Chris Meledandri
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Chris Meledandri
Chris Meledandri
Meledandri at the 2013 Annecy International Animated Film Festival
BornChristopher Meledandri
(1959-05-15) May 15, 1959 (age 61)
New York City, New York, U.S.
OccupationFilm producer, founder, CEO and owner of Illumination
Alma materDartmouth College
Notable worksIce Age
Horton Hears a Who!
Despicable Me franchise
The Lorax
The Secret Life of Pets

Christopher Meledandri (;[stress?] born May 15, 1959) is an American film producer and the founder, CEO and owner of Illumination. He is best known as the producer of the Despicable Me franchise.


Walt Disney Pictures

Before joining Fox, was president of Dawn Steel Pictures at Walt Disney Pictures, where he served as an executive producer of Cool Runnings.

20th Century Fox Animation

During his tenure, he produced Ever After: A Cinderella Story and helped Fox become a major player in the world of animated feature films. In 1998 he led Fox's acquisition of fledgling visual effects/commercial house Blue Sky Studios, which he built into a successful producer of animated features. He oversaw the creative and business operations of Blue Sky, now Fox's wholly owned CGI studio. While at the studio, Meledandri supervised and/or executive produced movies including Ice Age, Ice Age: The Meltdown, Robots, Alvin and the Chipmunks, and Dr. Seuss Horton Hears a Who![1] He also produced two animated shorts, Gone Nutty and No Time for Nuts, both were nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.


Meledandri left as President of 20th Century Fox Animation in early 2007 and founded Illumination Entertainment, an all-audience film production company, co-owned by Universal Pictures, which fully finances and owns the films.[2] In 2010 Illumination released its first film, Despicable Me, (which became very successful and was followed by Despicable Me 2 in 2013 and by Despicable Me 3 in 2017), and in 2011 Hop. Illumination released a film version of Dr. Seuss' The Lorax, which continued the successful collaboration between Meledandri and Theodor (Dr. Seuss) Geisel's widow, Audrey.[3] He also produced the franchise spin-off featuring the Minions, Minions (2015).

In January 2018, Nintendo announced during a fiscal meeting that Illumination would be developing an animated Mario film and that Meledandri will co-produce the film with Super Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto.

DreamWorks Animation

On April 28, 2016, NBCUniversal announced its intent to acquire competing studio DreamWorks Animation for $3.8 billion. It was announced that Meledandri would oversee both Illumination and DreamWorks following the completion of the merger.[4] However, it was later announced that Meledandri had declined to oversee DreamWorks, and will instead be a consultant at the studio. On November 6, 2018, it was announced that Meledandri will be helping Universal and DreamWorks to reboot the Shrek and Puss in Boots franchises. He intends, however, to retain the original voice actors, as he pointed out they were perhaps the most memorable parts of the series. [5]

Personal life

Meledandri was born in New York City. He is a member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He attended Dartmouth College[3] and is a member of the board of trustees at The Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Connecticut. He has two sons, born c. 1990 and 1999.[6]



Year Title Notes
1986 Quicksilver Associate Producer
1989 Brothers in Arms Producer
1990 Opportunity Knocks
1993 Fly by Night Executive Producer
Swing Kids
Cool Runnings
Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit Co-Executive Producer
1994 Trial by Jury Producer
2002 Ice Age Executive Producer
Gone Nutty
2005 Robots
Aunt Fanny's Tour of Booty
2006 Ice Age: The Meltdown
No Time for Nuts
2008 Horton Hears a Who!
2010 Despicable Me Producer
2011 Hop
2012 The Lorax
2013 Despicable Me 2
2015 Minions[7]
2016 The Secret Life of Pets[8]
2017 Despicable Me 3[9]
2018 The Grinch[10]
2019 The Secret Life of Pets 2[11]
2021 Minions: The Rise of Gru
Sing 2
2022 Untitled Mario film[12]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Kilday, Gregg (December 9, 2016). "Illumination's Chris Meledandri Talks Success Secrets, Rumors He'll Head DreamWorks". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2017.
  3. ^ a b Archibald, Sophia (2011-05-10). "In nod to other famous alum., Meledandri produces 'Lorax'". The Dartmouth. Retrieved .
  4. ^ "Comcast's NBCUniversal buys DreamWorks Animation in $3.8-billion deal". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2016.
  5. ^ Palmeri, Christopher; Sakoui, Anousha (September 12, 2017). "In Dismal Summer, 'Despicable Me 3' Producer Delivers $1 Billion". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 2018.
  6. ^ S. Cohen, David (October 26, 2013). "Chris Meledandri: Event Films Are Cannibalizing Each Othe". Variety. Retrieved 2013.
  7. ^ Mike Fleming (2012-07-23). "Illumination And Universal Hatch 'Despicable Me' Spinoff About The Minions". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved .
  8. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (January 24, 2014). "Chris Meledandri's Illumination Sets Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet And Kevin Hart For 3D Animated 'Pets' Pic At Universal". Deadline. Retrieved 2014.
  9. ^ Bond, Paul (September 11, 2013). "Steve Burke: NBC's Ratings Woes Hurting Revenues". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2013. A third film is in the works, as is a Christmastime spinoff about the Minions.
  10. ^ Kroll, Justin (October 8, 2013). "Universal, Illumination to reboot 'The Grinch'". Variety. Retrieved 2013.
  11. ^ Mandell, Andrea (August 2, 2016). "Get Ready for 'Secret Life of Pets 2'". USA Today. Retrieved 2016.
  12. ^ Nintendo of America [@NintendoAmerica] (January 31, 2018). "Nintendo and Illumination are partnering on a movie starring Mario, co-produced by Shigeru Miyamoto and Chris Meledandri!" (Tweet). Retrieved 2020 – via Twitter.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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