Pete Docter

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Pete Docter
Pete Docter Cannes 2015.jpg
Docter in 2015
CCO of Pixar Animation Studios
Assumed office
June 2018 (2018-06)
Preceded byJohn Lasseter
Personal details
Born
Peter Hans Docter[1]

(1968-10-09) October 9, 1968 (age 52)
Bloomington, Minnesota, U.S.
Spouse(s)Amanda Docter
Children2
Alma materCalifornia Institute of the Arts
OccupationAnimator, director, writer, producer, voice actor
AwardsAcademy Award for Best Animated Feature
Up (2009)
Inside Out (2015)
Soul (2020)
Signature

Peter Hans Docter (born October 9, 1968) is an American animator, film director, screenwriter, producer, voice actor, and chief creative officer of Pixar.[2][3] He is best known for directing the Pixar animated feature films Monsters, Inc. (2001), Up (2009), Inside Out (2015), and Soul (2020), and as a key figure and collaborator at Pixar. He has been nominated for nine Oscars and has won three for Best Animated Feature—for Up, Inside Out and Soul—making him the first person in history to win the category three times. He has also been nominated for nine Annie Awards (winning six), a BAFTA Children's Film Award and a Hochi Film Award.[4] He has described himself as a "geeky kid from Minnesota who likes to draw cartoons".[3]

Early life[edit]

Docter was born in Bloomington, Minnesota, the son of Rita Margaret (Kanne) and David Reinhardt Docter.[5] His mother's family is Danish American.[6] He grew up introverted and socially isolated, preferring to work alone and having to remind himself to connect with others. He often played in the creek beside his house, pretending to be Indiana Jones and acting out scenes.[7] A junior-high classmate later described him as "this kid who was really tall, but who was kind of awkward, maybe getting picked on by the school bullies because his voice change at puberty was very rough."[3]

Both his parents worked in education: his mother, Rita, taught music and his father, Dave, was a choral director at Normandale Community College. He attended Nine Mile Elementary School, Oak Grove Junior High, and John F. Kennedy High School in Bloomington. Unlike his two sisters, Kirsten Docter, who was the violist and a founding member of the Cavani String Quartet, and Kari Docter, a cellist with the Metropolitan Opera, Docter was not particularly interested in music, although he learned to play the double bass and played with the orchestras for the soundtracks of Monsters, Inc.[8] and Up.[9]

Docter taught himself cartooning, making flip books and homemade animated shorts with a family movie camera.[3] He later described his interest in animation as a way to "play God", making up nearly living characters. Cartoon director Chuck Jones, producer Walt Disney, and cartoonist Jack Davis were major inspirations.[10]

He spent about a year at the University of Minnesota[3] studying both philosophy and making art[10] before transferring to the California Institute of the Arts, where he won a Student Academy Award for his production "Next Door" and graduated in 1990.[11] Although Docter had planned to work for Walt Disney Animation Studios, his best offers came from Pixar and from the producers of The Simpsons.[3] He did not think much of Pixar at that time,[10] and later considered his choice to work there a strange and unusual one.[12]

Career[edit]

Pete Docter in 2009 promoting the movie Up

Before joining Pixar, Docter had created three non-computer animations, Next Door, Palm Springs, and Winter.[13] All three shorts were later preserved by the Academy Film Archive.[14] He was a fan of the company's early short films, but he knew nothing about them otherwise. He commented in an October 2009 interview, "Looking back, I kind of go, what was I thinking?"[15]

He started at Pixar in 1990 at the age of 21 after John Lasseter asked his former classmate the late Joe Ranft, who was one of Docter's teachers at CalArts, to recommend any students who would be a good fit for the company.[16][7][17][18] Deciding to follow his instincts and what "felt right" at the time, he accepted the job offer from then obscure Pixar and began work there the day after his college graduation[16][12] as the tenth employee at the company's animation group[10] and its third animator.[19] Docter instantly felt at home in the tight-knit atmosphere of the company. He has said, "Growing up ... a lot of us felt we were the only person in the world who had this weird obsession with animation. Coming to Pixar you feel like, 'Oh! There are others!'"[3]

