October 14, 2008

Is Glen Keane "leaving" Rapunzel?

From Animation World Network:

Cartoon Brew and Ain't It Cool News are both reporting that Glen Keane is stepping down from directing Disney's upcoming animated feature Rapunzel.

Aint It Cool posted this memo from Ed Catmull, president of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios:

For nearly two years, Glen Keane and Dean Wellins have been directing partners on Rapunzel. As Glen lessens his directorial responsibilities to attend to some non-life threatening health issues, their involvement on the project will shift. Glen will step back as a Director but stay attached to Rapunzel as an Executive Producer and Directing Animator. At the same time, Dean will move into development to pitch three new ideas for one of our future feature projects and focus on directing one of his CG shorts. We are happy to announce that Nathan Greno and Byron Howard have accepted to partner as directors on Rapunzel as we continue to hone the story in anticipation of our Holiday 2010 release. We want to welcome Nathan and Byron to the project and thank Glen and Dean for their great contributions to date on Rapunzel.



Keane has been involved in Disney productions like Pete's Dragon, The Great Mouse Detective, The Little Mermaid, Beauty And The Beast and Aladdin. He helped write Pocahontas and Tarzan.

According to the memo, Keane's latest health problems are moving him off the director's chair, but a source told Aint It Cool that Keane and Wellins' version of Rapunzel wasn't working. Bryan Howard stepped in on Bolt when Chris Sanders' early work led execs to believe that film was not working.

Calls made by AWN to a Disney spokesperson were not returned as of Friday morning.

Interesting that although all these reports treat the story as if Keane is "leaving" the project, Catmull's memo as quoted by AICN says he is "stepping back" but still in the loop as a producer and supervising animator.
Via TAG.

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