Chris Meledandri

Chris Meledandri

Born Christopher Meledandri
(1959-05-15) May 15, 1959
New York City
Occupation Film producer, CEO of Illumination Entertainment
Nationality American
Alma mater Dartmouth College
Genre Animation
Notable works Cool Runnings
Ever After: A Cinderella Story
Alvin and the Chipmunks
Ice Age
Ice Age: The Meltdown
The Simpsons Movie
Horton Hears a Who!
Despicable Me
The Lorax

Christopher "Chris" Meledandri (born May 15, 1959) is an American film producer, and the founder (2007) and CEO of Illumination Entertainment.


Walt Disney Pictures

Main article: Walt Disney Pictures

Before joining Fox, Meledandri 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, The Simpsons Movie 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.

Illumination Entertainment

Meledandri left his post as President of 20th Century Fox Animation in early 2007 and founded Illumination Entertainment, an all audience film production company, financed by Universal Pictures. In 2010 Illumination released its first film, Despicable Me, (which became very successful and was followed by Despicable Me 2 in 2013), 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.[2] He also produced the franchise spin-off featuring the Minions, Minions (2015).

Illumination & DreamWorks Animation

On April 28, 2016, NBCUniversal announced its intent to acquire competing studio DreamWorks Animation for $3.8 billion. Meledandri will oversee both Illumination and DreamWorks Chris Meledandri following the completion of the merger.[3]

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[2] and is a member of the board of trustees at The Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Connecticut. He has two sons, who are 17–18 and 26–27 years old.[4]



Year Title Notes
1986 Quicksilver associate producer
1989 Brothers in Arms producer
1990 Opportunity Knocks producer
1993 Fly by Night executive producer
Swing Kids executive producer
Cool Runnings executive producer
Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit co-executive producer
1994 Trial by Jury producer
2002 Ice Age executive producer
2005 Robots executive producer
2006 Ice Age: The Meltdown executive producer
2008 Horton Hears a Who! executive producer
2010 Despicable Me producer
2011 Hop producer
2012 The Lorax producer
2013 Despicable Me 2 producer
2015 Minions[5] producer
2016 The Secret Life of Pets[6] producer
Sing producer
2017 Despicable Me 3 [7] producer
2018 The Secret Life of Pets 2 [8] producer
How the Grinch Stole Christmas [9] producer
TBA The Cat in the Hat [10] producer
Lockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircase[11] producer


  2. 1 2 Archibald, Sophia (2011-05-10). "In nod to other famous alum., Meledandri produces 'Lorax'". The Dartmouth. Retrieved 2011-06-26.
  3. "Comcast's NBCUniversal buys DreamWorks Animation in $3.8-billion deal". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
  4. S. Cohen, David (October 26, 2013). "Chris Meledandri: Event Films Are Cannibalizing Each Othe". Variety. Retrieved October 27, 2013.
  5. Mike Fleming (2012-07-23). "Illumination And Universal Hatch 'Despicable Me' Spinoff About The Minions". Deadline. Retrieved 2012-07-23.
  6. 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 January 25, 2014.
  7. Bond, Paul (September 11, 2013). "Steve Burke: NBC's Ratings Woes Hurting Revenues". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 12, 2013. A third film is in the works, as is a Christmastime spinoff about the Minions.
  8. Mandell, Andrea (August 2, 2016). "Get Ready for 'Secret Life of Pets 2'". USA Today. Retrieved August 3, 2016.
  9. Kroll, Justin (October 8, 2013). "Universal, Illumination to reboot 'The Grinch'". Variety. Retrieved February 7, 2013.
  10. Fleming, Mike (March 15, 2012). "Dr. Seuss' 'The Cat In The Hat' Get Another Life At Chris Meledandri's Illumination". Deadline. Retrieved March 15, 2012.
  11. Kroll, Justin (October 24, 2012). "Illumination, U acquire 'Lockwood' series". Variety. Retrieved December 24, 2012.

External links

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