There are two things of note in the press release, which I've include in full after the jump. One, obviously, Disney is making another go at having an animated feature directed by a woman and actually featuring female protagonists (plural!) at its center. Obviously one can only hope this story has a happier ending than Brenda Chapman's experiences on Pixar's Brave and one can only hope we'll soon reach the point when hiring a female filmmaker to direct a major animated feature isn't considered major news. Anyway, Ms. Lee recently co-wrote Wreck It Ralph. The other bit, arguably almost burying the lead, comes right at the end.
"With original songs by Tony®-award winner Robert Lopez (“The Book of Mormon,” “Avenue Q”) and Kristen Anderson-Lopez (“In Transit”), “Frozen” journeys into theaters Nov. 27, 2013, in Disney Digital 3D™ in select theaters."
That's right, folks. Disney is apparently crafting another old-school 90s-style musical and just like the Waking Sleeping Beauty era, they are stealing from Broadway to do it. Interesting... Anyway, the press release is below and feel free to share your thoughts on this nugget of news.
WALT DISNEY ANIMATION STUDIOS NAMES
JENNIFER LEE DIRECTOR OF “FROZEN”
Screenwriter/Director Lee Joins Director Chris Buck at the Helm
of WDAS’ 53rd Full-Length Animated Feature
BURBANK, Calif. (November 29, 2012) -- Walt Disney Animation Studios (WDAS) taps Jennifer Lee to join Chris Buck at the helm of its 53rd full-length animated feature “Frozen,” which is slated for the big screen on Nov. 27, 2013. Lee, who has contributed to the film’s screenplay, is one of the screenplay writers of this year’s hit arcade-hopping adventure “Wreck-It Ralph.”
Featuring the voices of Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel, “Frozen” is the coolest comedy-adventure ever to hit the big screen. When a prophecy traps a kingdom in eternal winter, Anna, a fearless optimist, teams up with extreme mountain man Kristoff and his sidekick reindeer Sven on an epic journey to find Anna’s sister Elsa, the Snow Queen, and put an end to her icy spell. Encountering mystical trolls, a funny snowman named Olaf, Everest-like extremes and magic at every turn, Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom from destruction.
“Frozen” producer Peter Del Vecho says the match-up is perfect. “Jenn has a real connection to the film and creates dynamic and relatable characters. Her sense of comedy, adventure and story structure paired with Chris Buck’s vast experience and incredible instincts create an ideal situation for this film.”
Lee's screen adaptation of John Steinbeck’s “The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights” is being produced by Troika Pictures. She has an original screenplay in development with Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way, and her original script “Lucid Dreams” was optioned by Wolfgang Peterson's Radiant Productions. Lee holds an MFA in Film from Columbia University and a BA in English from the University of New Hampshire.
Buck directed (with Kevin Lima) Disney’s 1999 high-swinging feature “Tarzan,” which won an Oscar® and a Golden Globe® for Best Music/Original Song (Phil Collins’ “You’ll Be in My Heart”). He directed (with Ash Brannon) 2007’s Oscar-nominated “Surf’s Up” for Sony Pictures Animation. His credits within animation also include 1989’s “The Little Mermaid,” “The Rescuers Down Under” (1990) and “Pocahontas” (1995).
With original songs by Tony®-award winner Robert Lopez (“The Book of Mormon,” “Avenue Q”) and Kristen Anderson-Lopez (“In Transit”), “Frozen” journeys into theaters Nov. 27, 2013, in Disney Digital 3D™ in select theaters. For more information, like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/