Docter had been brought in with limited responsibilities, but John Lasseter quickly assigned him larger and larger roles in writing, animation, sound recording, and orchestra scoring.[15] He was one of the three key screenwriters behind the concept of Toy Story, and partially based the character of Buzz Lightyear on himself.[10] He had a mirror on his desk and made faces with it as he conceptualized the character.[15]

Docter's fascination with character development was further influenced by a viewing of Paper Moon, he told journalist Robert K. Elder in an interview for The Film That Changed My Life.[20]

I like the more character-driven stuff, and Paper Moon brought that home to me in a way that I had not seen in live action, really focusing on the whole story just about characters. It was almost theatrical in the same way you might see a stage show because you're locked in a room. It's got to be about characters, and yet it was so cinematic, a film that couldn't be done in any other medium. It just kind of blew my socks off.[21]

Docter has been an integral part of some of Pixar's most seminal works, including Toy Story, Toy Story 2, A Bug's Life and Monsters, Inc., all of which received critical acclaim and honors. He contributed to these animated films as a co-author to the scripts, and worked with CGI stalwarts such as John Lasseter, Ronnie del Carmen, Bob Peterson, Andrew Stanton, Brad Bird, and Joe Ranft. Docter has referred to his colleagues at Pixar as a bunch of "wild stallions".[12]

Docter made his directorial debut with Monsters, Inc.—the first Pixar movie not directed by Lasseter—which occurred right after the birth of his first child, Nick. Docter has said that the abrupt move from a complete, single-minded devotion to his career to parenting drove him "upside down" and formed the inspiration for the storyline.[22] In 2004, he was asked by John Lasseter to direct the English translation of Howl's Moving Castle.[23] Docter then directed the 2009 film Up, released on May 29, 2009. He based the protagonist of Up partially on himself, based on his frequent feelings of social awkwardness and his desire to get away from crowds to contemplate.[7] Following the success of Up, Docter and fellow Pixar veterans John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich as well as long-time collaborator and director Brad Bird were honored with the Golden Lion Honorary Award for Lifetime Achievement at the 66th Venice International Film Festival.[24][25] Docter directed the 2015 film Inside Out to critical acclaim.[26] His next film, Soul, was released on Disney+ on December 25, 2020 to critical acclaim.[27][28]

Docter appeared at Comic-Con 2008 and the 2009 WonderCon.[29]

In May 2009, Docter remarked retrospectively to Christianity Today that he had lived "a blessed life" so far.[7] The A.V. Club has called him "almost universally successful".[12] He has been nominated for eight Oscars (winning three), three Annie Awards (winning two), four BAFTA Film Awards (winning two), a British Academy Children's Award (which he won), and a Hochi Film Award (which he won).[4] Accepting his first Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, he said, "Never did I dream that making a flip book out of my third-grade math book would lead to this."[30] Docter served as Vice-President of Creativity at Pixar Animation Studios through June 2018, and following Lasseter stepping down from the role, became the studio's chief creative officer.[2][31] TheWrap reported that Docter planned to complete the film he was currently working on, which ultimately became Soul.[32]

Personal life[edit]

Docter is married to Amanda Docter and has two children, Nicholas and Elie.[7] Elie has a speaking part in Up and was the inspiration for the character of Riley in Inside Out.[33]

Docter is a fan of anime, particularly the work of Hayao Miyazaki. Docter has said that Miyazaki's animation has "beautifully observed little moments of truth that you just recognize and respond to".[23] He is a fan of the work done by his competitors at DreamWorks as well. Referring to the competitive environment, he has said: "I think it's a much healthier environment when there is more diversity".[12]

During an interview in 2009, Docter confirmed that he is a Christian and said that it influences his work. However, he went on to say that he did not envision himself ever creating a Christian movie.[10] About the relationship between his faith and his filmmaking, Docter has said:

