Mike Mitchell (director)

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Mike Mitchell
Mike Mitchell by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Mitchell at the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con
BornOctober 18, 1970 (1970-10-18) (age 48)
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, U.S.
OccupationFilm director
Years active1993–present

Mike Mitchell (born October 18, 1970) is an American film director, producer, actor and former animator. He directed the films Trolls, Surviving Christmas, Sky High, Shrek Forever After and Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo.

Early life[edit]

Mitchell was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the son of lawyer and former chairman of the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board, Robert Mitchell and Julia Baker. According to his father, "Mitchell's gifts for artistic imagery were discovered early." He graduated from Putnam City North High School, and during this time was very much involved in the arts, then subsequently moved to Los Angeles to attend the California Institute of the Arts. During his time there, there was a demand for young animators, which led him into television.

Working for such filmmakers as Tim Burton and Spike Jonze, Mitchell became an illustrator. He has one older sister, Suzanne Mitchell Robertson.


He started his career as director for Matt O'Callaghan's The Itsy Bitsy Spider. He first gained critical attention when he co wrote, produced and directed the short film Herd, which won several film festival awards, including the Spirit of Slamdance Award at the 1999 Slamdance Festival. That same year, he made his feature film directorial debut with the comedy Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, starring Rob Schneider. He worked for various companies including Disney, DreamWorks, MTV, Nickelodeon, Universal and Sony.

He directed the films Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, Surviving Christmas and Sky High, in which all three received mixed reviews, while the latter has received positive reviews. In 2006, he joined DreamWorks Animation, and was a story artist for Shrek the Third and Creative Consultant for Kung Fu Panda. He later directed the movie Shrek Forever After and voiced the character Butterpants.

He also worked as a voice actor for various voices in Monsters vs. Aliens, and Andy Beanstalk in Puss in Boots. He also directed live action sequences on The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water. He not only works on movies but in television as well. He directed and wrote several episodes of SpongeBob SquarePants. Mitchell will also direct Nightcrawlers, a supernatural action comedy,[1] a sequel to Sky High, [2] and a live action/animated adaptation of the song Puff, the Magic Dragon.[3]


Sundance Film Festival: "Frannie's Christmas" (1993).

Aspen Shortsfest 1999: Won special recognition for "Herd" (1999).

Atlanta Film Festival 1999: Won Honorable Mention for Best Narrative Short: "Herd" (1999).

Birmingham Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival 1999: Won first prize for "Herd" (1999).

Slamdance Film Festival 1999: Won Spirt of Slamdance Award for "Herd" (1999).

HI Mom Film Festival 2000: Won first prize for "Herd" (1999).



Year Title Director Writer Animator Role Notes
1998 Antz Yes additional story artist
1999 Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo Yes directorial debut
2004 Shrek 2 Yes additional story artist
Surviving Christmas Yes
2005 Sky High Yes
2007 Shrek the Third Yes additional story artist
2008 Kung Fu Panda creative consultant
2009 Monsters vs. Aliens Yes Advisor Wedgie story artist
2010 Shrek Forever After Yes Tour Guide/Camp Ogre/Ogre Naysayer/Baba Witch/Melty Witch/Witch Guard #2/Butter Pants
Megamind Father in Crowd
2011 Kung Fu Panda 2 special thanks
Puss in Boots Andy Beanstalk
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked Yes
2014 Penguins of Madagascar Antarctic Penguin
2015 The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water Yes live-action sequences
2016 Kung Fu Panda 3 Male Palace Goose / Smart Panda Villager executive producer
Trolls Yes Darius, Vinny the Phone, Captain Starfunkle, Spider, Wedgie Bergen #1, Chad, Card
2017 Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie special thanks
2019 The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part Yes Co-director with Trisha Gum
2020 Scooby executive producer



  • He is good friends with fellow director Tim Hill.


  1. ^ Director Named for 'Monster Squad', Not the Remake...
  2. ^ Heath, Paul (October 17, 2016). "Exclusive: Writer revealed for Dreamworks' 'Shrek 5' – 'Sky High 2' coming?". The Hollywood News. Retrieved December 12, 2016.
  3. ^ Fleming Jr., Mike (December 9, 2016). "Peter, Paul & Mary Tune 'Puff The Magic Dragon' In Fox Deal With 'Troll's Helmer Mike Mitchell". Deadline. Retrieved December 28, 2016.

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