Alessandro Carloni

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Alessandro Carloni
Born1978 (age 45–46)
Alma materUniversity of Milan
Occupation(s)Film director, writer, animator, storyteller
Years active1997–present
EmployerDreamWorks Animation
Known forthe Kung Fu Panda series
the How to Train Your Dragon film series
Nicolette Davenport
(m. 2016)

Alessandro Carloni is an Italian film director, writer, animator, and art director, best known for his work with DreamWorks Animation in general,[1] particularly the Kung Fu Panda films. He co-directed Kung Fu Panda 3, alongside Jennifer Yuh Nelson.


Born in Bologna, Carloni spent his childhood in Urbino, a walled city and World Heritage site southwest of Pesaro, known for its remarkable legacy of independent Renaissance culture and for being the birthplace of Renaissance master Raphael Santi. But Carloni was not a young artist, at least not officially. Not even though his father worked as an illustrator for magazines, book covers and advertisements. "I was exposed to his work, but he never pushed me to be part of his studio," Carloni says. "He taught me many things. He wanted me to explore on my own." He became an artist almost despite himself. Carloni entered the University of Milan as a literature major, but to earn money, he began selling drawings. "I got little jobs through my friends to help pay for meals and money here and there," he says. "Small things like invitation tickets for clubs." Those little jobs helped change his future. "It made me understand that my true passion was visual storytelling," he says. "I cared about that more than continuing my studies." A friend in Germany suggested he apply to Munich Animation, and soon Carloni was an in-betweener. "I drew all the tedious drawings," he says. But, that led to work as an animator, a story artist, a director, an art director, a character designer, a sculptor, and an animation supervisor for commercials, music videos, and feature films in Germany, Switzerland, and Denmark. Then, in 2000, he co-directed an award-winning animated short film through Munich Animation with writer-director Gabriele Pennacchioli. The studio envisioned the film, The Shark and the Piano, as a marketing tool. "It was still a time when American studios sent portions of their 2D feature films to Europe to produce," Carloni says, "so we decided to make a film to show what we could do." But, by the time they approached the American studios, those studios had turned their focus to 3D.[2]

Since joining DreamWorks Animation in 2002, Carloni served as lead animator on Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas and Shark Tale, an animation supervisor on Kung Fu Panda, a story artist on Kung Fu Panda 2 and The Croods, and head of story on the first two How to Train Your Dragon movies and as a story artist on The Hidden World.[3] For his work on Kung Fu Panda, he was nominated in the category Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production at the 36th Annie Awards.[4] In early 2012, Carloni was attached as a director to the computer-animated/traditionally animated film Me and My Shadow for DWA, replacing the original director Mark Dindal.[5] By early 2013, the film had returned into development following massive lay-offs at DWA.[6] By early 2015, Carloni had joined Jennifer Yuh Nelson to help her co-directing Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016), in order to meet its release dateline.[3]

In 2017, he was hired by Skydance Media to direct an animated film, titled Luck, but left the project in early 2020 over creative differences.[7][8] In 2017, it was also announced that he was co-directing with Jean-Philippe Vine Locksmith Animation's first animated film, Ron's Gone Wrong, but, by early 2020, he had left the position.[9][10] In June 2023, Carloni was announced to be co-writing and co-directing Warner Bros. Pictures Animation's The Cat in the Hat alongside Erica Rivinoja.[11]


Title Year Role
The Fearless Four 1997 Assistant animator
Tobias and His Lion 1999 Rough animator
A Fish Tale 2000 Lead animator, sculptor
The Shark and the Piano 2001 Co-director, story developer, animation director, supervising effects animator, sculptures
Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas 2003 Lead animator: Sinbad
Shark Tale 2004 Lead animator: Crazy Joe, story developer
First Flight 2006 Storyboard artist
Over the Hedge Animator, storyboard artist
Kung Fu Panda 2008 Animation supervisor, story artist, traditional animator: Mr. Ping (uncredited)
How to Train Your Dragon 2010 Head of Story
Kung Fu Panda Holiday Head of character animation
Kung Fu Panda 2 2011 Story artist
The Croods 2013
How to Train Your Dragon 2 2014 Head of story
Kung Fu Panda 3 2016 Co-director with Jennifer Yuh Nelson
Cake Wars Himself: guest judge
Made in Hollywood Himself: guest appearance (1 episodes)
Made in Hollywood: Teen Edition
Sidewalks Entertainment
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World 2019 Storyboard artist, story artist
Luca 2021 Additional voices
Ron's Gone Wrong Creative Consultant
The Cat In The Hat 2026 Co-director and co-writer with Erica Rivinoja
The Fourteenth Goldfish TBA Executive producer[12]


  • Best Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production for How to Train Your Dragon (2010, Annie's)
  • Best Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production for Kung Fu Panda (2008, Annie's)


  1. ^ Winder, Catherine; Dowlatabadi, Zahra; Miller-Zarneke, Tracey (2011). Producing Animation. Taylor & Francis. p. 44. ISBN 978-0-240-81535-0.
  2. ^ Robertson, Barbara. "'Artist Profile: Alessandro Carloni". cgSociety. Archived from the original on March 11, 2016. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  3. ^ a b Patten, Dominic (February 24, 2015). "'Kung Fu Panda 3' Gets Co-Director As DWA Looks To Shore Up Franchises". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 31, 2016.
  4. ^ "36th Annual Annie Nominations and Awards Recipients". Retrieved January 31, 2016.
  5. ^ Kits, Borys (January 31, 2012). "DreamWorks Animation Sets Voice Cast for 'Me & My Shadow'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 31, 2016.
  6. ^ Yamato, Jen (February 6, 2013). "DreamWorks Animation Layoffs Could Reach 500 Amid Slate Pullback". Retrieved January 31, 2016.
  7. ^ McNary, Dave (July 31, 2017). "'Shrek,' 'Kung Fu Panda 3' Directors Tapped for Animated Movies From Skydance". Variety. Retrieved April 10, 2021.
  8. ^ Kit, Borys (January 14, 2020). "Skydance Animation's First Film 'Luck' Lands New Director (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 10, 2021.
  9. ^ Ritman, Aley (October 12, 2017). "Fox, Locksmith Animation Unveil 'Ron's Gone Wrong'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 10, 2021.
  10. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (May 13, 2020). "Disney Reschedules 'The New Mutants' & 'Ron's Gone Wrong'". Deadline. Retrieved April 18, 2021.
  11. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (June 9, 2023). "New Warner Bros Pictures Animation Boss Bill Damaschke On Group Rebrand, New Mission, 'Flintstones' Pic & More". Deadline. Retrieved March 9, 2024.
  12. ^ Kit, Borys (June 8, 2018). "Ted Melfi, Kimberly Quinn Tackling Children's Book 'The Fourteenth Goldfish' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 30, 2021.

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