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):