Robin Chandler joins DreamWorks as head of theatrical relations; Jay Rusulo to leave Disney by June 30th; Maya the Bee movie picked up by Studio 100 Films



Welcome to the studio pickup edition of Gene Scallop’s entertainment report. Here’s what’s topping today!


On our last report on Sunday, we highlighted DreamWorks newest animated feature Beekle, based on the award winning novel. The studio has once again acquired a former head of Pixar’s worldwide publicity for animation. Who’s the former relations chief Johnny?



Johnny Trout (via The Hollywood Reporter)- Robin Chandler, former Pixar PR chief, has joined DreamWorks Animation as head of theatrical public relations.

In her new post, she’ll spearhead global publicity efforts for the studio’s feature films.

“Robin’s incredible track record in the animation industry speaks for itself and I am absolutely thrilled to have her leading our theatrical publicity,” said DreamWorks Animation’s head of theatrical marketing Jim Gallagher.  “We have an amazing slate of films on the horizon and I can’t wait to work with Robin and our partners at Fox to share it with fans around the world.”

Chandler worked at Pixar for six years, most recently as the studio’s head of worldwide publicity. She worked on films including WALL-E, Up, Toy Story 3, Cars 2 and Brave. , Previously, she served as head of North American product publicity for Electronic Arts, where she oversaw all aspects of publicity for computer and console games and franchises, including SimCity and The Sims. She’s also worked as a publicist for both the American Broadcasting Company as well as New Line Cinema.


There’s a big surprise back on Monday, Disney CFO Jay Rusulo was planning an early exit which surprised everyone at the studio. Why’s he leaving early this month Danny?


Danny Angelfish (via The Hollywood Reporter)- Jay Rasulo will step down as CFO at Walt Disney on June 30 at which time he’ll become an advisor to CEO Bob Iger and assist with the transition of a yet-to-be named CFO, the company announced Monday.

The news was not unexpected as Rasulo had been working for Disney without a contract since his expired at the end of January.

Rasulo had been seen as a candidate for COO, which would have presumably made him the heir apparent to Iger when his contract runs out in mid-June, 2018. Iger, however, chose former Parks and Resorts chairman Thomas Staggs as COO in February, setting the stage for Rasulo’s departure.

Besides typical CFO duties, Rasulo has recently been responsible for the operation of Disney’s digital property, Maker Studios. Before becoming CFO five years ago, he was chairman of Parks and Resorts, but Iger had Rasulo and Staggs swap jobs back then.

When he headed Parks and Resorts, Rasulo oversaw the launch of Disney’s California Adventure, the opening of Hong Kong Disneyland and the addition of two new ships to the Disney Cruise Line.

Rasulo joined Disney in 1986 as director of strategic planning and development, and in his 29 years with the company he has also led Disney Regional Entertainment and served as CEO of Euro Disney.

“Jay has been a valued colleague and friend, as well as a vital contributor to Disney’s success, particularly in his roles as chief financial officer and chairman of our Parks and Resorts division,” Iger said in a statement. “I look forward to working with him in this new advisory role, where his strategic acumen and savvy insight will continue to benefit the company.”

“It has been a true honor to work at Disney for these many years, and for a great leader in Bob Iger,”  Rasulo said. “And as I look to the horizon for future endeavors, I am privileged to continue my friendship with Bob and remain as an advisor to him and the Disney team.”


During our spring coverage we first highlighted Maya the Bee, an famous 80’s icon planning to may a beeline for theaters next year. Yesterday, we found out who’s getting her along with her friends. Which studio has Maya’s friendly swarm Dan?



Dan Barry (via Animation World)- Munich-based world sales company Studio 100 Film has closed a deal for the U.K. and Scandinavia to the German/Australian 3D animation feature Maya the Bee with London-based Primal Screen. The deal includes all rights for the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland.

Studio 100 Film has sold the animated feature film Maya the Bee in over 170 territories so far, including North America.

“We are very happy to cooperate with Primal Screen,” commented Studio 100 Media CEO Patrick Elmendorff. “This deal gives Maya the chance to charm new fans and reach a wider audience in the English-speaking regions of Europe and in Scandinavia.”

“Maya the Bee is a truly endearing character, having already entertained generations of children and adults,” said Primal Screen CEO Tim Grohne. “We are delighted to be partnering with Patrick and his team to introduce Maya to cinema audiences for the very first time.”

Directed by Alexs Stadermann (Bambi 2) and produced by Studio 100 Media (Germany) and Buzz Studios (Australia) in association with Flying Bark Productions, MAYA THE BEE features the acclaimed voice talent of Coco Jack Gillies (Mad Max: Fury Road), Academy Award nominee Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom, Silver Linings Playbook), Miriam Margolyes (Harry Potter, Babe), Richard Roxburgh (Mission: Impossible II), Noah Taylor (Game of Thrones, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Kodi Smit-McPhee (ParaNorman, Rise of the Planet of the Apes) and Justine Clarke (Home and Away).

Maya is a little bee with a big heart. She dreams of an exciting life of freedom, fun and adventure — the world is simply far too interesting to stay inside a hive! Her funny attempts to fit in get her into trouble with the Queen’s narrow-minded royal advisor, Buzzlina. With her best friend Willy, Maya buzzes out into the meadow on an exhilarating adventure of self-discovery.

Maya the Bee is based on a German children’s novel by Waldemar Bonsels, “The Adventures of Maya the Bee,” which was published in 1912. The book has been translated into many other languages and enjoyed by children all over the world. In addition to the book, Maya the Bee has also appeared in comic book series, several animated series for television and now a major animated feature film.



1,592 fans are hard at work at the Penguins tally as the summer fun quickly approaches.



The Sponge finally makes the cut on this month’s releases on DVD. Let’s check and see which box office hits can give your summer a scorching start:





The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie: Sponge Out of Water
Jupiter Ascending

Project Almanac

The Lazarus Effect

If You Build It


June is finally here at entertainment central as the summer surprises continue. We’ll bring you the biggest summer coverage all the way to August from the animated world to this year’s Comic-Con. See you soon for the next edition of Gene Scallop’s entertainment report.

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