BURBANK, Oct. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- The filmmaking trio responsible for guiding Disney's exciting new animated feature, "Brother Bear" -- directors Aaron Blaise and Robert Walker, and producer Chuck Williams -- have signed an exclusive deal to make their next feature for Walt Disney Feature Animation, it was announced today (10/31/03) by Dick Cook, chairman of the Walt Disney Studios, and David Stainton, president of Walt Disney Feature Animation. Under the terms of the arrangement, Williams will produce, and Blaise and Walker will direct an unspecified animated feature for the Studio. All three of the filmmakers have been key contributors to Walt Disney Feature Animation Florida since its first day of operation in 1989. "Brother Bear" marks the directing debut for Blaise and Walker. Commenting on the announcement, Cook said, "Chuck, Aaron and Bob have done a remarkable job with 'Brother Bear' and have created an exceptional and richly rewarding motion picture experience for moviegoers of all ages. With their combined knowledge and experience in animation, they have brought a unique vision and perspective to the art and storytelling process. 'Brother Bear' has a spirit and excitement that reflects the sensibilities of these three talented filmmakers. We are looking forward to working with them on their next film." Stainton added, "All of us at Disney are extremely proud of 'Brother Bear' and the incredible team responsible for making it. It is a great artistic achievement with a story that is emotional, funny and entertaining. Aaron, Bob and Chuck have proven to be a great creative team. They have some great ideas for future projects and we're sure that their efforts will be just as rewarding. It is truly a pleasure to work with them." Chuck Williams made his feature producing debut on "Brother Bear," following a distinguished 14-year career at Walt Disney Feature Animation Florida. He edited the Studio's debut project, "Roller Coaster Rabbit," and did second-unit work on "The Little Mermaid," "Beauty and the Beast," "Aladdin," and "The Lion King." Following "The Lion King," he shifted to Feature Animation's Special Projects unit, working as editor and eventually producer on projects including the "Voyage of the Little Mermaid" attraction, the "Lion King" and "Aladdin" video games, the "Hercules" storybook, the Walt Disney World attraction "Legend of the Lion King," as well as original animation for Disney's California Adventure. In 1998, he took on the role of developing feature projects for Disney's Florida Animation Studio, which led to the development of "Brother Bear." Aaron Blaise joined Walt Disney Feature Animation Florida in 1989 and went on to contribute to a variety of features. He served as supervising animator for the characters of Rajah the tiger on "Aladdin" (1992), Young Nala on "The Lion King" (1994) and for Yao on "Mulan" (1998). Additional credits include character animation assignments on "Beauty and the Beast" (1991) and "Trail Mix-Up" (1993), and assistant animation credits on "The Rescuers Down Under" and "Roller Coaster Rabbit" (both 1990). Robert Walker has been a key player at Walt Disney Feature Animation Florida since it began in 1989. He started there as a journeyman layout artist on the Roger Rabbit short, "Roller Coaster Rabbit," and subsequently moved up to head of layout for the Florida Studio, overseeing scenes for features including "The Rescuers Down Under," "Beauty and the Beast," "Aladdin" and "The Lion King." He went on to supervise the layout department on Florida's first feature effort, "Mulan" (1998) and helped to guide the layout department for the 2002 hit animated feature, "Lilo & Stitch." For further information, please contact Heidi Trotta, Senior Vice President, Publicity of The Walt Disney Studios, +1-818-560-7280.
SOURCE Walt Disney Pictures