I don't think people in any way, shape, or form like to be lectured to. When people go to a movie, they want to see some sort of experience of themselves on the screen. They don't come to be taught. So in that sense, and in terms of any sort of beliefs, I don't want to feel as though I'm ever lecturing or putting an agenda forth.[7]

Filmography[edit]

Feature films[edit]

Year Title Director Executive
Producer
Writer Other Voice Role Notes
1995 Toy Story No No Original Story Yes Supervising Animator, Story Artist
1998 A Bug's Life No No No Yes Additional Storyboarding
1999 Toy Story 2 No No Original Story No
2001 Monsters, Inc. Yes No Original Story Yes CDA Agent 00002 Uncredited Animator[34]
2003 Finding Nemo No No No No Brain Trust - uncredited
2004 The Incredibles No No No Yes Additional Voices
2005 Howl's Moving Castle[23] No No No Yes Director: English Dub, US Version
2006 Cars No No No No Brain Trust - uncredited
2007 Ratatouille No No No Yes Pixar Productions
2008 WALL-E No No Original Story Yes Additional Voices Senior Creative Team
2009 Up Yes No Yes Yes Campmaster Strauch/Kevin Uncredited Animator[35]
2010 Toy Story 3 No No No Yes Senior Creative Team
2011 Cars 2 No No No Yes
2012 Brave No Yes No Yes
2013 Monsters University No Yes No Yes
2015 Inside Out Yes No Yes Yes Dad's Anger
The Good Dinosaur No No No Yes Senior Creative Team
2016 Finding Dory No No No Yes
2017 Cars 3 No No No Yes
Coco No No No Yes
2018 Incredibles 2 No No No Yes
2019 Toy Story 4 No Yes No Yes
2020 Onward No Yes No Yes
Soul Yes No Yes Yes
2021 Luca[36][37] No Yes No Yes
2022 Turning Red[38] No Yes No Yes
Lightyear[39] No Yes No Yes

Short films and series[edit]

Year Title Director Executive
Producer
Writer Animator Other Role Notes
1985 Behind the Scenes at Camelot[40] No No No No Yes Himself
1988 Winter[13] Yes Producer Yes Yes No Producer
1989 Palm Springs[13] Yes No No Yes Yes Sigmond Dinosaur
Cranium Command No No No Yes No
1990 Next Door[13] Yes No No Yes Yes Man Next Door Composer
1997 Geri's Game No No No Yes No
2002 Mike's New Car Yes No Original Story No No
2005 Mr. Incredible and Pals No No No No Yes Mr. Incredible
2009 Dug's Special Mission No Yes No No No
George and A.J. No Yes No No No
Let's Pollute No No No No Yes Musician: Bass
2013 Party Central No Yes No No No
2015 Riley's First Date? No Yes No No Yes Dad's Anger
2017 Lou No Yes No No No
2018 Bao No Yes No No No
2019–20 Forky Asks a Question No Yes No No No Disney+ Original Short Films[41]
2020 Lamp Life No Yes No No No
Dory's Reef Cam No Yes No No No Disney+ Original[42]
2021 Pixar Popcorn No Yes No No No Disney+ Original Short Films[43]
22 vs. Earth[44] No Yes No No No
Dug Days No Yes No No No
2022 Untitled Cars Series No Yes No No No
2023 Win or Lose No Yes No No No Disney+ Original Long-Form Series[45]

Other credits[edit]

Year Title Role
2003 Boundin' Special Thanks
2007 Fog City Mavericks
The Pixar Story Himself; Very Special Thanks
2008 Presto Special Thanks
2009 Partly Cloudy
2010 Day & Night
2011 La Luna
2013 The Blue Umbrella
2014 Lava
Toy Story That Time Forgot Extra Special Thanks
2015 Sanjay's Super Team Special Thanks
2016 Piper
2017 Baby Driver[46] Special Thanks - uncredited
2019 Purl Special Thanks
Kitbull
Float
Frozen II
Wind
2020 Loop Story Trust
Out Special Thanks
One Night in Miami...
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Canvas
Burrow
2020-2021 Inside Pixar[47]

Reception[edit]

Critical, public and commercial reception to films Docter has directed as of January 9, 2021.

