Animated Features Oscar Contenders: A Directors' Discussion
NOW AVAILABLE on the VIEW Conference 2020 On-Demand Portal
VIEW brings together animated feature directors from around the world to debate the upcoming 93rd Academy Awards®, with our exclusive panel Animated Features Oscar Contenders – A Directors' Discussion. Enjoy the company and hear the wisdom of this extraordinary collection of talented animated feature directors:
- Glen Keane (Over the Moon)
- Pete Docter and Kemp Powers (Soul)
- Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart (Wolfwalkers)
- Joel Crawford (The Croods: A New Age)
- Walt Dohrn (Trolls World Tour), Kris Pearn (The Willoughbys)
- Dan Scanlon (Onward)
- Gitanjali Rao (Bombay Rose)
- Will Becher and Richard Phelan (A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon)
Ramin Zahed of Animation Magazine moderates.
Glen Keane, Founder & CCO, Glen Keane Productions
Director, Over the Moon
Glen Keane is a 38-year veteran of Walt Disney Feature Animation, training under Walt Disney’s Nine Old Men. Glen created many beloved Disney characters such as The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, The Beast, Tarzan, and Rapunzel. In 2012, Glen departed Disney, founding Glen Keane Productions as a way to further his exploration of animation, design, and film. He has since collaborated with partners such as Google Spotlight Stories and the Paris Ballet. Glen’s most recent collaboration “Dear Basketball” with John Williams and the late Kobe Bryant received the 2018 Academy Award® for Best Animated Short Film. Glen is currently directing the animated feature film Over the Moon in partnership with Pearl Studio and Netflix, which is due to be released Fall 2020.
Pete Docter, Director & CCO, Pixar Animation Studios
Pete Docter is the Oscar®-winning director of “Monsters, Inc.,” “Up,” and "Inside Out," and Chief Creative Officer at Pixar Animation Studios. He most recently directed Disney and Pixar’s feature film “Soul” with producer Dana Murray and co-director Kemp Powers, which is now streaming on Disney+. Starting at Pixar in 1990 as the studio’s third animator, Docter collaborated and help develop the story and characters for “Toy Story,” Pixar’s first full-length animated feature film, for which he also was supervising animator. He served as a storyboard artist on “A Bug’s Life,” and wrote initial story treatments for both “Toy Story 2” and “WALL•E.” Aside from directing his three films, Docter also executive produced "Monsters University" and the Academy Award®-winning “Brave.”
Docter’s interest in animation began at the age of eight when he created his first flipbook. He studied character animation at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in Valencia, California, where he produced a variety of short films, one of which won a Student Academy Award®. Those films have since been shown in animation festivals worldwide and are featured on the "Pixar Short Films Collection Volume 2." Upon joining Pixar, he animated and directed several commercials, and has been nominated for eight Academy Awards® including Best Animated Feature-winners “Up” and "Inside Out" and nominee “Monsters, Inc.,” and Best Original Screenplay for “Up,” "Inside Out" and “WALL•E.” In 2010, "Up" also was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Kemp Powers, Screenwriter
Kemp Powers began at Pixar Animation Studios in August 2018. Powers was most recently the co-director and writer on “Soul” with director Pete Docter and producer Dana Murray, which is now streaming on Disney+. Powers grew up in Brooklyn, NY. He attended both Howard University and the University of Michigan. Prior to Pixar, Powers was an award-winning playwright, television and film screenwriter, and journalist. His play “One Night in Miami…” received three LA Drama Critics Circle Awards and four NAACP Theatre Awards, and was nominated for the 2017 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play. He adapted it into a feature film, which is being directed by Academy Award-winning actress Regina King. He was a writer for the television show “Star Trek: Discovery” and has toured nationally as a storyteller for the Peabody Award-winning series, “The Moth.” He currently resides in Los Angeles and Emeryville, CA.
Tomm Moore, Co-Founder & Creative Director, Cartoon Saloon
Over the company’s history, Tomm has worked as Director, Art Director, Storyboarder, Animator and Illustrator on a range of projects from commercials to service work for feature films and TV series, as well as a number of short films projects. Tomm has directed 2 universally successful feature films. Both were nominated for Best Animated Feature at the ACADEMY AWARD® The Secret of Kells in 2010 and the spiritual follow-up, Song of the Sea in 2015. Tomm also co-directed (with Ross Stewart) the “On Love” segment for The Prophet, a feature animation produced by Salma Hayek based on one of the best-selling books of all time. He has just finished working on his latest feature film “Wolfwalkers” which he co-directed with Ross Stewart. Tomm Moore received the Directors Guild of Ireland and America’s Finder’s Series Award in 2008 and European Director of the year at Cartoon Movie in 2009.
