Paramount Snatches ‘Frozen’ Head of Animation Lino DiSalvo

Disney veteran Lino DiSalvo, the head of animation on Frozen who gained notoriety for comments about animating women, has left Disney to join Paramount Animation as its creative director. He is also slated to direct an upcoming animated feature at the studio.

DiSalvo’s move continues the exodus of high-profile animation talent from Disney. Paperman director John Kahrs jumped to Paramount to direct Shedd, Tangled animation supervisor Clay Kaytis went to Sony where he is co-directing the Angry Birds movie, and animation legend Glen Keane and his daughter, visual development artist Claire Keane, both left to pursue personal projects.

Paramount has yet to release a film under its fledgling Paramount Animation banner. They launched the group after losing the rights to distribute DreamWorks Animation films in 2012. The group’s first film will be The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water direted by Paul Tibbitt (animation) and Mike Mitchell (live-action), releasing in February of 2015. That will be followed in May 2015 by Monster Trucks, a live-action/CGI hybrid directed by Chris Wedge (Ice Age, Epic) in a curious arrangement that doesn’t involve the studio he co-founded, Blue Sky Studios.

DiSalvo, who worked for 16 years at Disney, will report to Adam Goodman, who oversees animation as president of the Paramount Film Group. DiSalvo has been tweeting photos from his new gig at Paramount, including this pic on the Paramount lot with John Kahrs and Teddy Newton (director of Pixar’s Day and Night):

Lino DiSalvo, Teddy Newton and John Kahrs.


  • otterhead

    Is Teddy Newton still at Pixar? Last I heard, he was developing a feature there. Has he jumped ship?

    • Kyle_Maloney

      Yeah, he jumped from what I understand.

      • Mesterius

        But what’s happened to him? I practically haven’t heard anything about him since it was announced that he was developing a feature at Pixar.

      • http://tresportfolio.tumblr.com/ Tres Swygert

        Any news to say that he did leave Pixar? Or just from sources you heard from? If he did leave, that would be a huge loss for Pixar, as they’re continuing to go down in quality…

  • Toonio

    Paramountie back to get the big bugs at animation to drop it latter on no matter what.

    And if Baena, DiSalvo, Newton and Co. burned their bridges on their way out. Anybody else will pick them up on the bounce in a heartbeat.

  • Martin Cohen

    Get me the head of Lino DiSalvo!

  • jonhanson

    Chris Wedge making a movie at a non-Blue Sky studio? That’s just bizarre, and a 3D-live action hybrid? Stranger and stranger.

    I have to say I’m intrigued by the talent Paramount is collecting, I hope it gets put to good use.

  • Mike

    I thought the animation in Frozen, while technically very well done, was really boring and rote compared to the extremely stylized and cartoony work done in Wreck-it Ralph and even Tangled to a lesser extent. Color me not too sad to see DiSalvo go.

    • Lithia

      Maybe because Tangled and Wreck-It Ralph both had higher budgets? Mostly Tangled, anyway. $260,000,000. Second highest budget for ANY film (after Avatar).

      Come on, Wreck-It Ralph’s animation was supposed to be “cartoony” and “stylized.” It showed video game characters from different worlds each with a different style. Can’t really compare that to Frozen’s Scandinavian setting with human characters.

      • Mike

        Tangled depicted human characters very much like those in Frozen, and managed to make its animation more interesting (though, as Ro Ro notes, Lino DiSalvo apparently had a hand in that picture.) Point is, human doesn’t have to equal boring, and I think stylistic choices, rather than anything to do with the budget, were my issue with Frozen. It takes a hell of a lot of money and time to make high-quality CG of the Tangled OR Frozen variety.

  • DangerMaus

    Hope there aren’t any women in the film that he is planning to make. I’ve heard those are pretty hard to animate. ;-)

  • DangerMaus

    I hope Paramount is better at making animated films than they are at managing, restoring and releasing their movies on Blu-ray; otherwise, their animation division will be short lived.

  • http://tresportfolio.tumblr.com/ Tres Swygert

    I really hope Paramount becomes a powerhouse in animation. Not so it could be competition like Pixar, DreamWorks, Disney, Illumination Entertainment, but to provide more avenues for audiences to be acquainted with. The recent talent they assembled have been strong candidates, so I’m looking forward to what they do.

  • DangerMaus

    What was that last line all about? Tried googling it and couldn’t find anything. Just curious.

  • DangerMaus

    Nuts. I didn’t see what you posted before its removal.

  • mick

    because ‘satire’

  • Christian Bermejo

    Interesting how, even though everybody talks about the decadence of Disney, it seems their directors are being recruited out to lead new animation projects.

  • daniel

    FYI Glen Keane had a large part in Tangled.. and the main animation supervisors for tangled were Clay Kaytis and John Kahrs.. please don’t blow up Lino’s contribution unless it’s in relation to those three..

  • http://www.doodlesinanimation.blogspot.com Annie T.

    Now that Paramount’s getting all of these animation powerhouses, maybe that Avatar film that the creators of ATLA and LOK will finally be a reality. Maybe.