'Brother Bear' Directing Duo Aaron Blaise and Robert Walker and Producer Chuck Williams Set to Make Their Next Film for Disney Feature Animation

Oct 31, 2003, 00:00 ET from Walt Disney Pictures

    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