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Lee Edward Unkrich (born August 8, 1967) is an American 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 Unkrich
Lee Unkrich cropped 2009.jpg
Unkrich at the 2009 Venice Film Festival
Lee Edward Unkrich

(1967-08-08) August 8, 1967 (age 52)
Alma materUniversity of Southern California
OccupationFilm director, editor, screenwriter, animator
Years active1990–2019
EmployerPixar Animation Studios (1994–2019)
Known forToy Story 3
Laura Century (m. 1993)

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.

After working at the studio for twenty-five years, Unkrich left Pixar in February 2019 to spend time with his family.[2][3]

Early life and careerEdit

Unkrich was raised in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. His mother is from a Jewish family, whereas his father converted to Judaism.[4][5][6][7] He spent his youth acting at The Cleveland Play House. Unkrich graduated from the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts in 1990.[8]

Unkrich was Vice-President of Editorial and Layout at Pixar.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]

On January 18, 2019, Unkrich announced he was leaving Pixar and the film industry to spend time with his family.[9]

Personal lifeEdit

Unkrich is married to Laura Century and they have three children: Hannah, Alice, and Max.[1]


  • 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)
  • Toy Story (1995) (editor)
  • A Bug's Life (1998) (editor)
  • Toy Story 2 (1999) (co-director, editor, additional story material)
  • Monsters, Inc. (2001) (co-director, additional editor)
  • Finding Nemo (2003) (co-director, supervising editor)
  • Cars (2006) (additional editor)
  • Ratatouille (2007) (additional editor)
  • Toy Story 3 (2010) (director, story, additional voice) (BAFTA) (Academy Award)
  • Monsters University (2013) (executive producer)
  • The Good Dinosaur (2015) (executive producer)
  • Coco (2017) (director, story) (BAFTA) (Academy Award)
  • Toy Story 4 (2019)[10] (executive producer)


  1. ^ a b c O'Connor, Clint (June 12, 2010). "'Toy Story 3': Director Lee Unkrich, from Chagrin Falls, doesn't want to break Pixar's golden streak". Retrieved January 26, 2013.
  2. ^ "'Toy Story 3,' 'Coco' Director Lee Unkrich Leaving Pixar After 25 Years (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter.
  3. ^ Seddon, Dan (January 20, 2019). "Toy Story 3 and Coco director Lee Unkrich leaves Disney Pixar". Digital Spy.
  4. ^ Miller, Gerri (27 February 2018). "Lee Unkrich: 'Coco' Creator is the Frontrunner for Best Animated Feature".
  5. ^ "'Coco' Ready for Thanksgiving Weekend Fireworks at the Box Office". 21 November 2017.
  6. ^ Bloom, Nate (January 21, 2011). "Jewish Stars 1/21". Cleveland Jewish News. Retrieved March 6, 2018.
  7. ^ "Interfaith Celebrities: Movies, Music, and More". InterfaithFamily.
  8. ^ Notable Alumni Archived 2009-08-26 at the Wayback Machine, USC School of Cinematic Arts; accessed March 10, 2008.
  9. ^ Welk, Brian (January 18, 2019). "Lee Unkrich, Director of 'Coco' and 'Toy Story 3,' to Leave Pixar After 25 Years". The Wrap. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  10. ^ Lang, Brent (October 26, 2016). "'Incredibles 2' Hitting Theaters a Year Early, 'Toy Story 4' Pushed Back to 2019". Variety. Retrieved March 6, 2018.

External linksEdit