Film Rotten Tomatoes[48] Metacritic[49] CinemaScore[50] Budget Box office[51]
Monsters, Inc. 96% (196 reviews) 79 (35 reviews) A+ $115 million $577.4 million
Up 98% (295 reviews) 88 (37 reviews) A+ $175 million $735.1 million
Inside Out 98% (369 reviews) 94 (55 reviews) A $175 million $857.6 million
Soul 95% (309 reviews) 83 (55 reviews) N/A $150+ million $71.2 million

Awards and nominations[edit]

Academy Awards[edit]

Year Nominee / work Award Result Ref.
1995 Toy Story Best Original Screenplay Nominated [52]
2001 Monsters, Inc. Best Animated Feature Nominated [53]
2002 Mike's New Car Best Animated Short Film Nominated [54]
2008 WALL-E Best Original Screenplay Nominated [55]
2009 Up Best Animated Feature Won [56]
Best Original Screenplay Nominated
2015 Inside Out Best Animated Feature Won [57]
Best Original Screenplay Nominated
2020 Soul Best Animated Feature Won [58]

Annie Awards[edit]

Year Nominee / work Award Result Ref.
1996 Toy Story Best Individual Achievement in Animation Won
2000 Toy Story 2 Outstanding Achievement in Writing Won
2002 Monsters, Inc. Directing in a Feature Production Nominated
2010 Up Directing in a Feature Production Won
Writing in a Feature Production Nominated
2016 Inside Out Directing in a Feature Production Won
Writing in a Feature Production Won
2021 Soul Directing in a Feature Production Nominated
Writing in a Feature Production Won

Other awards[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result Ref
1995 Hugo Awards Best Dramatic Presentation Toy Story Nominated
2001 Critics' Choice Movie Awards Best Animated Feature Monsters, Inc. Nominated
2001 Hugo Awards Best Dramatic Presentation Nominated
2008 Nebula Award for Best Script WALL-E Won
2008 Hugo Awards Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form Won
2009 Critics' Choice Movie Awards Best Animated Feature Up Won
Best Original Screenplay Nominated
2009 Golden Globe Awards Best Animated Feature Film Won
2009 British Academy Film Awards Best Animated Film Won [59]
Best Original Screenplay Nominated
2009 Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation Nominated
2009 Hugo Awards Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form Nominated
2009 Satellite Awards Best Original Screenplay Nominated
2015 Golden Globe Awards Best Animated Feature Film Inside Out Won [60]
2015 Critics' Choice Movie Awards Best Animated Feature Won
Best Original Screenplay Nominated
Best Comedy Nominated
2015 British Academy Film Awards Best Animated Film Won [61]
Best Original Screenplay Nominated
2015 Satellite Awards Best Animated or Mixed Media Feature Won
Best Original Screenplay Nominated
2015 Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation Nominated
2020 Golden Globe Awards Best Animated Feature Film Soul Won
2021 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture Nominated [62]

Collaborators (Acting)[edit]

Pete Docter has cast certain actors and crew members in more than one of the films he has directed

Monsters, Inc. Up Inside Out Soul
Mary Gibbs
☒N
☒N
Bob Peterson
☒N
☒N
John Ratzenberger
☒N
☒N
☒N
Frank Oz
☒N
☒N
Jeff Pidgeon
☒N
☒N
Mickie McGowan
☒N
☒N
Danny Mann
☒N
☒N
John Cygan
☒N
☒N
Pete Docter
☒N
☒N
☒N
Josh Cooley
☒N
☒N
Ronnie del Carmen
☒N
☒N

