Disney has announced that they have entered into a wide-ranging, multiyear overall deal with Bruce W. Smith and Ralph Farquhar that calls for them to produce animated and live-action series and movies for Disney Branded Television. They will work closely with Meredith Roberts, senior vice president/general manager, Television Animation, Disney Channels, and Ayo Davis, executive vice president, Creative Development and Strategy, Disney Branded Television, to bring their inspired storytelling to Disney audiences. The agreement provides separate funding for Farquhar and Smith to find and develop emerging talent as well as leverage their combined experience to bring unique projects and voices to Disney.
The influential producers’ track record includes the groundbreaking animated series “The Proud Family,” which, 18 years after its Disney Channel premiere, is still beloved for its characters, stories, multilayered humor and messages about inclusion and cultural diversity in a smart, modern way.
All episodes are currently available on Disney+, home to the upcoming revival series “The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder.”
Gary Marsh, president and chief creative officer, Disney Branded Television, said, “With virtually every studio and platform reaching out to them, it speaks volumes that talented storytellers Ralph and Bruce have chosen Disney as the home for their boundless creativity and inspired social commentary, not to mention their commitment to identifying emerging talent. We are proud to have them as members of our family.”
In a joint statement, Smith and Farquhar said, “We are very happy to be continuing our relationship with Disney and look forward to creating even more truly authentic and diverse stories and characters for audiences worldwide. We are also excited to have the opportunity to bring along a new wave of talented voices that will deepen the connection to Disney storytelling for years to come.”
In addition to creating and executive producing “The Proud Family,” Smith served as one of three directors of the Academy Award®-winning short “Hair Love.” A Walt Disney Animation Studios alumnus, Smith supervised animation on feature films including “The Princess and the Frog,” “Winnie the Pooh,” “Tarzan” and “The Emperor’s New Groove,” and worked on visual development for “Frozen” and “Wreck-It-Ralph.”
Renowned for creating and executive producing the popular sitcom “Moesha,” Farquhar also created and executive produced “South Central” and “The Parkers,” and executive produced “Real Husbands of Hollywood.” His work also includes writing the cult classic, hip-hop feature film “Krush Groove,” supervising producer on “Married… with Children,” and writing for the ABC series “Happy Days.”
Smith is represented by Nancy Newhouse of Newhouse Porter Hubbard. Farquhar is represented by James Kellem of JKA Talent Agency and Gordon M. Bobb of Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein & Lezcano.