DisneyFeature Film

Paul Briggs and Dean Wellins Set For Disney Directing Debuts With Asian-Themed Film With Female Protagonist

Disney veterans Paul Briggs (above right) and Dean Wellins are set to make their feature film directorial debuts at Walt Disney Animation Studios with a fantasy-adventure animated film currently in development.

The film, which according to Deadline, has “an Asian element running through it and a female protagonist,” is being written by Crazy Rich Asians screenwriter Adele Lim.

Osnat Shurer, producer of Moana, is overseeing the project.

No plot details were revealed in the Deadline piece, but it’s reported the film has “thematic similarities” to Moana though it’s not a musical.

Wellins, whose first feature animation credit was the 1994 film The Pagemaster, has animated on movies like Treasure Planet, Osmosis Jones, The Iron Giant, and The Princess and the Frog, and worked as a story artist on Zootopia, Big Hero 6, and Tangled. More obscure credits include serving as head of story on Chris Sanders’ American Dog, which later became the Disney film Bolt, and directing the rarely seen Disney short Tick Tock Tale. Wellins was also a co-director on Disney’s Rapunzel before it got turned into Tangled.

Briggs started as an inbetween artist and effects animator at Disney during the nineties, working on Hercules, Mulan, Lilo & Stitch, and Brother Bear. He worked as a story artist on Bolt, Tangled, and Winnie the Pooh, before serving as head of story on Frozen and Big Hero 6. He also worked as a story artist on Zootopia.

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