Even a few months ago, it would’ve been hard to imagine a scenario where Sony Pictures Animation (SPA) could steal away one of Disney’s most successful directors, but the studio’s fortunes changed overnight with the release of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which delivered SPA’s first Oscar for best animated feature and received widespread critical acclaim.
It was announced today that Rich Moore, 55, who co-directed Zootopia and the two films in the Wreck-It Ralph franchise, is leaving Disney to join the ranks of SPA. Sony revealed the news this morning that Moore will develop, produce, and direct animated features for them, while also acting in an advisory capacity on current projects, both features and series-based content. (Moore was also part of the creative leadership team at WDAS and would give input on other projects.)
Explaining his reasons for making the move from Burbank to Culver City, Moore said in a statement: “Sony Animation has emerged as a major player among animation studios. Their vision to give filmmakers and artists the freedom to take risks, and to really push the envelope when it comes to visual style and breadth of storytelling is impressive, and I can’t wait to be a part of shaping the studio’s future.”