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ancestry: MN Births 1935–2002". Search.ancestry.com. Retrieved October 10, 2012.
  2. ^ a b Lang, Brent (June 19, 2018). "Jennifer Lee, Pete Docter to Run Disney Animation, Pixar". Variety. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Covert, Colin (May 27, 2009). "Pete Docter: The Wizard of Up". Star Tribune. Archived from the original on June 7, 2011.
  4. ^ a b Awards for Peter Docter. Imdb.com Accessed June 8, 2009.
  5. ^ "Person Details for Peter Hans Docter, "Minnesota Birth Index, 1935-2002" — FamilySearch.org". familysearch.org.
  6. ^ "Pete Docter:reddit AMA - December 2012". Interviewly. Archived from the original on July 10, 2015. Retrieved July 10, 2015.
  7. ^ a b c d e f What's Up, Doc(ter)? By Mark Moring. Christianity Today. Published May 26, 2009.
  8. ^ "Fun Factory". The Daily Telegraph. December 31, 2001.
  9. ^ Up Blu-Ray extra features
  10. ^ a b c d e f Sharon Gallagher (1999). "Interview with Pete Docter". Radix. 26:1. Archived from the original on April 15, 2009. Retrieved April 2, 2009.
  11. ^ Worden, Leon (February 29, 2016). "CalArts Grad Pete Docter Takes Home 2nd Oscar". SCVNews.com.
  12. ^ a b c d e Pete Docter. by Tasha Robinson. The A.V. Club. Published May 28, 2009.
  13. ^ a b c d Simon, Ben (December 27, 2012). "Pixar Short Films Collection: Volume 2". Animated Views. Retrieved February 26, 2017.
  14. ^ "Preserved Projects". Academy Film Archive.
  15. ^ a b c Pixar Movies Are Lousy ... at First. The Wrap
  16. ^ a b Chaudoin, Kim (March 26, 2021). "Pixar's Pete Docter shares experiences with animation students". Lipscomb University. Retrieved April 25, 2021.
  17. ^ "Q&A: Pete Docter". The Hollywood Reporter. May 12, 2009. Retrieved April 25, 2021.
  18. ^ To Infinity and Beyond!: The Story of Pixar Animation Studios
  19. ^ Going 'Up' with Minnesotan Pete Docter. By Euan Kerr. Minnesota Public Radio. Published May 29, 2009.
  20. ^ "The Film That Changed My Life: 30 Directors on Their Epiphanies in the Dark: Robert K. Elder: 9781556528255: Amazon.com: Books". January 1, 2011. Retrieved October 10, 2012.
  21. ^ Docter, Pete. Interview by Robert K. Elder. The Film That Changed My Life. By Robert K. Elder. Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 2011. N. p171. Print.
  22. ^ O'Connor, Aine (October 4, 2009). "Docter keeps Pixar magic on the Up". Irish Independent.
  23. ^ a b c Interview with Up Director Peter Docter. By Beth Accomando. KPBS. Published May 29, 2009.
  24. ^ "Disney/Pixar to Receive Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival". California Institute of the Arts. August 24, 2009.
  25. ^ "66th Venice International Film Festival – Press Kit". Venice Film Festival.
  26. ^ "It's All In Your Head: Director Pete Docter Gets Emotional In 'Inside Out'". NPR. February 19, 2016. Retrieved December 9, 2020.
  27. ^ Taylor, Drew (October 9, 2020). "'Soul' Director Pete Docter on Charting Pixar's Cosmic Voyage and Landing Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross". Collider. Retrieved December 9, 2020.
  28. ^ Soul (2020), retrieved December 26, 2020
  29. ^ "Is Pixar Going to Make Monsters Inc 2? | /Film". Slashfilm.com. February 27, 2009. Archived from the original on June 28, 2010. Retrieved October 10, 2012.
  30. ^ Notable quotes from the 82nd annual Academy Awards The Associated Press, March 9, 2010.
  31. ^ Kit, Borys (June 19, 2018). "Pete Docter, Jennifer Lee to Lead Pixar, Disney Animation". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
  32. ^ "End of an Era: Inside Pixar on the Eve of John Lasseter's Departure". TheWrap. June 22, 2018.
