Sergio Pablos

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Sergio Pablos
Barcelona, Spain
Alma materCalifornia Institute of the Arts (BFA)
Years active1993–present
Notable work
Spouse(s)Marisa Roman
WebsiteSPA Studios

Sergio Pablos is a Spanish-American animator, director, and screenwriter. While at the helm of his company (The SPA Studios), Pablos developed several concepts for animated feature films, most notably the original ideas upon which Despicable Me (Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment in 2010) and Smallfoot (produced by the Warner Animation Group in 2018) were based.  

Most recently, the SPA Studios has produced Netflix’s first original animated feature film, Klaus, written and directed by Pablos.

Early life[edit]

Sergio Pablos is from Barcelona, Spain. After working as a key animator on Once Upon a Forest (1993), he moved to Paris, France, to pursue a career opportunity at Walt Disney Animation Studios where he worked on Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996) and Hercules (1997). Pablos was then promoted to a Supervising Animator position at Disney Feature Animation in Burbank, handling the character of Tantor the elephant on Tarzan (1999), and Dr. Doppler on Treasure Planet (2002), the latter of which garnered him a nomination for Best Character Animation at the Annie Awards.


Pablos’ first job in animation with Disney Studios in Paris was as a character designer on A Goofy Movie (1995). From that connection he moved to Walt Disney Animation Studios and began learning the ropes, working as animator or contributing to character designs on several major 2D animation productions, including The Hunchback of Notre Dame (character of Frollo), Hercules (character of Hades), Tarzan (character of Tantor the elephant), and Treasure Planet (character of Doctor Doppler). He was nominated for an Annie Award for his work on Treasure Planet.[1] Subsequent to his departure from Disney, he was hired as character design supervisor on Stuart Little 3: Call of the Wild for Columbia.[2]

After several more years working in animation production, Pablos created the Despicable Me franchise based on his original screen story Evil Me and his own art design. He took the package unsolicited to Universal Pictures where he became the first of several screenwriters on the project as well as executive producer. In 2010, Despicable Me—starring Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Russell Brand, Kristen Wiig, Miranda Cosgrove, Will Arnett, and Julie Andrews—was a box office success, received a Golden Globe nomination, and became one of animation’s highest-grossing movies. Pablos continued work as a character designer on another animated feature, Rio for 20th Century Fox, which was released the following year. He received his second Annie Award nomination for Rio.[1] After the release of Despicable Me 2 in 2013, theatrical markets (worldwide box office) and ancillary markets (home media, cable, merchandising, books, video games, TV series, theme parks, etc.), pushed franchise total revenues to over ten figures.[3][4][5] He was the writer for the film Warner Animation Group's Smallfoot. He then formed Sergio Pablos Animation Studios in Madrid, Spain, where he made his directorial debut with Klaus.

Personal life[edit]

Pablos shares his time between the U.S. and Spain where he is CEO and Creative Director of The SPA Studios in Madrid.[3]


Filmmaking credits[edit]

Year Title Director Writer Producer Notes
2010 Despicable Me No Story Executive
2018 Smallfoot No Book Executive Based on the unpublished book Yeti Tracks
2019 Klaus Yes Yes Yes Voice roles: Pumpkin / Olaf; directorial debut

Animation credits[edit]

Year Title Credites as Notes
1993 Once Upon A Forest Key animator: Lápiz Azul Animación
1995 Operavox Key animator in episode "Rhinegold" Television series
A Goofy Movie Animator: "Paris" / character designer
Runaway Brain Animator Short
1996 The Hunchback of Notre Dame Animator: "Frollo"
1997 Hercules Animator: "Hades"
1999 Tarzan Character designer / visual development artist/ supervising animator: "Tantor"
2002 Treasure Planet Supervising animator: "Doctor Doppler"
2005 Tarzan II Character designer Direct-to-video
Stuart Little 3: Call of the Wild Character design supervisor
2006 Asterix and the Vikings Animation director: Animagic
The Fox and the Hound 2 Character design supervisor: Animagic Films Direct-to-video
2007 Nocturna Animation supervisor: Animagic
2009 Alma Character designer Short
2011 Rio Character designer
2013 Underdogs Animation advisor
2017 Ferdinand Character designer
2018 La Noria Additional character designe Short

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
2003 Annie Awards Best Character Animation Treasure Planet

for "Dr. Delbert Doppler"

2012 Best Character Design in a Feature Production Rio Nominated
2020 Academy Awards Best Animated Feature Klaus Nominated
Annie Awards Best Animated Feature Won
Best Directing in a Feature Production Won
Best Storyboarding in a Feature Production Won
BAFTA Awards Best Animated Film Won
Goya Best Animated Film Nominated
Humanitas Prize Best Family Feature Nominated
Quirino Awards Best Feature Nominated


  1. ^ a b "Annie Awards :: Home". Retrieved 2017-05-28.
  2. ^ Studios, Sergio Pablos , CTN Expo , The Spa. "Sergio Pablos - Profile - CTN Expo". CTN Animation Expo. Retrieved 2017-05-28.
  3. ^ a b "SPA Studios - Sergio Pablos Animation Studios - Animation and multimedia". Retrieved 2017-05-28.
  4. ^ "The Numbers - Where Data and the Movie Business Meet". The Numbers. Retrieved 2017-05-28.
  5. ^ "'Despicable Me' Minions Find Their 'Paradise' In Upcoming Mobile Game". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2017-05-29.

External links[edit]