Chris Wedge

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Chris Wedge
Chris Wedge 2014.jpg
Wedge in 2014
Born John Christian Wedge
(1957-03-20) March 20, 1957 (age 59)
Binghamton, New York, U.S.
Residence Katonah, New York
Nationality American
Education Fayetteville-Manlius High School
Alma mater State University of New York at Purchase
Ohio State University
Occupation Film director, film producer, screenwriter, cartoonist, voice actor
Years active 1982–present
Notable work Ice Age, Robots, Epic
Spouse(s) Jeanne Markel[1]
Children 2

John Christian "Chris" Wedge (born March 20, 1957) is an American director, producer and voice actor of animation, best known for the films Ice Age (2002), Robots (2005), and Epic (2013).

Early life[edit]

Wedge was born in Binghamton, New York.[2] He became interested in animation when he was 12 years old: "Back then, there was a TV special about kids making cut-out animation in a workshop—as I recall it was Yellow Ball Workshop—it was a clear technique to follow and I followed it. That fascinated me and it got me started. It was so simple, effective and magical in outcome and I stuck with creating things throughout my childhood, teenage years and then college."[3]

He attended Fayetteville-Manlius High School, graduating in 1975.[4] He received his BFA in Film from State University of New York at Purchase in Purchase, New York in 1981, and subsequently earned his MA in computer graphics and art education at the Ohio State University. He has taught animation at the School of Visual Arts in New York City where he met his future film directing partner, Carlos Saldanha.

Career[edit]

In 1982, Wedge worked for MAGI/SynthaVision, where he was a principal animator on the Disney film Tron, credited as a scene programmer. Some of his other works include Where the Wild Things Are (1983), Dinosaur Bob, George Shrinks, and Santa Calls.

Wedge is co-founder and Vice President of Creative Development at Blue Sky Studios, one of the premier computer animation studios and producer of Wedge's films. He is the owner of WedgeWorks, a film production company founded by Wedge.

In 1998, he won an Academy Award for the short animated film, Bunny. In 2002, Wedge directed Blue Sky Studios' first computer-animated film, Ice Age. He also voiced Scrat in the film and its following sequels, performing the character's "squeaks and squeals."[5] In 2005, Wedge directed Robots, based on a story he created with William Joyce. In 2013 followed Epic, loosely based on Joyce's book, The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs.[6]

In 2009, it was reported that Wedge would direct an animated feature film adaptation of Will Wright's Spore, but since then there has been no further news about the film.[7]

In August 2013 Paramount Animation announced that they will create a new live action/animated franchise with its first film titled Monster Trucks with $100 million budget.[8] Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger are set to write the film,[8] Wedge is set to direct the animated film which will be produced by Mary Parent.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Wedge lives in Katonah, New York[3] with his wife Jeanne Markel.[1] They have a daughter and a son, Sarah and Jack.[10]

Filmography[edit]

Director[edit]

Year Title Notes
1985 Tuber's Two-Step Short film
1987 Balloon Guy Short film
1998 Bunny Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film
Also writer
2002 Ice Age Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Feature
2005 Robots
2013 Epic
2017 Monster Trucks
2018 Anubis

Producer[edit]

Year Title Notes
1990 The Mind's Eye Short film
2002 Gone Nutty Executive producer
2006 Ice Age: The Meltdown Executive producer
No Time for Nuts Executive producer
2008 Horton Hears a Who! Executive producer
Surviving Sid Short film
Executive producer
2009 Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs Executive producer
2011 Rio Executive producer
2012 Ice Age: Continental Drift Executive producer
2014 Rio 2 Executive producer
2016 Ice Age: Collision Course[11] Executive producer

Actor[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2002 Ice Age Scrat, Dodo
Gone Nutty Scrat Short film
2005 Robots Wonderbot, Phone Booth
Aunt Fanny's Tour of Booty Hacky Short film
2006 Ice Age: The Meltdown Scrat
No Time for Nuts Short film
Family Guy Episode "Sibling Rivalry"
2008 Surviving Sid Short film
2009 Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
2011 Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas TV Special
2012 Ice Age: Continental Drift
2015 The Simpsons Episode: "Treehouse of Horror XXVI"
2016 Ice Age: The Great Egg-Scapade TV Special
Ice Age: Collision Course [11]