  33. ^ Flores, Terry (June 10, 2015). "'Inside Out' Director Pete Docter Talks About Animation Influences, Pixar at LAFF Master Class". Variety. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
  34. ^ Julie & T.J. (May 16, 2012). "Director's Commentary Track Review - Monster's Inc". Pixar Post. Retrieved December 25, 2020.
  35. ^ https://film.avclub.com/pete-docter-1798216800
  36. ^ Desowitz, Bill (July 30, 2020). "Pixar Sets Summer 2021 Release for Italian Coming-of-Age 'Luca' Feature". IndieWire. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved November 18, 2020.
  37. ^ Rubin, Rebecaa (July 30, 2020). "Pixar Shares Details About Next Original Film 'Luca'". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved September 12, 2020.
  38. ^ Julie & T.J. (December 11, 2020). "Pixar Announces 'Turning Red' Directed by Domee Shi - Coming Spring 2022". Pixar Post. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  39. ^ Julie & T.J. (December 10, 2020). "Pixar Announces 'Lightyear' – An Origin Story of the Human Buzz Lightyear – Coming Summer 2022". Pixar Post. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  40. ^ "1985 Behind the Scenes at Camelot". Bloomington Educational Cable Television. Retrieved September 12, 2020.
  41. ^ Prudom, Laura (January 29, 2020). "Disney Plus' Lamp Life Sneak Peek: What Happened to Bo Peep Between Toy Story 2 and 4? - IGN". IGN. Retrieved March 14, 2021.
  42. ^ Coffey, Kelly (November 23, 2020). "NEW 'Dory's Reef Cam' Coming Soon to Disney+". insidethemagic.net. Retrieved December 20, 2020.
  43. ^ Julie & T.J. (December 10, 2020). "Disney Investor Day 2020 — Pixar Announces Series, Shorts, & 2 Films for 2022 'Turning Red' and 'Lightyear'". Pixar Post. Retrieved December 10, 2020.
  44. ^ Haring, Bruce (April 21, 2021). "Disney/Pixar Spins Off Animated Hit 'Soul' With '22 Vs. Earth' Short Bowing On Disney+". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved April 25, 2021.
  45. ^ Julie & T.J. (December 14, 2020). "Pixar's First Original Series 'Win or Lose' Coming to Disney+ Fall 2023". Pixar Post. Retrieved December 15, 2020.
  46. ^ Giroux, Jack (July 6, 2017). "How Edgar Wright's 'Baby Driver' Got to Reference a Beloved Pixar Movie". /Film. Retrieved December 14, 2020.
  47. ^ Wolsos, Julie & T.J. (November 13, 2020). "Inside Pixar – "There is no typical day" Take a Peek at the Disney+ Series Streaming Now". Pixar Post. Retrieved March 26, 2021.
  48. ^ "Pete Docter". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved January 13, 2021.
  49. ^ "Pete Docter". Metacritic. Retrieved January 13, 2021.
  50. ^ "CinemaScore". cinemascore.com. Retrieved May 30, 2015.
  51. ^ "Pete Docter Movie Box office". boxofficemojo.com. Retrieved January 13, 2021.
  52. ^ "1996". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved March 10, 2016.
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  54. ^ "2003". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved March 10, 2016.
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  57. ^ "2016". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved March 10, 2016.
  58. ^ "2021". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved March 10, 2016.
  59. ^ "Scene Dissection: "Up" director Pete Docter on the film's emotional opening montage". Los Angeles Times. February 25, 2010.
  60. ^ "'Inside Out' Takes Animation Golden Globe". Animation Magazine. January 11, 2016.
  61. ^ "2016 BAFTA Awards: Animated Film". British Academy of Film and Television Arts.
  62. ^ Davis, Clayton (February 2, 2021). "Viola Davis, Tyler Perry and Regina King Up for Entertainer of the Year at 2021 NAACP Image Awards". Variety. Retrieved March 2, 2021.

External links[edit]