The multiple Oscar nominee, named Co-Chief Creative Officer alongside Chief Creative Officer Eric Darnell, will work on the studio’s ‘Momoguro’ franchise that includes games and a series in development, as well as shows in development with Disney+.
Nine-time Emmy Award-winning independent animation studio, Baobab Studios, today announced Osnat Shurer has joined the studio as Co-Chief Creative Officer alongside Chief Creative Officer Eric Darnell (Madagascar). Shurer brings over 30 years of experience as an animation creative talent. She produced the Oscar-nominated Disney hits Raya and the Last Dragon and Moana, which grossed over $700 million and continues to be one of the most streamed kids’ movies of all-time.
Most recently, Baobab announced their Momoguro multiplatform franchise, which includes a digital collectibles game, an upcoming Roblox game, and a TV series in development. Disney+ previously announced their partnership with Baobab to develop multiple series, including Intercats, an animated cat workplace comedy, based on the fast-tracked Baobab graphic novel series by the same name with First Second Books, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers. The second announced is an animated event series called The Witchverse, an epic fantasy action-adventure universe for Disney+ based on Baba Yaga, Baobab’s three-time Emmy-winning short film and VR experience, starring an all-female ensemble of Kate Winslet, Jennifer Hudson, Daisy Ridley and Glenn Close.
Both Darnell and Shurer have been responsible for wildly successful franchises. Darnell directed DreamWorks’ first-ever movie, Antz, and all four Madagascar films, which led to three TV series and TV specials, eight video games, three theme park attractions, and multiple live-stage shows. The Moana franchise continues to grow with a new sequel series in the works, a Dwayne Johnson produced live action remake, ice-shows, toys, and games.
“We are thrilled to welcome Osnat to Baobab,” said Maureen Fan, CEO and Co-Founder of Baobab Studios. “She has a gift for launching franchises with beloved characters that resonate across ages and cultures. Osnat’s extensive background brings invaluable expertise to our growing story franchises across film, television, games, and books.”
Darnell says, “I’m excited to partner with Osnat to build out our slate and shepherd new projects into production. She has already hit the ground running at Baobab, proving that she has the creativity, experience, leadership skills, and collaborative instincts to get things done."
“I’m honored to join Baobab Studios,” said Shurer. “Throughout my career, I’ve been at the forefront of shaping stories with fresh, nuanced, powerful female protagonists. You can imagine why I was immediately drawn to Baobab and this fantastic group of mavericks and the opportunity to explore the very cutting-edge of technology and games in service of telling great stories.”
Previously, Shurer served as Walt Disney Feature Animation’s VP of Development and as the Executive Producer of the short films group at Pixar. While at Pixar, she produced or executive produced a host of hit shorts, including the Oscar-nominated films Lifted (2006), One Man Band (2005) and Boundin’ (2003).
Shurer will join Baobab’s creative brain trust which includes Eric Darnell and Kane Lee (Chief Content Officer), and advisors and investors such as Ed Catmull (Pixar Co-Founder and former President of Disney Feature Animation) and Oscar-winning filmmaker Glen Keane (Director, Over the Moon and Dear Basketball, legendary Disney animator of The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast), among others.
Source: Baobab Studios
Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.