Zootopia Filmmaker Rich Moore Just Inked A Major Deal With Skydance Animation

Rich Moore, who directed "Zootopia," "Wreck-it Ralph," and "Ralph Breaks the Internet," has landed a massive, multi-year deal with Skydance Animation, according to The Wrap

Under this freshly-forged contract, Moore will be creating and producing original animated features under the studio banner. This is great news for those who wish to see more fun, heartwarming animated films from filmmakers like Moore (whose "Wreck-It Ralph" was an animated offering that was so intrinsically special — that film oozes charm and heart).

A possible string of passion projects

Moore left Disney sometime in 2019, and then went on to do a brief stint with Sony Pictures Animations, working on the 2021 animation feature, "Vivo," which was released on Netflix. While it is unclear as to why Moore's tenure at Sony Pictures Animations was so brief, he will hopefully be belting out more heartwarming originals under the Skydance Animation banner.

This move reunites Moore with long-time collaborator John Lasseter, who was the former chief creative officer at Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios. Skydance previously had an exclusive deal with Paramount and is currently in partnership with Apple TV+. The animation studio will also be producing Brad Bird's ("The Incredibles," "Ratatouille") "Ray Gunn," a passion project that has been long in development. Bird has also worked on "The Iron Giant," apart from his acclaimed Pixar projects.

Moore is not the only high-profile hire for Skydance, as they have a host of interesting projects lined up for the near future. Their first animated feature, "Luck," will premiere on August 5, 2022, on Apple TV+, while their next feature, "Spellbound," is being directed by Vicky Jensen ("Shrek," "Shark Tale") and features music by Alan Menken (who composed for animated classics such as "Aladdin" and the 1991 "Beauty and the Beast"). Forthcoming Skydance projects include features by Bird and Moore, which might as well allow them to move up quickly in the animation industry.

Apart from working on animated features, Moore was one of the original directors on "The Simpsons," having helmed classic episodes like "Stark Raving Dad" and "Cape Feare" (the latter features the memorable scene in which Sideshow Bob is hit smack in the face by a rake handle). Moore also won an Emmy for directing "Homer vs. Lisa and the 8th Commandment," which marked the debut of Troy McClure (voiced by Phil Hartman) who was based on the "washed up" Hollywood actor trope. Moore has also worked on episodes of "Futurama," winning an Emmy again for the unforgettable "Roswell That Ends Well" episode.

Here's to more animated features by the immensely talented Moore, which will (hopefully) grace our screens sooner than later.