Thursday, January 09, 2014

The Third Pillar of Animation

There's Katzenberg, there's Lasseter, and there's ...

... It is lunchtime and Mr Meledandri is sitting in a restaurant in Santa Monica, a short distance from his office – a warehouse-like building populated with cut-outs of Minions and characters from his other movies, such as The Lorax, an adaptation of the Dr Seuss story.

There is no sign outside the office to reveal the identity of the company within and visitors may encounter Harpo, a friendly beagle, who belongs to one of the employees and who runs about at his own leisure. “He is the self-appointed office dog,” Mr Meledandri says.

It is a low-key workspace, which fits Mr Meledandri’s own temperament. A quiet man who weighs each word carefully when answering a question, he does not fit the typical Hollywood mogul mould. Yet he has become one of the industry’s rising stars thanks to hits such as the Despicable Me films and a record that includes launching the blockbuster Ice Age series while heading the animation business at 20th Century Fox. ...

Twenty-some years ago, Jeffrey Katzenberg said to me that he was the only guy in Hollywood who knew how to do animated features.

It seems in the last two decades, a couple more people have learned how to do it.


Ed Gombert said...

So, does Mr. Meledandri have any openings?

Steve Hulett said...

I've no idea. I had tea and crumpets with him once in the 1990s, but have not spoken to him since.

Maybe I can find out.

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