Meledandri at the 2013 Annecy International Animated Film Festival
May 15, 1959
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Occupation||Film producer, founder, CEO and owner of Illumination|
|Alma mater||Dartmouth College|
|Notable works||Ice Age |
Horton Hears a Who!
Despicable Me franchise
The Secret Life of Pets
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! 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. 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. 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.
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. 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. 
Meledandri was born in New York City. He is a member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He attended Dartmouth College 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.
|1989||Brothers in Arms||Producer|
|1993||Fly by Night||Executive Producer|
|Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit||Co-Executive Producer|
|1994||Trial by Jury||Producer|
|2002||Ice Age||Executive Producer|
|Aunt Fanny's Tour of Booty|
|2006||Ice Age: The Meltdown|
|No Time for Nuts|
|2008||Horton Hears a Who!|
|2013||Despicable Me 2|
|2016||The Secret Life of Pets|
|2017||Despicable Me 3|
|2019||The Secret Life of Pets 2|
|2021||Minions: The Rise of Gru|
|2022||Untitled Mario film|
A third film is in the works, as is a Christmastime spinoff about the Minions.