Following the launch of Disney+ in November, Vanessa Morrison, a veteran animation and family executive, has become the Walt Disney Studios’ president of streaming.
Here are the details of her appointment:
- According to a statement from Disney co-chairmen Alan Horn and Alan Bergman, Morrison “will oversee development and production of our film projects for Disney+, with the ability to leverage great stories and characters from across the rich histories of both Disney and 20th Century [Studios], as well as new content.” She will report to Disney’s president of production Sean Bailey.
- Morrison had previously spent her entire career at Fox, which she joined as an intern. She was president of Fox Animation from 2007 to 2017, in which capacity she had oversight over Blue Sky Studios. She subsequently served as president of Fox Family, working on animated and hybrid films and tv specials.
- Films she has overseen include The Peanuts Movie, The Book of Life, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Rio 2, and several Ice Age films. She is among the highest-profile African-American executives in the Hollywood animation industry.
- No replacement has been announced for the position at Fox Family, whose future is unclear at this point. When Morrison left Fox Animation in 2017, she was replaced by Andrea Miloro and Robert Baird. Miloro stepped down last year, while Baird remained in his post. Andrew Millstein was appointed co-president of Blue Sky shortly thereafter, reporting to Pixar Animation Studios president Jim Morris, who took on a supervisory role at Blue Sky.
- Since Disney’s acquisition was announced in 2017, a cloud of uncertainty has hung over Fox’s animation ventures, including Blue Sky. Disney is already home to two hugely profitable animation studios, Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios, and it is not clear how (or if) they intend to integrate Blue Sky into the Disney fold.