Box Office Grosses by CalArts Directors of Animation Features Exceeds $40 Billion

by | Feb 22, 2017 | Community

On Tuesday, Zootopia and Moana, both co-directed by alumni of California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), received Academy Award nominations for Best Animated Feature.  The two films add to the extraordinary box office grosses generated by graduates of the CalArts Character and Experimental Animation Programs: more than $40 billion since 1985.
CalArts’ 2017 Oscar contenders are Rich Moore – who co-directed Zootopia with Byron Howard and Jared Bush – and John Musker, co-director of Moana with longtime collaborator Ron Clements.  Last year, alumnus Pete Docter received an Academy Award for Inside Out, marking the 9th Oscar for Best Animated Feature awarded to a CalArts alumnus.
The 2016 returns of “CalArtian” directed films show how Institute graduates generate big profits at the box office.  Among both live-action and animated films, Finding Dory, co-directed by alumnus Andrew Stanton and Angus MacLane, was the second-highest grossing movie of 2016 with a worldwide total of $1,153.3 billion.  Zootopia ranked No. 3 for the year at $ $1,023.8 billion.  Moana, which is still in theaters, was No. 15 with $510.9 million in worldwide grosses.
Since the Best Animated Feature category was established in 2001, Oscar-winning films by CalArts directors have contributed to this ever-rising box office total.  Award winning alumni include Andrew Stanton for Finding Nemo and Wall•E; Brad Bird for The Incredibles and Ratatouille; Pete Docter for UP and Inside Out; Brave co-directors Brenda Chapman and Mark Andrews; Frozen’s Chris Buck; and Don Hall for Big Hero 6.
In an article discussing the remarkable box office returns generated by CalArts graduates, Fast Company commented: “Considering the current prominence of animation in mainstream Hollywood, not to mention the leading role that design is taking in tech innovation, it’s clear that for those with an artistic bent, a creative degree can make as much business sense as one in engineering or computer science.”
Ranked No. 1 among the Top 50 Animation Programs in the U.S. by Animation Career Review, CalArts’ Experimental and Character Animation programs are unrivaled in the world — educating successive generations of filmmakers who define the industry.
For more information about CalArts’ Experimental and Character Animation programs, please visit




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