Christopher "Chris" Meledandri (born May 15, 1959) is an American film producer, and the founder (2007) and CEO of Illumination Entertainment.
Meledandri began his career as president of Dawn Steel Pictures at Walt Disney Pictures, where he served as an executive producer of Cool Runnings. He aw Steel Pictures to join 20th Century Fox Animation. During his tenure at Fox, 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! 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 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. He also produced the franchise spin-off featuring the Minions, Minions.
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