Who Is 'Frozen' Director Jennifer Lee's Ex-Husband? Everything To Know About Robert Joseph Monn

Photo: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock
Who Is 'Frozen' Director Jennifer Lee's Ex-Husband? Everything To Know About Robert Joseph Monn
Entertainment And News

Jennifer Lee is a trailblazer in film for women. The co-director of the Frozen films is a prolific screenwriter and the mind behind major hits such as Wreck-It Ralph and A Wrinkle In Time. She is the first woman to direct a Walt Disney Animation Studios feature and the first female director of a feature film that earned more than $1 billion at the box office. She's also the first woman to head up Disney Animation Studios, having taken over for animator John Lasseter in 2018.

RELATED: How Did Ryder Buck Die? Director Chris Buck Explores Son's Death In New 'Into The Unknown: Making Of Frozen 2' Doc

Lee is also mom to a daughter named Agatha, whose father is Lee's ex-husband Robert Joseph Monn. You can even hear Agatha in her mom's big hit movie Frozen if you know where to listen.

Now, we're learning more about Lee in the new docu-series Into The Unknown: Making Frozen II, available on Disney+. It's an in-depth look at how a creative team puts together a major animated feature. 

Who is Jennifer Lee's ex-husband, Robert Joseph Monn?

Lee was married to Robert Joseph Monn.

Jennifer Lee was born Jennifer Rebecchi in Rhode Island in 1971. Lee is her mother Linda's maiden name and she started using it professionally as an adult.

Lee was 28 when she married Robert Joseph Monn in 1999. The couple wed in her hometown in Rhode Island. At the time, Lee was working as a graphic designer making book covers for a publishing house in New York but she changed careers and enrolled at Columbia Film School. Their daughter Agatha was born in 2003, while Lee was in graduate school. 

Monn and Lee split up though we don't know exactly when. He keeps the details of his life off the Internet. 

Lee's college boyfriend died tragically. 

The marriage to Monn came several years after she lost her college boyfriend. She was a junior in college when the man she as dating died in a boating accident. The effect on her was profound. In a commencement address in 2014, she talked about the clarity of grief, saying the emotion that left her feeling "no doubt, only grief ... and for a brief moment ... I [knew] better than to waste a second doubting." That memory gave her the courage to ignore her self-doubt and apply to film school.

RELATED: Halle Bailey Is The Perfect New 'Little Mermaid' — But The Disney Casting Choice Caused Major #NotMyAriel Controversy

Lee is close to her sister.

Lee's older sister Amy is a teacher in New York State and the two grew closer in the aftermath of Lee's loss in college. The sisters hadn't been close for several years but the tragedy brought them back together. "It was like she looked at me as a human being, an adult, and I became real again to her,” Lee told reporters. "It’s like I’d lost her, and then all of a sudden we kind of arrived at the same place together,” Jennifer said about her sister. “And then from that moment on, she was like my champion. She was always there for me."

Her relationship with her sister inspired parts of Frozen.

When Lee was working on Frozen, the script took a lot of different directions before the team settled on making it about the sisters. Once that happened, Lee drew from her own relationship with her sister to write Anna and Elsa and the way they grew closer as adults. "That scene, having to like lose each other and then rediscover each other as adults, that was a big part of my life,” Lee recalled. 

TRENDING NOW on YourTango

Lee's daughter, Agatha, got to be part of Frozen when she was 9 years old.

Lee got a chance to work on Wreck-It Ralph in 2011 and that led to her job writing and co-directing Frozen. (Chris Buck is the other co-director.) During the production process, they needed someone to sing a bit of one of Anna's song's for a review track and Lee got her daughter to do it. The 9-year old sang the middle verse of the song "Do You Wanna Build A Snowman," but they had no plans to use her voice in the final movie. However, the effect was so charming that Disney decided to keep her in the film.  

"We all fell in love with these little voices," says Lee. "John [Lasseter] said, 'Why don't we just keep them?'"

She created a diary for Elsa in Frozen II. 

For Frozen II, Lee decided to get into Elsa's head by writing as her. She started keeping a diary written as the character, she explained in the first episode of Into The Unknown: Making of Frozen II, and she would share excerpts of it with co-director Buck. "I was trying to ground myself in Elsa," she says in the premiere episode, "and so I started to write as her, a journal. And then Chris would read it and be inspired and he would do drawings."

In that way, both she and Buck embody Elsa in the early stages of creating the film. "You kind of see Chris Buck as Elsa and me as Elsa, one's words and one is drawings," she says.

Her current boyfriend was in Frozen II.

These days, Lee is dating actor Alfred Molina. She even cast him in Frozen II. He did the voice for King Agnarr, the father of Elsa and Anna.

Lee and Molina in 2020.

You can watch Into The Unknown: Making Frozen II on Disney+.

RELATED: Auli'i Cravalho Went From 'Moana' To 'The Little Mermaid' — Get To Know Her & Her New Amazon Series 'The Power'

Subscribe to YourTango's newsletter to keep up with us for FREE

- Our best articles delivered straight to your inbox
- The latest in entertainment and news
- Daily horoscopes and love advice

Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. She is the creator of the blog FeminXer and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union