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20th toons up Winder as VP

Will 'play a critical role' at Blue Sky

Twentieth Century Fox has hired vet animation exec Catherine Winder as vice president of the film studio’s animation division.

Studio said Winder will oversee physical production for 20th Century Fox Animation and “play a critical role” in the transformation of Fox’s computer animation and effects unit, Blue Sky Studio, into a feature animation studio. She’ll also be involved in creative development and will focus on lower-budget pics.

In June, Fox closed its Phoenix-based traditional animation studio following the disappointing box office of “Titan A.E.,” the second theatrical effort from that 6-year-old unit. But the studio is continuing to make toons through Blue Sky, which has “Ice Age” in production. Studio is also making the Brendan Fraser starrer “Monkeybone,” which mixes live action and animation.

Before joining Fox, Winder was an animation consultant and independent producer working with Fox, Disney and Warner Bros.

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