|Born||1960 (age 52–53)
Prairie Village, Kansas
|Occupation||Film director, animator, screenwriter|
Eric Darnell (born 1960) is an American director, writer, songwriter, animator and occasional voice actor. He is best known for co-directing Antz with Tim Johnson, as well as co-directing Madagascar, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa and Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted with Tom McGrath.
Life and career
Darnell was born in Prairie Village, Kansas. He attended Shawnee Mission East High School in Prairie Village, Kansas, where he was a writer for the school newspaper the Harbinger. He studied broadcast journalism at the University of Colorado at Boulder. After graduating in 1983, he spent four years working on experimental films in his basement, which helped him get accepted into the Experimental Animation program study at the California Institute of the Arts. Meanwhile, he directed the music video for the 1989 R.E.M. song "Get Up".
When Darnell graduated, in 1991, he joined Pacific Data Images, where he worked as a character animator on the 1991 Hanna-Barbera Halloween special The Last Halloween. He also animated and directed the short film Gas Planet, which won Ottawa International Animation Festival Special Jury Prize. In 1995, he left PDI to join DreamWorks and work on research and development for The Prince of Egypt. In 1996, when DreamWorks merged with PDI, he was assigned to direct his first feature film Antz. The film, released in 1998, marked the studio's first computer-animated feature film, and the second computer-animated feature film ever. He then worked as the writer for the song "Welcome to Duloc" on the 2001 film Shrek, for which he also worked as story artist.
He and Tom McGrath directed Madagascar in 2005 and its sequel, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa in 2008. He was co-writer for the Christmas TV special, Merry Madagascar. Darnell also directed Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (with Tom McGrath and Conrad Vernon), which was released on June 8, 2012.
- Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (2012) (Director, writer, voice actor)
- Merry Madagascar (2009) (Writer)
- The Penguins of Madagascar (2008–2010) (Writer)
- Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008) (Director, writer, voice actor)
- Madagascar (2005) (Director, writer, voice actor)
- Antz (1998) (Director)
- Big Smoke (1993, PDI) (Director)
- Gas Planet (1992, PDI) (Director)
- "Get Up" music video (Director)
- Filter Gallery (1991, CalArts) (Director)
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