Jennifer Lee is the Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney Animation Studios (WDAS) and is the writer/director of “Frozen 2” (2019) and “Frozen” (2013) the top two highest-grossing animated features ever released.
As Chief Creative Officer, Lee has creative oversight of all films, series, shorts and associated projects from Walt Disney Animation Studios. Lee is executive producer for the Academy Award®-winning, hit feature film “Encanto,” the critically-acclaimed “Raya and the Last Dragon,” and the upcoming “Strange World” and 2023 Fall theatrical release “Wish” (for which she is also co-writer”). She is also executive producer of the Disney+ projects “Baymax,” “Zootopia+,” and the upcoming series “Iwáju,” among others.
Directing the “Frozen” features with Chris Buck, Lee became the highest-grossing female director of a feature with more than $1.45 billion and $1.27 billion in global box office for “Frozen 2” and “Frozen,” respectively. “Frozen 2” received the Humanitas Prize for Feature Film, Family and the Kids’ Choice Award for Animated film, two Annie Awards and a Visual Effects Society Award. “Frozen” received multiple honors, including two Academy Awards®, the Golden Globe®, BAFTA® Award, PGA Award, five Annie Awards and two GRAMMY® Awards. She can be seen in her CCO role and as writer/director of “Frozen 2” in the critically-acclaimed 6-episode series, “Into the Unknown: Making Frozen 2” on Disney+.
Lee’s career with Walt Disney Animation Studios began March 2011, when she became the co-writer of 2012’s Oscar®-nominated, arcade-hopping adventure “Wreck-It Ralph.” For their screenplay, she and Phil Johnston received an Annie Award. She then penned the screenplay for “Frozen” and went on to direct the film (with Buck). In 2014, for her work on “Frozen,” Lee was given Women In Film’s Dorothy Arzner Directors Award at the Crystal + Lucy Awards. That same year, she gave a memorable commencement speech at her undergraduate alma mater, University of New Hampshire, and was awarded an honorary doctorate degree.
In 2016, Lee was one of the writers of the story for the Academy Award-winning feature, “Zootopia.”
Lee was one of the executive producers of 2018’s Oscar-nominated feature “Ralph Breaks the Internet.” She also wrote the book for “Frozen: the Broadway Musical,” for which she received a Tony® Award nomination in 2018, as well as adapted the screenplay for the live action feature, “A Wrinkle In Time” that same year.
In 2022, Lee received the prestigious Honorary Cristal Award from Annecy International Animation Film Festival.
Before joining Walt Disney Animation Studios, Lee built a career in book publishing before she pursued screenwriting, entering Columbia University’s graduate film program in 2001. There she received the William Goldman Award for excellence in screenwriting, and her first feature-length script “Hinged on Stars” won the Columbia University Film Festival. She graduated in 2005 with an MFA in film.
Lee lives in Los Angeles, California, with her family.