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Oscar Buzz: Will 2018 bring Academy Award # 11 to a CalArts Animator?

Oscar Buzz: Will 2018 bring Academy Award # 11 to a CalArts Animator?
CalArts alumnus Adrian Molina receiving Golden Globe Award for Coco in the category of Best Animated Feature.
Valencia, California, February 8, 2018 — Two films, Coco and The Boss Baby, directed by alumni of California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) legendary Character Animation program have been nominated for Academy Awards in the category of Best Animated Feature. 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 over $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 BirdFinding Nemo (2003) and Wall-E (2008) by Andrew StantonBrave (2012) by alumni duo Mark Andrews and Brenda ChapmanUp (2009) by Pete DocterFrozen 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.  (Alumni are indicated in bold text)
Ranked number one 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 TimesClick here for more information about prominent alumni of the Character and Experimental Animation Programs. 
During awards season, journalists are invited to visit CalArts and discover why it’s the gold standard of animation education. Animation faculty are available for comments on the art and business of the industry. If you would like to schedule an interview or visit CalArts, please contact Margaret Crane at (661) 222-2787. 
The interactive infographic was designed by CalArts alumna Stephanie Smith.


California Institute of the Arts has set the pace for educating professional artists since 1970. Offering rigorous undergraduate and graduate degree programs through six schools—Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music, and Theater—CalArts has championed creative excellence, critical reflection, and the development of new forms and expressions. As successive generations of faculty and alumni have helped shape the landscape of contemporary arts, the Institute first envisioned by Walt Disney encompasses a vibrant, eclectic community with global reach, inviting experimentation, independent inquiry, and active collaboration and exchange among artists, artistic disciplines, and cultural traditions.