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Bonnie Arnold and Mireille Soria Become DreamWorks Feature Animation Co-Presidents; Bill Damaschke Out

Major management shake-up this afternoon at the creatively struggling DreamWorks Animation. The studio just announced that veteran producers Bonnie Arnold and Mireille Soria, the respective lead producers of the studio’s How to Train Your Dragon and Madagascar franchises, will oversee creative development and production for DreamWorks Animation’s theatrical releases. They will serve as the new co-presidents of the studio’s feature animation division.

The studio’s chief creative officer, former Pocahontas production assistant Bill Damaschke, will step down from his role.

“Mireille and Bonnie are two of the most accomplished and prolific filmmakers working in feature animation today,” said DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg in a statement. “I am confident in their ability to marshal the extensive creative resources available at our studio and lead DreamWorks’s vast ranks of artists and filmmakers as they produce the highest quality entertainment.”

“Great storytelling is the heart of DreamWorks Animation, and we are honored and excited to help shape the movies that will entertain audiences around the world,” said Arnold and Soria in a joint statement. “DreamWorks has long been our home, and we can’t wait to begin working with all of the studio’s outstanding filmmakers and artists!”

Arnold, in addition to producing the Dragon series, also produced Pixar’s Toy Story, Disney’s Tarzan, and DreamWorks’s Over the Hedge, as well as the 2009 live-action film The Last Station, which received a best picture nomination from the Independent Spirit Awards.

Soria, who has 31 years of film experience including fifteen at DreamWorks, has produced other projects besides the Madagascar series including Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron and the live-action Ever After: A Cinderella Story. She was formerly the vice president of production at Disney, where she oversaw the development and production of The Mighty Ducks, Cool Runnings, and the live-action adaptation of The Jungle Book.

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