Travis Knight (animator)

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Travis Knight
Travis Knight, The Boxtrolls, 2014 Comic-Con 1.jpg
Born 1973
Hillsboro, Oregon
Alma mater Portland State University
Occupation film animator;
President, CEO, LAIKA, Inc.
Parent(s) Phil Knight
Penny Knight

Travis Knight (born 1973) is an American animator, film executive and former rapper, the son of Penelope "Penny" (Parks) and Phil Knight, the founder and chairman of Nike, Inc. He is the current president and CEO of LAIKA, Inc.

Early life[edit]

Knight was born in Hillsboro, Oregon, a suburb of Portland; attending Jesuit High School, near Beaverton, Oregon. He is a graduate of Portland State University.[1] His grandfather was publisher William W. Knight.



As Chilly Tee, Knight released one rap album, 1993's Get Off Mine, and single of the same name. It featured production from The Bomb Squad and Knight wrote most of the lyrics. Knight is quoted in the Portland Monthly as saying, "Nobody bought that record... I liked making music, but I hated the performing part of it. I think there’s a reason most animators are hidden behind giant curtains. They’re not meant for the spotlight."[1]


Travis joined Will Vinton Studios, first as an intern.[1] He worked as a stop-motion animator, working on the Emmy Award-winning television series The PJs, produced with Eddie Murphy Productions and Imagine Entertainment, as well as the animated series Gary & Mike on UPN. He animated numerous television commercials and promo spots, including the NFL campaign on Fox. Knight served as Vice President of Animation and as Lead Animator on Coraline, ParaNorman and The Boxtrolls. He also sits on the Laika board of directors.[2] For 2016, he is working on his directorial debut, titled Kubo and the Two Strings.[3]

Honors and awards[edit]

  • Coraline, on which he was lead animator, was nominated for an Academy Award and a BAFTA Award, for "Outstanding Animated Film".[4]
  • In June 2007, Knight was honored by Animation Magazine as one of 12 "Rising Stars of Animation."[5]
  • In October 2012 he was awarded the first Alumni Achievement Award from Portland State University (graduated in 1998).[6]

Personal life[edit]

Knight is married with two children.[7]

See also[edit]

Additional reading[edit]


  1. ^ a b c McNichol, Tom. 2009. "Hollywood Knights," Portland Monthly, February. Accessed: May 24, 2012.
  2. ^ Salter, Chuck (July 1, 2007). "THE KNIGHTS' TALE". The Fast Company. Retrieved November 29, 2014. 
  3. ^ McNary, Dave (December 22, 2014). "Laika, Focus Teaming on Animated ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’". Variety. Retrieved December 23, 2014. 
  4. ^ Laika, "Travis Knight, President & CEO". Accessed: May 24, 2012.
  5. ^ Ball, Ryan. 2007. "Coraline Animator Travis Knight of LAIKA," Animation Magazine, May 7. Accessed: May 24, 2012.
  6. ^ Simon Benson Awards. 2012. Accessed: October 10, 2012.
  7. ^ Giardina, Carolyn (February 8, 2013). "'ParaNorman's' Travis Knight: The Nike Scion Behind the Oscar-Nominated Film". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 29, 2014. 

External links[edit]