Jill Culton

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Jill Culton
Jill Culton.jpg
Culton in 2010
Alma materCalifornia Institute of the Arts
OccupationFilm director, executive producer, writer, animator, character designer, storyboard artist
EmployerPixar Animation Studios (1993–2002)
Sony Pictures Animation (2002–2009)
DreamWorks Animation (2010–present)
Notable work
Open Season

Jill Culton is an American animator, who is best known for her directorial debut on Sony's first animated film, Open Season, becoming the first female principal director of a big budget, computer-animated feature.[1]

Previously, she studied at the Character Animation program at the California Institute of the Arts, where she later taught animation.

She was also a storyboard artist for various Pixar films such as Toy Story, Toy Story 2, A Bug's Life and also co-wrote the original treatment for Monsters, Inc., and continued to become the Head of Development.

She animated on Toy Story and served as a Directing Animator at Turner Features for the film Cats Don't Dance.

Along with Anthony Stacchi, she helped to develop Curious George while working at Industrial Light & Magic.[2][3]

In 2003, Culton joined Sony Pictures Animation, which launched a year before to produce CG animated films.[4] During her years at Sony, Culton, along with directing Open Season and executive producing Open Season 2, also developed Hotel Transylvania.

As of 2010, Culton was at DreamWorks Animation.[5] For some time, she was writing and directing an animated film (now titled Abominable) about a little girl and a Yeti, tentatively titled Everest,[6][7] but by 2016, she had left the project.[8] However, she came back to the project to direct again.[9]



  1. ^ Stein, Ruthe (September 27, 2006). "DATE LINES / News, notes and updates from the Bay Area arts and culture scene compiled by Chronicle staff writers and critics". SFGate. Retrieved December 21, 2013.
  2. ^ Harris, Dana (May 8, 2003). "Sony tooning new animation unit". Variety. Retrieved July 31, 2014.
  3. ^ Eller, Claudia (May 12, 2003). "Lucas Starts Animation Division". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 31, 2014. Later, Universal -- concerned about a budget that topped $100 million -- scrapped plans to enlist ILM in making a computer-animated adaptation of the children's classic "Curious George."
  4. ^ Wolfe, Jennifer (July 10, 2014). "Emails, Court Docs Show Sony Resisted Wage-Fixing Cartel". Animation World Network. Retrieved July 31, 2014.
  5. ^ "Two in One Interview: NY Illustrators – Character Designers". CTN Animation Expo. Retrieved December 21, 2013.
  6. ^ Gachman, Dina (March 21, 2013). "Bringing 'The Croods' to Life: A Spotlight Interview with Producers Kristine Belson and Jane Hartwell". Studio System News. Archived from the original on December 24, 2013. Retrieved December 21, 2013. We have a project tentatively titled Everest, but that's a temp title. It's about a little girl and a Yeti, and the writer-director is Jill Culton.
  7. ^ Milligan, Mercedes (March 26, 2014). "DreamWorks Adopts FLIX for Story Development". Animation Magazine. Retrieved March 27, 2014. Culton, who made her directorial debut with Sony’s Open Season, is currently writing and directing a film about a young girl and a Yeti for DWA with the working title Everest.
  8. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (December 5, 2016). "'How To Train Your Dragon 3' Flies To 2019; Uni's DWA To Scale 'Everest'". Deadline. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  9. ^ https://variety.com/2018/biz/asia/cmc-takes-universal-stake-in-oriental-dreamworks-1202685349/

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