Ever since the Walt Disney Company’s purchase of 21st Century Fox assets, there has been uncertainty about the future of Greenwich, Connecticut-based Blue Sky Studios, producers of the Ice Age and Rio franchises. Some of that uncertainty eased today as Disney made clear that they will try to incorporate Blue Sky into their future animation plans.

Disney has announced that Walt Disney Animation Studios president Andrew Millstein (pictured top, right) is shifting over to become co-president of Blue Sky Studios. Meanwhile, long-time Disney Animation vet Clark Spencer (top, left), who produced Zootopia and the Wreck-It Ralph franchise, will take over as president of Walt Disney Animation Studios.

Millstein will serve alongside current Blue Sky co-president Rob Baird. The news comes just a few weeks after Andrea Miloro stepped down as co-president of Blue Sky. Millstein will oversee day-to-day operations at Blue Sky, while Baird will handle the creative side.

Jim Morris.
Jim Morris.

Millstein, who has been with Disney for 22 years, will report to Pixar Animation Studios president Jim Morris, who is expanding his duties with a supervisory role at Blue Sky. Baird, however, will report to Walt Disney Studio co-chairs Alan Bergman and Alan Horn, the latter of whom is also the studio’s chief creative officer.

In his new role as Disney Animation president, Spencer will also report to Horn. He will work with Jennifer Lee, who remains Disney Animation’s chief creative officer, a promotion she received last year following the departure of John Lasseter.

“We are incredibly proud of the strength and depth of leadership in our animation studios, and Andrew, Clark, and Jim are all exemplars of that,” Horn and Bergman said in a statement. “The remarkable success of Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios over the past decade is due in large part to the respective leadership of Andrew and Jim and their ability to foster creativity, technology, and culture in equal parts, and we are thrilled that they will be lending their experience to the Blue Sky team along with Robert Baird’s creative guidance. Clark has been an invaluable leader and contributor at Disney Animation, combining exceptional creative and business instincts, and we’re so pleased he will be leading this historic studio in a key role alongside Jennifer Lee.”

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