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Signaling a change of leadership at its animation division, Twentieth Century Fox Film announced Monday that Andrea Miloro and Robert Baird have been named co-presidents of Fox Animation. In their new roles, Miloro and Baird will oversee Fox Animation and have direct oversight of Blue Sky Studios. They will also collaborate closely with the leadership team at Locksmith Animation, the U.K.-based animation house that recently inked a partnership with TCFF.
The announcement was made jointly by TCFF chairman Stacey Snider and vice chairman Emma Watts, to whom Baird and Miloro will report. They succeed Vanessa Morrison, who is moving into a new role as president of Fox Family.
Baird, who will be based at Blue Sky’s headquarters in Connecticut, and Milano, who will split her time between Connecticut and Los Angeles, will also be charged with growing Fox Animation via new partnerships with independent production companies and individual producers, the studio said.
While Fox has fielded the successful Ice Age and Rio animation franchises, recent entries have underperformed. The Peanuts Movie, released in 2015, collected just $246.3 million worldwide. With Fox no longer distributing films for DreamWorks Animation, the pressure is on its own homegrown animated movies to perform. Fox next releases Ferdinand on Dec. 15.
In a joint statement, Snider and Watts commented: “Andrea and Robert are the perfect team to lead Fox Animation into its next phase of growth. From creative chops to business acumen, their collective experiences will be invaluable assets to both our existing animation operations and the new opportunities that exist today in the marketplace. In addition, having them both on the ground at Blue Sky is vital given the importance of that studio to our future in animated film.”
Baird, who wrote the upcoming Ferdinand for Blue Sky, served as a contributing writer on Pixar’s Monsters, Inc. and Cars and co-writer of Monsters University. At Disney Animation Studios, his credits include Chicken Little, Meet the Robinsons and 2015’s Big Hero 6, which he co-wrote.
Miloro most recently served as senior vp production at Fox Animation. Prior to joining Fox, she was vp, head of production at Sony Pictures Animation, where she oversaw the making of Open Season, Surf’s Up, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, Hotel Transylvania and Open Season 2.
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