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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

press release of the week: DreamWorks Animation’s Jennifer Yuh Nelson Becomes Highest-Grossing Female Director Of Worldwide Box Office Film

Jennifer Yu Nelson

Cuz sometimes the stuff that ends up in my in-box is too good, bad, weird, interesting, or otherwise notable not to share.

DREAMWORKS ANIMATION’S JENNIFER YUH NELSON BECOMES THE HIGHEST-GROSSING FEMALE DIRECTOR OF A FILM AT THE WORLDWIDE BOX OFFICE AS KUNG FU PANDA 2 REACHES $645 MILLION GLOBALLY

Glendale, CA – September 6, 2011 – DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. (Nasdaq: DWA) today announced that its summer blockbuster, Kung Fu Panda 2, has grossed over $645 million globally to date, making Jennifer Yuh Nelson the highest-grossing female director of a film at the worldwide box office.

“On behalf of everyone at the studio, it is my pleasure to congratulate Jen on having reached this awesome milestone on Kung Fu Panda 2 – a particularly notable achievement given that this was her directorial debut,” said DreamWorks Animation’s Chief Creative Officer, Bill Damaschke.

“I am humbled and happy that audiences around the world continue to respond to the story and characters in Kung Fu Panda 2. No animated movie gets made without a huge team of people so I want to offer my sincere thanks and shared congratulations to all of the talented and inspiring artists who worked with me on the movie,” added Nelson.

Prior to directing Kung Fu Panda 2, Jennifer Yuh Nelson served as head of story and “dream sequence director” on 2008’s Kung Fu Panda, which remains one of the top ten animated movies of all time. Before that, Nelson served as story artists on DreamWorks Animation’s Madagascar, head of story on Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas and story artist on Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. Prior to joining DreamWorks Animation, she served as director, story artist and character designer at HBO Animation. Nelson’s animation career has spanned several countries, including Korea, Japan and Australia, and she has also published several independent comic books.

It’s shame, then, that Kung Fu Panda 2 isn’t really much of an expression of Jennifer Yu Nelson-ness and is very much an expression of Big Corporate Cartoon Franchise-ness. (That would have been true no matter who directed the film, I’m sure.) Perhaps with this distinction under her belt, she’ll have the opportunity to take on a more personal project.



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