In 1937, Walt Disney Animation Studios released its first full-length feature movie, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Including the animated films released by Pixar Animation Studios, there have been a total of 53 feature films. Among those 53 films there have been some classics like The Lion King, Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Peter Pan, Beauty and the Beast – the list is incredible. Yet, with all those terrific titles there has yet to be a female director behind a Disney Animated movie.. until this year….
Jennifer Lee is the first female to direct a full-length Disney animated feature film in Frozen. She’s also the first woman to solely write an entire screenplay for a Disney animated film since Beauty and the Beast was written by Linda Wolverton in 1991. On becoming Disney’s first female director Lee said:
“I was surprised because I was a writer. I think it would probably stand out a lot more if this were 1965,” she says. “So many more women are … becoming animators and becoming storyboard artists. And, that’s usually in animation how someone becomes a director is through those departments. So, coming in as a writer was actually much more unique to me than being a woman.”
The best part of the interview was Lee revealed she knew nothing about animation until about two years ago. Congratulations to Lee – not for being the first female (were beyond that at this point right?) – but for a terrific film in Frozen. I strongly recommend you see it.
Image via Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images