Chris Williams (director)

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Chris Williams
Born (1968-12-19) December 19, 1968 (age 51)
Alma materUniversity of Waterloo
Sheridan College
OccupationAnimator, film director, screenwriter, voice actor
Years active1996–present
EmployerWalt Disney Animation Studios (1998–2018)
Netflix (2018–present)
Notable work
Glago's Guest
Big Hero 6

Chris Williams (born December 19, 1968) is a Canadian-American animator, film director, screenwriter, and voice actor. He directed the short film Glago's Guest and co-directed Bolt, which was nominated for the Oscar for Best Animated Feature in 2009, Big Hero 6, which won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature in 2015, and Moana, which was nominated for two Oscars for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song in 2016.

Early life[edit]

Williams was born in Missouri and spent the first 25 years of his life in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, where his father was the Director of Counselling Services at the University of Waterloo.[1] Williams graduated from the University of Waterloo with a degree in Fine Arts[2] and then enrolled in the animation program at Sheridan College, Oakville, Ontario. Upon graduation from Sheridan, he was recruited by Disney and moved to Los Angeles.[1]


Williams previously worked in the story department for Mulan (1998), The Emperor's New Groove (2000), and Frozen (2013), in which he also voiced the character Oaken. In February 2007, it was announced he would direct American Dog,[3] which was re-titled Bolt (2008), and was later joined by Byron Howard, both of them replaced Chris Sanders who was the original director.[4]

In July 2010, it was reported by various sources that Williams would direct King of the Elves based on the story by Philip K. Dick.[5][6][7] However, in 2012, it was revealed that Williams had joined another Walt Disney Animation film, Big Hero 6, as a co-director inspired by the Marvel Comics of the same name.[8]

In November 2018, it was reported that Williams had left Disney and would direct Jacob and the Sea Beast for Netflix.[9]


Year Title Credits Notes
1998 Mulan Story
2000 The Emperor's New Groove Story
2002 Lilo & Stitch Story Supervisor
2003 Brother Bear Story
2005 Chicken Little Story Artist
2007 Meet the Robinsons Additional Story Artist
Glago's Guest Director / Writer
Bolt Co-director / Screenplay With Byron Howard
2009 G-Force Additional Story Material
2010 Tangled Additional Story Artist
2013 Frozen Story Artist / Oaken (voice)
2014 Big Hero 6 Co-director With Don Hall
2015 Frozen Fever Oaken (voice)
2016 Zootopia Story
Moana Co-director / Story With Don Hall[10][11]
LEGO Frozen: Northern Lights Oaken (voice)
2017 Olaf's Frozen Adventure Oaken (voice)
2018 Ralph Breaks the Internet Additional Story Artist / Executive producer with Jennifer Lee and John Lasseter


  1. ^ a b c Knelman, Martin (February 25, 2009). "Bolt from blue took Canadian to Oscars". The Star. Retrieved December 24, 2013.
  2. ^ "University of Waterloo alumnus wins Oscar for Big Hero 6". Waterloo Stories. University of Waterloo.
  3. ^ Fritz, Ben (February 8, 2007). "'Toy Story' sequel set". Variety. Retrieved December 9, 2014.
  4. ^ Sciretta, Peter (June 20, 2008). "Bolt Teaser Poster; A Look Back at American Dog". /Film. Retrieved December 9, 2014.
  5. ^ "King of the Elves being reworked; Disney plans far ahead". Filmonic. August 6, 2010. Retrieved December 24, 2011.
  6. ^ Graser, Marc; Sneider, Jeff (June 29, 2011). "Disney revives 'King of the Elves' toon". Variety. Retrieved June 30, 2011.
  7. ^ Chitwood, Adam (June 29, 2011). "Disney Sets HORRIBLE BOSSES Scribe to Pen KING OF THE ELVES". Collider. Retrieved December 9, 2014.
  8. ^ Giardina, Carolyn (December 31, 2013). "Chris Williams To Co-Direct Disney Animation's 'Big Hero 6' With Don Hall". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 31, 2013.
  9. ^ Lang, Brent (November 5, 2018). "Netflix Backs 'Jacob and the Sea Beast' From 'Big Hero 6' Director Chris Williams (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved April 10, 2019.
  10. ^ Sciretta, Peter (June 29, 2016). "Disney Animation's Big Announcement Coming Tomorrow, Here's What It Could Be". /Film. Retrieved August 21, 2016.
  11. ^ "Moana (Trailer H)". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved September 27, 2016.

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