Miramax has announced that Michael Lachance will lead the company’s newly created Family & Animation division.

Lachance, who will have the title of executive vice president for the new division, will oversee the creative direction of the unit. He reports to Miramax’s COO Bob Osher, who formerly headed Sony Pictures Digital Productions.

Lachance has served as both a studio executive and writer for over 20 years. His most recent title was as senior vice president of creative development at Sony Pictures Animation, where he developed the first two Hotel Transylvania films, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, and the Smurfs franchise.

Prior to working for Sony, Lachance served as a senior development executive at Dreamworks Animation, where he is credited with having conceived the original idea for Kung Fu Panda, an animated franchise that’s spawned two sequels and two television series. He was also a key figure in the development of other noteworthy projects at Dreamworks such as Madagascar, Shark Tale, Monsters vs. Aliens, as well as Shrek 2 and Shrek The Third.

In a statement, Lachance praised Miramax’s history as a company that champions visionary filmmakers and original storytelling. He added that he plans to bring those qualities to the new all-ages family and animation division to make it a home for “directors, writers and artists to create their best work.”

Throughout its history, most of which was marked by disgraced industry figure Harvey Weinstein, Miramax has distributed animated films, including Hayao Miyazaki’s Princes Mononoke and a heavily-edited version of Richard Williams’ The Thief and the Cobbler under the title Arabian Knight.

The company, and its library of 700-plus titles, was acquired in 2016 by BeIn Media Group, a Qatar-owned media conglomerate. Nasser Al-Khelaifi serves as chairman of Miramax and BeIn Media Group. Bill Block is CEO of Miramax, which is headquartered in Los Angeles.

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