Lee Edward Unkrich (born August 8, 1967) is an American retired film director, film editor, screenwriter, and animator. He was a longtime member of the creative team at Pixar, where he started in 1994 as a film editor. He later began directing, first as co-director of Toy Story 2.
Lee Edward Unkrich
August 8, 1967
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of Southern California|
|Occupation||Film director, editor, screenwriter, animator|
|Employer||Pixar Animation Studios (1994–2019)|
|Known for||Toy Story 3 |
After co-directing Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc. and Finding Nemo, Unkrich made his solo directorial debut with Toy Story 3 in 2010, and most recently directed Coco in 2017, both of which won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and the Academy Award for Best Original Song.
Early life and careerEdit
Unkrich was raised in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. His father, Bob Unkrich, was a World War II veteran ("He stormed the beach at Normandy") and artist. Unkrich was raised in the Jewish faith. He spent his youth acting at The Cleveland Play House. Unkrich graduated from the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts in 1990.
Unkrich was Vice-President of Editorial and Layout at Pixar. Before joining Pixar in 1994, Unkrich worked for several years in television as an editor and director. He is the 2011 recipient of the University of Southern California's Mary Pickford Distinguished Alumni Award recognizing alumni contributions to the cinematic arts.
Unkrich is married to Laura Century and they have three children: Hannah, Alice, and Max.
|1998||A Bug's Life||No||No||Supervising||No||Yes||Additional Voices|
|1999||Toy Story 2||Co-Director||No||Yes||No||Yes||Red Rocker||Additional Story Material|
|2001||Monsters, Inc.||Co-Director||No||Additional||No||Yes||Additional Voices||Brain Trust - uncredited|
|2003||Finding Nemo||Co-Director||No||Supervising||No||Yes||Additional Voices|
|2008||WALL-E||No||No||No||No||Yes||Pixar Senior Creative Team|
|2010||Toy Story 3||Yes||Story||Yes||No||Yes||Jack-In-The-Box / Scotch-Taped Monkey||Additional Screenplay Material|
Pixar Senior Creative Team
|2011||Cars 2||No||No||No||No||Yes||Pixar Senior Creative Team|
|The Good Dinosaur||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Coco||Yes||Original Story||Yes||No||Yes||Elote Skeleton|
|2019||Toy Story 4||No||No||Additional||Yes||Yes|
|2021||Luca||No||No||No||No||Yes||Pixar Senior Creative Team|
- Prison Stories: Women on the Inside (1991) (TV) (production assistant)
- Silk Stalkings (1991) (TV Series) (assistant editor, editor, director)
- Renegade (1993) (TV series) (assistant editor)
- Betrayed by Love (1994) (TV) (assistant editor)
- Separated by Murder (1995) (TV) (editor)
|2007||The Pixar Story||Himself|
|2022||Beyond Infinity: Buzz and the Journey to Lightyear |
Shorts and TV specialsEdit
|2000||For the Birds||Thanks|
|2002||Mike's New Car||Special Thanks|
|2011||Toy Story Toons: Hawaiian Vacation|
|2013||The Blue Umbrella|
|Toy Story of Terror!||Extra Special Thanks|
|2014||Toy Story That Time Forgot|
|2015||Sanjay's Super Team|
|2021||Pixar Popcorn: A Day in the Life of the Dead||Special Thanks|
|2022||Cars on the Road: Gettin' Hitched||Senior Creative Team|
- O'Connor, Michael "Clint" (June 12, 2010). "'Toy Story 3': Director Lee Unkrich, from Chagrin Falls, doesn't want to break Pixar's golden streak". Cleveland.com. City of Cleveland, State of Ohio. Archived from the original on September 10, 2018. Retrieved January 26, 2013.
- "'Toy Story 3,' 'Coco' Director Lee Unkrich Leaving Pixar After 25 Years (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 2019-01-19. Retrieved 2019-01-23.
- Seddon, Dan (January 20, 2019). "Toy Story 3 and Coco director Lee Unkrich leaves Disney Pixar". Digital Spy. Archived from the original on January 23, 2019. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
- Unkrich, Lee [@leeunkrich] (December 10, 2017). "My father, Bob Unkrich, died tonight at 93. He was an artist and a World War II Army hero. He stormed the beach at Normandy" (Tweet). Retrieved September 22, 2021 – via Twitter.
- "'Coco' Ready for Thanksgiving Weekend Fireworks at the Box Office". 21 November 2017. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
- Notable Alumni Archived 2009-08-26 at the Wayback Machine, USC School of Cinematic Arts; accessed March 10, 2008.
- Welk, Brian (January 18, 2019). "Lee Unkrich, Director of 'Coco' and 'Toy Story 3,' to Leave Pixar After 25 Years". The Wrap. Archived from the original on January 19, 2019. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
- Evangelista, Christiano (January 18, 2019). "'Coco' and 'Toy Story 3' Director Lee Unkrich Leaving Pixar After 25 Years". slashfilm.com. Archived from the original on October 26, 2020. Retrieved August 23, 2020.
After twenty-five incredible years, I’ve decided to leave Pixar. The time has come for new adventures. I’m not leaving to make films at another studio; instead, I look forward to spending much-needed time with my family and pursuing interests that have long been back-burnered.
- "Beloved Pixar Characters Voiced by Pixar Filmmakers". Oh My Disney. August 26, 2016. Archived from the original on February 24, 2021. Retrieved March 11, 2021.
- T.J. Wolsos (June 10, 2022). "Buzz Lightyear Documentary 'Beyond Infinity' Now on Disney+". Pixar Post. Retrieved July 2, 2022.