Critical reception[edit]

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic IMDb
Overall
Ice Age (2002) 77%[12] 60%[13] 7.6[14]
Robots (2005) 64%[15] 64%[16] 6.3[17]
Epic (2013) 64%[18] 52%[19] 6.7[20]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
1996 Ottawa International Animation Festival Award Best Production Under 10 Minutes in Length Joe's Apartment Won
1999 Academy Award Best Animated Short Film Bunny Won
Drama International Short Film Festival Award Special Prize for Animation Won
Nashville Film Festival Award Best Animation Won
Jury Award Best Short Nominated
Oberhausen International Short Film Festival Award Prize of the Children's Short Film Competition Won
2003 Academy Award Best Animated Feature Ice Age Nominated
Annie Award Outstanding Directing in an Animated Feature Production
Shared with Carlos Saldanha (co-director)
Nominated
DVD Exclusive Award Best Audio Commentary, New Release
Shared with Carlos Saldanha (co-director)
Nominated
ShoWest Convention Award Animation Director of the Year Won
2013 Behind the Voice Actors Award Best Vocal Ensemble in a Feature Film
Shared with Ray Romano, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo, Queen Latifah, Keke Palmer, Seann William Scott, Josh Peck, Wanda Sykes, Jennifer Lopez, Alan Tudyk, Joy Behar, Patrick Stewart, Simon Pegg & Rebel Wilson
Ice Age: Continental Drift Nominated
2014 Annie Award Outstanding Achievement in Directing in an Animated Feature Production Epic Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Staudter, Thomas (March 21, 1999). "'Bunny' From Harrison Competes for Oscar". The New York Times. Retrieved June 2, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Behind The Voice Actors - Chris Wedge". Retrieved 2014-04-14. 
  3. ^ a b Buchman, Lisa (September 12, 2012). "Meet Chris Wedge, 'Ice Age' Creator, Katonah Resident". Patch. Retrieved November 29, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Chris Wedge, Class of 1975, Inducted in 2000". Fayetteville-Manlius Hall of Distinction. Fayetteville-Manlius Schools. Retrieved 2011-05-29. 
  5. ^ LaRue, William (2006-11-02). "'Ice Age' director gives students a look into animation". The Syracuse Post-Standard. Syracuse.com. Retrieved 2007-01-27. [dead link]
  6. ^ Schneider, Karl (2006-08-24). "Chris Wedge to direct THE LEAF MEN AND THE BRAVE GOOD BUGS". Movie News, Mania.com. Mania Entertainment, LLC., citing The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-01-27. 
  7. ^ Graser, Marc (2009-10-01). "EA sets up 'Spore' at Fox". Variety. Retrieved 2010-10-07. 
  8. ^ a b "Paramount Animation Plans 'Monster Trucks' Live Action-Toon Franchise: In Final Talks With Blue Sky's Chris Wedge To Direct". deadline.com. 31 July 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2013. 
  9. ^ "Paramount Animation Planning Live Action/Animated Franchise 'Monster Trucks' With Blue Sky's Chris Wedge". indiewire.com. 1 August 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2013. 
  10. ^ "Chris Wedge Acceptance Speech". The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved June 2, 2013. And so to my beautiful wife and family, Jean*, Sarah and Jack... 
  11. ^ a b Truitt, Brian (October 22, 2015). "Exclusive: 'Ice Age' squirrel to make Macy's debut". USA Today. Retrieved October 29, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Ice Age (2002) - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 12, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Ice Age Reviews - Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved December 12, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Ice Age (2002) - IMDb". Uk.imdb.com. Retrieved December 11, 2015. 
  15. ^ "Robots (2005) - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 12, 2015. 
  16. ^ "Robots Reviews - Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved December 12, 2015. 
  17. ^ "Robots (2005) - IMDb". Uk.imdb.com. Retrieved December 12, 2015. 
  18. ^ "Epic (2013) - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 12, 2015. 
  19. ^ "Epic Reviews - Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved December 12, 2015. 
  20. ^ "Epic (2013) - IMDb". Uk.imdb.com. Retrieved December 12, 2015. 

External links[edit]