'Wreck-It Ralph' Director Rich Moore Leaves Disney for Sony Pictures Animation

Rich Moore-Getty-H 2019
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The Moore, the merrier, says SPA.

Rich Moore, the director of Disney hits Wreck-It Ralph and Zootopia, has joined Sony Pictures Animation.

Moore will be developing, producing and helming original animated features for SPA, which made the announcement Monday, and will “also be be available to act in an advisory capacity with ongoing feature film and series-based projects.”

Moore is a big get for SPA, which is riding high from the acclaim and Oscar win for its Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse feature. That movie showed the studio was willing, at least in some instances, to back unique creative visions, as well as certain producers and directors.

"Rich is a world-class storyteller and he brings with him a wealth of experience and a unique sensibility for story, comedy and heart,” SPA president Kristine Belson said in a statement. “We are so excited for him to join our team of filmmakers at Sony Pictures Animation as we continue to develop a slate of animated features that are big, bold and will take audiences by surprise."

Moore has spent the last 10 years at Disney, having been invited into the fold by John Lasseter, then head of Disney Animation. Moore directed 2012’s Wreck-It Ralph, which proved to be a surprise hit, grossing $471 million and nabbing an Oscar nomination. He then directed Zootopia along with Byron Howard and Jared Bush, a movie that grossed an astounding billion dollars and swept up numerous awards, including an Oscar. Moore also co-directed Ralph Breaks the Internet.

"Ten years is a long time — but when you’re working on incredible films with people you love as I have these last ten years, that time flies by," said Moore in a statement. "I will always cherish my days at the Walt Disney Animation Studios and I leave with the faith that the studio is in good hands. I remain a lifelong Disney Animation fan and look forward to the films they’ll create in the future."

Before his work at Disney, Moore was known for his work with Matt Groening and The Simpsons.  He was one of the first three original directors on the long-running show and was also involved in the development and production of Futurama.