Director Chris Renaud has established himself as a heavyweight in the world of animation following the phenomenal box office success of recent movies Despicable Me (2010), Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax (2012) and Despicable Me 2 (2013). Along with Pierre Coffin and Eric Guillon, he also co-created the iconic Minion characters featured in the Despicable Me films and the global smash Minions (2015). Most recently, he directed ‘The Secret Life of Pets’ which debuted to $104M, breaking the weekend opening record for an original animated film.
Renaud comes from the world of comic books, and worked at Marvel and DC Comics from 1994 to 2000. After a stint as a animation production designer at Shadow Projects and Big Big Productions, Renaud moved to Blue Sky Studios/20th Century Fox Animation. While there, he worked as a story artist on projects like Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who! (2008) and Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009).
Renaud took some of the skills he was learning at Blue Sky and conceived, wrote and storyboarded the animated short No Time for Nuts (2006), which featured the popular Ice Age character Scrat. It wound up scoring an Academy Award nomination for Best Short Film, Animated, and won Renaud an Annie Award for Best Animated Short Subject.
In 2007, producer Christopher Meledandri left his post as head of 20th Century Fox animation and founded Illumination Entertainment, and soon after brought Renaud on board to direct that company’s first project. Despicable Me (2010), which Renaud directed with Pierre Coffin, went on to become one of the highest-grossing movies of 2010 with over $251 million at the domestic box office. Renaud went on to direct the company’s next fully animated projects, Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax (2012) and Despicable Me 2 (2013), both of which where sizable hits, making a combined $1.3 billion worldwide. Despicable Me 2 was also nominated for an Academy Award in the Feature Animation category.
Renaud’s current project is ‘The Secret Life of Pets 2’ which is set to be released in the summer of 2019.