Andrew Stanton Bio

Though not quite as recognizable as John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton has become one of Pixar Animation’s most well-regarded and well-known figures thanks primarily to his work behind the scenes on hits like 2003’s Finding Nemo and 2008’s WALL-E.

Humble Beginnings:

Growing up in Massachusetts, Andrew Stanton’s fascination with art and animation was cultivated at an early age and he spent much of his youth harbouring dreams of becoming a comic-book artist.

It wasn’t until he was in his teens that Stanton began to seriously consider a career as an animator, which eventually led him to enroll in Los Angeles’ famed California Institute of the Arts (which is where fellow Pixar legends John Lasseter and Pete Docter cut their teeth). After graduating with a BFA in character animation, Stanton began taking on a series of jobs within the industry and even worked behind the scenes of the 1987 series Mighty Mouse, the New Adventures.

Andrew Goes to Pixar:

Stanton’s reputation as a talented up-and-comer quickly made him a hot commodity within the animation community, with one such offering coming from a relatively new outfit called Pixar Animation Studios. Though he would only be the company’s ninth employee (and their second animator), Stanton followed his gut and got in on the ground floor of what has since become the most prestigious animation house on the planet.

Stanton’s early days at Pixar Animation were primarily devoted to working on their earliest shorts, including the 1986 Oscar nominee (Luxo Jr.) that established Pixar as more than just a special-effects studio.

Andrew Works on Toy Story:

When the time came for Pixar to begin work on its first feature-length film, Stanton was immediately enlisted to hatch the storyline alongside John Lasseter, Pete Docter, and Joe Ranft.

Their collective efforts eventually resulted in 1995’s , which also featured Stanton’s work as a story artist, character designer, and even a background performer (his voice can be heard during the Buzz Lightyear commercial). The film’s massive global success paved the way for Stanton to make his directorial debut on Pixar’s next effort, 1998’s A Bug’s Life, as he worked side-by-side with John Lasseter on the project.

Andrew Finds Nemo:

Though he contributed to 1999’s and 2001’s Monsters Inc., Stanton spent the next few years working on a project that was extremely close to his heart. A devoted parent, Stanton devised a story revolving around the close bond between a father and his son, and the lengths that the former is willing to go after the latter is lost. 2003’s Finding Nemo, directed by Stanton and Lee Unkrich, quickly became Pixar’s most successful release to date and eventually went on to win the Oscar for Best Animated Feature.

Andrew’s Masterpiece:

In 2008, Stanton made his solo directorial debut with a futuristic love story entitled WALL-E. With its mute protagonist and pointed message of environmentalism, WALL-E was hardly a sure thing Pixar – yet it’s a testament to Stanton’s skill that the movie as just as accessible and entertaining as anything within the animation studio’s body of work (if not more so).

  Stanton’s need to continually challenge himself led to his decision to try his hand at a live-action feature, as he signed up to direct an adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ science fiction story John Carter of Mars in 2009 (and he instantly became the first of the Pixar gang to leave the animation realm).