Ross Stewart, Cartoon Saloon
Ross Stewart has been painting, illustrating, designing and working in animation for over 20 years. His primary role of visual development and art direction, he has worked on 3 oscar nominated movies: as art director on Secret of Kells, concept artist on Song of the Sea and in visual development on ParaNorman with Laika Studios. More recently he has moved from art direction into directing, working with Tomm Moore on The Prophet and now the latest Cartoon Saloon feature, Wolfwalkers. As a freelance conceptual artist he has worked for many animation and film studios worldwide on award winning projects and has illustrated books and literature for a variety of publishers. His paintings are exhibited throughout Ireland and the UK and held in collections worldwide. He is a nature lover and would gladly sit under an oak tree all day long.
Kris Pearn, Netflix
Director, The Willoughbys
Kris Pearn was born and raised in Canada. After graduating from Sheridan College, Kris has spent most of his life making cartoons for both film and television. His credits include: Open Season, Surf’s Up, Arthur Christmas, Shaun the Sheep, Pirates: Band of Misfits, and Home to name a few. He was Head of Story on Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs, and co-directed Cloudy Two. He has most recently written and directed the Netflix animated feature The Willoughbys based on the novel by Lois Lowry. Kris has been nominated for several Annies, teaches when possible, has given a Ted Talk called “The Optimistic Opportunity of Failure.” He still loves to draw.
Walt Dohrn, Dreamworks
Co-Director, Trolls World Tour
Walter Dohrn is an American writer, director, animator, musician, and voice actor. He performed the voice of Rumpelstiltskin in Shrek Forever After, as well as various characters in Shrek the Third. Dohrn has also worked as writer, director, and storyboard director in Season 2 of SpongeBob SquarePants, and he also worked on 2 episodes from Season 3. In 2020, Dohrn signed a deal with DreamWorks Animation.
Joel Crawford, Dreamworks
Director, The Croods: A New Age
In addition to directing The Croods: A New Age, Joel Crawford is also known for his work on Rise of the Guardians (2012), Kung Fu Panda (2008) and Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011).
Dan Scanlon, Pixar Animation Studios
Dan Scanlon joined Pixar Animation Studios in September 2001 as a storyboard artist on Pixar’s award-winning feature films “Cars” and “Toy Story 3.” During the initial production stages for both films, he worked closely with the directors to bring their ideas to the screen. Scanlon went on to co-direct the original short film, “Mater and the Ghostlight,” which is included as one of the bonus features on the “Cars” DVD. In addition to his work at Pixar, Scanlon simultaneously wrote and directed the live action film “Tracy,” released in 2009. Scanlon made his animated feature directorial debut in 2013 with “Monsters University,” which grossed over $738.9 million worldwide at the box office, and received the 2013 “Hollywood Animation Award” from the Hollywood Film Awards. Scanlon also directed Pixar’s most recent original feature film “Onward,” which released March 6, 2020. In his role as Vice President, Creative, Scanlon is involved in key creative decision-making at the studio and consults on films in both development and production. Scanlon will serve as the Executive Producer on two upcoming unannounced Pixar films.
As a child growing up in Clawson, Michigan, Scanlon possessed a love for Warner Bros. cartoons, animated Disney films, and as fate would have it, Pixar short films. His passion inspired him to study film and animation in high school and in college, where he focused on illustration at Columbus College of Art and Design (CCAD). Upon graduating from CCAD, Scanlon began working as an animator and story artist for Character Builders, a 2D animation company that produced feature and commercial work in Columbus, Ohio. Scanlon currently resides in San Francisco with his wife Michele, dog Carol and one-eyed cat Chichi.
Gitanjali Rao, PaperMoon Studios
Director, Bombay Rose
A self-taught animator and filmmaker, Gitanjali Rao emerged into the international stage with her animated short, ‘Printed Rainbow’ which premiered in Cannes Critic’s week 2006 ( Kodak Discovery Award, Petite Rail D’Or, Prix Du Jeune) The film went on to win 25 awards and was shortlisted for the Oscar in 2008. Her four independently produced animated shorts have been to over 150 International film festivals and received more than 30 awards. They have been showcased in international art biennales in India, Poland and USA. Painted frame by frame, Gitanjali’s films travel seamlessly between harsh urban reality and the dream world created by the psyche, to escape that reality. While her depiction of urban reality has a documentary style, the intricate dream worlds are inspired from the rich and varied folk art styles of India. Her body of work includes animated commercials, pre-production for animated features, logo-motions, as well as graphic novels and illustrated stories. She is also an award winning actor on stage and in films. Bombay Rose, a labour of love made over six years, is her debut feature. For more info on Gitanjali Rao, please visit https://www.gitanjalirao.com/
Will Becher, Aardman
Co-Director, A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon
In addition to directing A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, Will Becher is also known for his work on The Pirates! Band of Misfits (2012), Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005) and ParaNorman (2012).
Richard Phelan, Aardman
Co-Director, A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon
In addition to directing A Shuan the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, Richard Phelan is known for his work on Damned (2011) and Shaun the Sheep Movie (2015).