“Moana” and “Raya and the Last Dragon” producer Osnat Shurer has left the Magic Kingdom.
She has joined Baobab Studios, where she will serve as co-chief creative officer alongside company founder and CCO Eric Darnell, a DreamWorks veteran who worked as a director on “Antz” and every “Madagascar” film (including “Penguins of Madagascar”).
Shurer joined Disney more than a decade ago as a VP of development, having come from Pixar where she oversaw short films like the Oscar-nominated “Boundin’” and “Lifted.” She also worked on shorts that appeared on the studio’s home video releases like “Jack Jack Attack,” written and directed by Brad Bird, which appeared on the home video release of “The Incredibles.”
Baobab Studios describes itself as “the leading interactive animation studio” and has produced a number of award-winning VR experiences. At Baobab Shurer joins Maureen Fan, the chief creative officer (she is a veteran of game company Zynga and Pixar); Larry Cutler, chief technical officer (another Pixar alum).
She also joins advisors like Ed Catmull and Alvy Ray Smith, both co-founders of Pixar; animation legend Glen Keane (who animated the Beast of “Beauty and the Beast” and directed “Over the Moon” for Netflix); and Chernin Group chairman and CEO Peter Chernin.
The projects in the pipeline at Baobab include an expansion of its “Momoguro” game series (a Roblox component was announced earlier this year and a TV series is in the works) and several projects that are part of a partnership with Disney+, including “The Witchverse,” which was announced in 2021 and is based on the VR experience/short film from Baobab called “Baba Yaga,” and “The Intercats,” an animated workplace comedy from Pamela Ribbon (who co-wrote “Ralph Breaks the Internet”), announced in 2022 and described as an “animated workplace comedy” like “The Office” but with cats.