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
Walt Disney PicturesEdit
20th Century Fox AnimationEdit
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, 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 (as well as the remake version of the 1993 film) and that Meledandri will co-produce the film with 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 Illumination 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|
|2020||Minions: The Rise of Gru|
|2022||Untitled Mario film|
|TBD||Untitled Shrek reboot|
|Untitled Puss in Boots reboot|
- Kilday, Gregg (December 9, 2016). "Illumination's Chris Meledandri Talks Success Secrets, Rumors He'll Head DreamWorks". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 22, 2017.
- Archibald, Sophia (2011-05-10). "In nod to other famous alum., Meledandri produces 'Lorax'". The Dartmouth. Retrieved 2011-06-26.
- "Comcast's NBCUniversal buys DreamWorks Animation in $3.8-billion deal". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
- Palmeri, Christopher; Sakoui, Anousha (September 12, 2017). "In Dismal Summer, 'Despicable Me 3' Producer Delivers $1 Billion". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved January 29, 2018.
- S. Cohen, David (October 26, 2013). "Chris Meledandri: Event Films Are Cannibalizing Each Othe". Variety. Retrieved October 27, 2013.
- Mike Fleming (2012-07-23). "Illumination And Universal Hatch 'Despicable Me' Spinoff About The Minions". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2012-07-23.
- 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.
- 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.
- Kroll, Justin (October 8, 2013). "Universal, Illumination to reboot 'The Grinch'". Variety. Retrieved February 7, 2013.
- Mandell, Andrea (August 2, 2016). "Get Ready for 'Secret Life of Pets 2'". USA Today. Retrieved August 3, 2016.
- "Nintendo and Illumination are partnering on a movie starring Mario, co-produced by Shigeru Miyamoto and Chris Meledandri!". Twitter. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
- Lang, Brent (November 6, 2018). "'Shrek,' 'Puss in Boots' Getting Rebooted (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
- "'Shrek' & 'Puss in Boots' Rebooting at Universal with Chris Meledandri". Animation Magazine. November 6, 2018. Retrieved November 6, 2018.