year-old studio as directors and help us build the stories of our future — adventures in completely original worlds, stories from around the globe, and the next generation of musicals.
As of now, details are being kept under wraps on the four films being actively worked on but it is safe to say these are films that likely won’t be hitting the big screen until 2022, as Frozen 2 is set to be released this November, Raya and the Last Dragon directed by Paul Briggs on November 25, 2020, and an untitled project from Byron Howard in 2021.