Kirsten Lepore

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Kirsten Lepore
Known forAnimation, stop motion
Spouse(s)Daniel Kwan
(m. 2016)

Kirsten Lepore is an American animator, best known for her stop motion short films like "Sweet Dreams", "Bottle", and "Move Mountain". From 2014 to 2015, she worked on an episode of the American cartoon series Adventure Time entitled "Bad Jubies", serving as writer, storyboard artist, and director. The episode eventually aired on January 14, 2016 to critical acclaim.[1][2][3]


Lepore was raised in South Brunswick, New Jersey.[4] In an interview with The A.V. Club, Lepore explained that, as a child, she was fascinated by the animation techniques used by both Disney and the Jim Henson Company.[5] Lepore attended South Brunswick High School,[4] where she began to earnestly explore art, and as a young adult, she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Maryland Institute College of Art, where she studied "experimental animation". Her undergraduate thesis was the short stop motion film entitled "Sweet Dreams".[5][6] Following college, she applied to studios and freelanced on the side, but she "never heard back from the studios, and the freelance work kept coming."[6] She returned to her parents' house and began working on ads and small production projects. During this phase in her life, she felt that she did not have enough technical expertise.[5] As a result, she attended CalArts, graduating in 2012 with a Master of Fine Arts in experimental animation.[5][7] Her graduate thesis, a short film entitled "Move Mountain", caught the attention of Adventure Time showrunner Adam Muto, and Lepore eventually guest-animated the episode "Bad Jubies".[5][8]


Lepore has won various awards, including a Student Annie Award, a South by Southwest special jury award for animation, and an Annecy + award for best animation.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Lepore has been married to fellow filmmaker and animator Daniel Kwan since 2016, and together they have one son.[10][11]

Selected filmography[edit]

Year Title Description Role
2007 "Story from North America" Short film Director, animator
2008 "Sweet Dreams" Short film, BFA thesis Writer, director
2011 "Bottle" Short film Writer, director
2013 "Move Mountain" Short film, MFA thesis Writer, director
2014–15 "Bad Jubies" Adventure Time episode Writer, storyboard artist, director
2016 "Hi Stranger" Short film Writer, director, animator
2018 "It's My Party" Summer Camp Island episode Writer, storyboard artist
2021 Marcel the Shell with Shoes On Film Animation director[12]
2022 Everything Everywhere All At Once Film Visual effects artist[4]
2022–present I Am Groot Short film series Writer, director, executive producer[13]


  1. ^ Lloyd, Robert (January 14, 2016). "Kirsten Lepore Brings a Real Third Dimension to 'Adventure Time'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 16, 2016.
  2. ^ Sava, Oliver (January 14, 2016). "Adventure Time's stop motion Episode Praises the Healing Power of Art and Nature". The A.V. Club. The Onion. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  3. ^ Flores, Terry (February 4, 2017). "'Zootopia' Wins Top Prize at Annie Awards (Winners List)". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c Kuperinsky, Amy (August 10, 2022). "Meet N.J.'s Kirsten Lepore, the animation whiz behind Marvel's I Am Groot and Marcel the Shell". Retrieved September 10, 2022. Lepore, a writer, director and animator who grew up in South Brunswick, also had a hand in A24′s biggest grossing movie to date—the kaleidoscopic adventure Everything Everywhere All At Once, which opened wide in April. ... In 2009, the alum of South Brunswick High School, who grew up drawing, making small sculptures and filming her sisters in experiments with the family camcorder, moved to the West Coast.
  5. ^ a b c d e Sava, Oliver (January 14, 2016). "Adventure Time's Kirsten Lepore on the Joys and Pains of Stop Motion Animation". The A.V. Club. The Onion. Retrieved January 15, 2016.
  6. ^ a b Lepore, Kirsten (July 1, 2009). "Animation Magazine Feature". Flickr. Retrieved November 29, 2016.
  7. ^ "Alumni Accomplishments: 04/29/2012". May 27, 2012. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  8. ^ Lloyd, Robert (January 14, 2016). "Kirsten Lepore Brings a Real Third Dimension to 'Adventure Time'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 16, 2016.
  9. ^ "Info // Contact". Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  10. ^ Ito, Robert (June 14, 2016). "'Swiss Army Man,' the Strangest Movie Shown at Sundance?". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 17, 2022.
  11. ^ Daniel Kwan [@dunkwun] (August 22, 2016). "This is Kir and I the day after our wedding ..." – via Instagram.
  12. ^ "Marcel the Shell With Shoes On: You Will Believe a Shell Can Skate". Vanity Fair. 2023-01-16. Retrieved 2023-02-15.
  13. ^ Paige, Rachel (November 12, 2021). "Disney+ Day 2021: New Look at 'I Am Groot'". Marvel Entertainment. Retrieved November 12, 2021.

External links[edit]