Darla K. Anderson, the Oscar-winning producer of “Coco” and “Toy Story 3,” has signed a multi-year development deal with Netflix, Variety has learned. At Netflix, Anderson will develop and produce new animated and live-action projects, both on the feature film side and on the series end of the business.
Anderson is one of the most respected names in animation. Just days before she resigned from Pixar last year, she won the 2018 Academy Award for best animated feature film for “Coco.” She had been with the animation giant for 25 years.
“Darla is one of the most successful and accomplished producers in the entire film industry and her creative instincts for championing and shepherding films that transcend borders is truly unmatched,” said Melissa Cobb, vice president of kids & family at Netflix, in a statement. “Together with Darla we will seek to bring more unique and diverse voices and entirely new mediums of storytelling to our global audience on Netflix.”
Inclusion has been a focus of Anderson’s work. Under her creative direction, Pixar exclusively cast Latino and Mexican actors in “Coco,” making it the first-ever Hollywood feature film to have a 100% Latino and Mexican cast for both the English and Spanish-language versions.
The pact comes as Netflix is ramping up its kids and family business in order to compete with Disney’s new streaming service. To that end, Netflix recently greenlit projects from “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2″ director Kris Pearn (“The Willoughbys”), “The Secret of Kells” filmmaker Nora Twomey (“My Father’s Dragon”), and “The Little Mermaid” director Glen Keane (“Over the Moon”). The company also made waves with the announcement that it would back Guillermo del Toro’s stop-motion animated adaptation of “Pinocchio.”
Disney had licensed its content to Netflix, but is winding down those deals as it prepares to launch Disney Plus, a new subscription service that will debut later this year. Cobb was brought over to Netflix to bolster its animation ranks in 2017 after spending more than a decade at DreamWorks Animation.
In addition to the Oscar, Anderson also received the PGA’s producer of the year award in animated theatrical features on “Coco,” “Cars,” and “Toy Story 3.” Her credits also include “A Bug’s Life” and “Monsters, Inc.,” among other titles.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to have spent the entirety of my career working with art to try to change the world, and I can think of no more thrilling place than Netflix to continue down that path as Melissa Cobb and her team are building their next-generation animation studio and ambitious slate of programming from the ground up,” said Anderson in a statement.