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Legendary Disney animator Glen Keane to direct first animated feature for Netflix

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Feb 7, 2018, 11:52 AM EST (Updated)

Legendary Disney animator Glen Keane is literally drawing up an exciting new project. The animation veteran, who worked on such landmark films as Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin, will be directing his first feature-length animated film, a musical called Over the Moon, Netflix announced Tuesday. The film, produced by China's Pearl Studio, will be released theatrically in China and on Netflix in the United States. Look for it in 2020.

Over the Moon is about a girl who builds a rocket ship to the moon in the hopes of meeting the legendary Moon Goddess. The script is being written by Audrey Wells, whose credits mostly include romantic comedies and family films like A Dog's Purpose and George of the Jungle.

“I am powerfully drawn to characters who believe the impossible is possible,” said Keane in a statement. “Over the Moon has just such a heroine as its centerpiece." 

The name Glen Keane might not be immediately familiar to you, but his work no doubt is. He was the supervising animator during Disney's second golden age of animation, working on films like The Little Mermaid, Pocahontas, and Tarzan. His first film with Disney was 1977's The Rescuers, and he also had a hand in shaping Pete's Dragon, The Fox and the Hound, Tangled, and The Black Cauldron. Before making a career at Disney, Keane worked on Star Trek: The Animated Series.

Keane left Disney in 2012 to start his own company, Glen Keane Productions, where he directed a short film, Dear Basketball, based on a letter written by Kobe Bryant, announcing his retirement. The short — with voice-over work by Bryant — was nominated for an Academy Award.

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