Chris Renaud

Comic books, animation and storytelling were at the heart of what made Chris Renaud tick. Whether he was writing concepts for a Batman comic book series, storyboarding the Fox family classic "Ice Age" (2002) or directing his own "Despicable Me" (2010), Renaud could be counted on to find the core story and the best way to express it. That it happened to be as an animator just as the art-form was regaining its respectability probably didn't hurt his career. Along the way, Chris Renaud's love of old Warner Brothers cartoons and impeccable sense of when humor will carry the day led to a string of successes many filmmakers would envy. Born in Baltimore in the late 1960s, Chris knew from an early age that cartoons were going to be his passion. As soon as he graduated from art school, he went to work as a graphic designer for a sports ad agency, but always in the back of his mind was the glory of comics and animation. He saw his first dream come true when he worked at Marvel Comics illustrating the Starfleet Academy series and at DC Comics on a Batman series titled Cataclysm. This led to his work as a production designer for Disney on "The Book of Pooh" (2001). His success as a story artist on "Ice Age" (2002) led to his decision to try his hand at writing and directing his own short animation project, in addition to storyboarding. The animated short "No Time for Nuts" (2006), based around one of the fan favorite characters from "Ice Age" earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Short Film, Animated. Stretching his talents, Renaud then worked as a story artist for "Horton Hears a Who" (2008). But his biggest leap of all was when Christopher Meledandri, the head of Fox Animation, left to form his own studio and asked Renaud to direct his first feature film. The change entailed Renaud moving to Paris and partnering with Pierre Coffin on "Despicable Me" (2010), a smash hit for both the two directors and the studio. Their next projects, "The Lorax" (2012), an eco-fable based on the Dr. Seuss book of the same title, and "Despicable Me 2" (2013), also went on to be huge box office hits.