“Cars 2″ co-director Brad Lewis switching studios

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Brad Lewis

Brad Lewis

Longtime Pixar figure Brad Lewis, co-director with John Lasseter of the just-released Cars 2, is changing garages.

Lewis is moving on to direct animated features at Tradition Studios, based in Port St. Lucie, Florida. The company is owned by Digital Domain Media Group.

Cars 2 topped the North American box office this weekend and grossed over $115 million around the world. During his 10-year tenure at Pixar, Lewis also produced the Oscar-winning Ratatouille, which made $624 million worldwide.

Tradition Studios opened in 2009 to develop and co-produce original, family-oriented CG features. Although no titles have been announced so far. the studio is constructing a 115,000-square-foot facility, set to open in Port St. Lucie in December.

Digital Domain is partly owned by director Michael Bay. Its holdings also include Digital Domain’s flagship VFX facility in Venice, California, which has produced visual effects for such films as the Tron remake and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

“I am excited to join a company with Digital Domain’s talent and expertise and to have an opportunity to be a part of its team in creating family-friendly stories and adventures,” Lewis said in a statement.

Before joining Pixar, Lewis was at PDI/Dreamworks for over 11 years. There, he was a producer on 1998’s Antz and executive produced TV movies. He was also an executive producer/vice-president of production for Pacific Data Images.

Lewis was nominated for an Emmy for the first 3D computer-animated episode of The Simpsons. He won an Emmy for graphic design for ABC’s Monday Night Football.

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