Disney is putting a screenwriter of Wreck-It Ralph on ice. But… that’s apparently a good thing.
Jennifer Lee, who co-wrote the studio’s blockbuster video-game adventure, has been hired to help direct Walt Disney Animation Studios’ upcoming fantasy comedy Frozen, which is already in production and set to open Nov. 27 of next year. It features the voices of Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel as sisters battling in a mystical winter wonderland.
Lee will join Chris Buck, the project’s current director, whose past credits include Disney’s Tarzan and Fox’s penguin comedy Surf’s Up.
It’s fairly common for animated films to have two directors (Buck did those previous two projects with a filmmaking partner), though sometimes it happens when one director is relieved of duties — as with Pixar’s Brave, in which Mark Andrews was brought on to finish the job started by Brenda Chapman.
Frozen producer Peter Del Vecho (The Princess and the Frog) says that’s not the case this time, and that Buck remains an active part of the directing team.
“Jenn has a real connection to the film and creates dynamic and relatable characters,” Del Vecho said in a statement. “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 got involved in Frozen when she did a rewrite of the script, which focuses on two sisters in a kingdom plunged into perpetual winter. One of them, The Snow Queen (Menzel), is the sorceress responsible for the eternal snow day, while the other, Anna (Bell), is on a quest to climb her ice-encrusted mountain and put a stop to the spell.
The story is loosely adapted from 1845′s The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen, whose work led to the creation of another Disney animated classic — The Little Mermaid.
The adventure story will feature songs from Avenue Q and Book of Mormon Tony-winning songwriter Robert Lopez and wife Kristen Anderson-Lopez (In Transit.)
Frozen will be the 53rd feature film from Uncle Walt’s house of mouse.
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