Two films directed by alumni of California Institute of the Arts’ legendary Character Animation program, “Coco” and “The Boss Baby,” are nominated for “Best Animated Feature” Academy Awards.
Disney PIXAR’s “Coco” is co-directed by first-time feature director and CalArts alumnus Adrian Molina and veteran director Lee Unkrich. “The Boss Baby,” from DreamWorks Animation, is helmed by alumnus Tom McGrath.
A win for Molina or McGrath would mark the 11th time a CalArts animator took home an Oscar for Best Animated Feature.
In 2017, “Zootopia,” co-directed by Byron Howard and CalArts alumnus Rich Moore, won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. This marked the 10th time since the category was instated in 2001 that a CalArts alum received the award.
Molina, who also co-wrote “Coco” with Matthew Aldrich, began his career at Pixar with an internship during his junior year at CalArts. Other “Calartians” working on the nominated films include “Coco’s” Concept Artist Ana Ramirez and Story Supervisor Jason Katz, and “The Boss Baby” Producer Ramsey Naito.
“Coco” and “The Boss Baby” add to the extraordinary box office grosses generated by graduates of the CalArts Character and Experimental Animation Programs: more than $43 billion since 1985. ‘
China’s highest grossing animated film for 2017, “Coco” earned more than $680,612,000 in worldwide returns. “The Boss Baby” exceeded $498,928,200 worldwide (box office figures compiled December 31, 2017). Walt Disney Animation Studios’s “Frozen,” co-directed by Jennifer Lee and CalArts’s alumnus Chris Buck is the highest grossing animated film of all time.
Since the Best Animated Feature category was established in 2001, Oscar-winning films by CalArts directors have contributed to this ever-rising box office total. They include “The Incredibles” (2004) and “Ratatouille” (2007) directed by Brad Bird; “Finding Nemo” (2003) and “Wall-E” (2008) by Andrew Stanton; “Brave” (2012) by alumni duo Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman; “Up” (2009) by Pete Docter; “Frozen” by alumnus Chris Buck with Jennifer Lee and Peter Del Vecho; “Inside Out” (2015) by Pete Docter with Jonas Rivers, and “Zootopia” (2016) by alumnus Rich Moore with Byron Howard and Clark Spencer.
Ranked No. 1 among the Top 50 Animation Programs in the U.S. by Animation Career Review, CalArts’s Experimental and Character Animation programs are unrivaled in the world—educating successive generations of filmmakers who define the industry.
CalArts’s animation programs provide students with a foundation in both technique and creative thinking and prepares them to work at the forefront of the field. Exerting an influence far beyond its size, the Institute has been dubbed the Harvard Business School of Animation by the Los Angeles Times.
Click here for more information about prominent alumni of the Character and Experimental Animation Programs.