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Jennifer Yuh Nelson

Director & Storyboard Artist; Best Known for "Kung Fu Panda 2"

Director & Storyboard Artist; Best Known for "Kung Fu Panda 2"

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California, USA
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Jennifer Yuh Nelson Biography

Yuh was born in 1972 in South Korea and immigrated to the United States with her parents and two sisters when she was 4 years old. Yuh spent her childhood in Lakewood, California, where she enjoyed watching martial arts movies, playing with cars, and drawing. "I have been drawing since age 3 and making movies in my head for almost as long. In fact, drawing for me was a way to express those films when I had no other means of doing so," said Yuh. As a young girl, she would sit at the kitchen table for hours and watch her mother draw, copying her every stroke. As a kid, she would fancy stories with her sisters and was learning to draw to get down those stories. Yuh traces the lineage of her career to those formative family experiences.

Interested in art, Yuh followed her sisters to California State University, Long Beach, where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration. There she got introduced to animation, "When I was in college years later, a veteran storyboard artist came to talk to my class. He showed us how he drew movies for a living. My mind exploded. And that led to a career in animation." Jennifer then followed her sisters into an animation business - at first as a cleanup artist at Jetlag Productions, where she worked on various direct-to-video features. In 1997, she got hired as a storyboard artist on HBO's Todd McFarlane's Spawn series.

In 1998, Yuh joined DreamWorks Animation as a storyboard artist, while her sister, Catherine Yuh Rader, also a storyboard artist, had joined DWA owned PDI. Jennifer worked then on Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas and Madagascar. As a big fan of martial arts movies, she asked to work on the first Kung Fu Panda film, where she was a head of story, and directed the hand-drawn dream sequence. After the release of Kung Fu Panda, Jeffrey Katzenberg, DWA's CEO, approached Yuh about directing Kung Fu Panda 2. Although she hadn't expressed interest in directing the sequel to the film, Producer Melissa Cobb stated that she should direct the second one due to her excellent work on the first, to which the rest of the crew supported the decision. The film proved a major critical and international box office success with a worldwide gross of $665.6 million, making it the highest-grossing film ever directed by a woman, until director Jennifer Lee's Frozen two years later. She still holds the record for highest-grossing film by a solo female director. She eventually became the first woman to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film (since 2007's Persepolis) and to win the Annie Award for Best Directing in a Feature Production. Jennifer returned for Kung Fu Panda 3, which was released in 2016 and was the first American animated film to ever been co-produced with a Chinese firm. In July 2016, she was also added as one of the board of Governors by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

It was announced in 2016 that Yuh will be making her live action directorial debut for the adaptation of Alexandra Bracken Young Adult Novel, The Darkest Minds.

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Speaker profile last updated by AAE Talent Team on 05/06/2024.

Jennifer Yuh Nelson Videos

  • Episode 15: Jennifer Yuh Nelson | Nick Animation Podcast - YouTube
  • Kung Fu Panda 2 director Jennifer Yuh Nelson - YouTube
  • Creative Spark: Jennifer Yuh Nelson - YouTube

Speaker Lists Featuring Jennifer Yuh Nelson

FAQs on booking Jennifer Yuh Nelson

  • How do I book Jennifer Yuh Nelson to speak at my event?

    Our experienced booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure speakers like Jennifer Yuh Nelson for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment since 2002. Click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page to check availability for Jennifer Yuh Nelson, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get speaking fee information and check availability for Jennifer Yuh Nelson or any other speaker of your choice.
  • What are the speaker fees for Jennifer Yuh Nelson

    Speaking fees for Jennifer Yuh Nelson, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. The estimated fees to book Jennifer Yuh Nelson are for live events and for virtual events. For the most current speaking fee to hire Jennifer Yuh Nelson, click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak directly with an experienced booking agent.
  • What topics does Jennifer Yuh Nelson speak about?

    Jennifer Yuh Nelson is a keynote speaker and industry expert whose speaking topics include Art, Asian & Pacific Heritage, Authors, Culture, Diversity, Entertainers, Entertainment, Influential Women, Literary, Producers and Directors, Television Stars, Women.
  • Where does Jennifer Yuh Nelson travel from?

    Jennifer Yuh Nelson generally travels from California, USA, but can be booked for private corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. For more details, please contact an AAE Booking agent.
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    AAE Speakers Bureau has successfully booked keynote speakers like Jennifer Yuh Nelson for clients worldwide since 2002. As a full-service speaker booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Please click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page including the details of your event, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Jennifer Yuh Nelson for your next private or corporate function.
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Jennifer Yuh Nelson is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Jennifer Yuh Nelson for your event is available upon request. Jennifer Yuh Nelson generally travels from CA, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Diane Guerrero, Ava DuVernay, Rebecca Sugar, Lena Dunham and Gina Rodriguez. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Jennifer Yuh Nelson for an upcoming live or virtual event.

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