William Joyce (writer)

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William Joyce
Joyce promoting The Man in the Moon in November 2011
Joyce promoting The Man in the Moon in November 2011
BornWilliam Edward Joyce
(1957-12-11) December 11, 1957 (age 63)
Shreveport, Louisiana, U.S.
OccupationAuthor, illustrator, filmmaker
EducationSouthern Methodist University
Years active1981–present
SpouseFrances Elizabeth Baucum Joyce (died 2016)
ChildrenMary Katherine (died 2010)
Jackson Edward


William Edward Joyce (born December 11, 1957) is an American writer, illustrator, and filmmaker. His illustrations have appeared on numerous covers of The New Yorker and his paintings are displayed nationwide.[1][2][3] For the short film The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore (2011), Joyce won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film at the 84th Academy Awards.[4]

Children's literature[edit]

He has written and illustrated over fifty children's books including George Shrinks, Santa Calls, Dinosaur Bob and his Adventures with the Family Lazardo, Rolie Polie Olie, The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs and A Day with Wilbur Robinson.

Joyce is currently working on a series of novels and picture books, The Guardians of Childhood, consisting of a total of 13 books.[5]

Film and television[edit]

Joyce has received three Emmys for Rolie Polie Olie, an animated series based on his series of children's books that aired on the Disney Channel. His second television series, George Shrinks, used to air daily on PBS stations.

Joyce created conceptual characters for Disney/Pixar's feature films Toy Story (1995) and A Bug's Life (1998).

In 2001, after Joyce and Ice Age director Chris Wedge failed to adapt one of Joyce's books to the screen, Santa Calls, they both came up with the idea for the animated film Robots (2005). Besides being one of the creators, Joyce also served as a producer and production designer.[6]

In 2005 Joyce and Reel FX launched a joint venture, Aimesworth Amusements, to produce feature films, video games and books.[7] The new company announced plans to make three feature films:[8] The Guardians of Childhood, The Mischevians, and Dinosaur Bob and His Adventures With the Family Lazardo.[9] The first of those projects, The Guardians of Childhood was developed by DreamWorks Animation into the feature film, Rise of the Guardians. It was released in 2012 and is based on Joyce's book series and the short film Man in the Moon, directed by Joyce.[10]

In 2007, Disney released Meet the Robinsons, a movie based on his book A Day with Wilbur Robinson, to which Joyce served as one of the executive producers of the film along with John Lasseter and Clark Spencer.

In August 2009, Joyce and Reel FX co-founder Brandon Oldenburg founded a Shreveport-based animation and visual effects studio MOONBOT Studios.[11] The studio produced an Oscar-winning animated short film[12] and an iPad app[13] The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. A book adaption was released in summer 2012.[14] The studio released in January 2012 another app, Numberlys, with a short film and a book announced to come later.[15]

His book The Leaf Men was adapted by Blue Sky Studios into a 2013 computer-animated feature film titled Epic, with Joyce as writer, executive producer, and production designer.[16]


Saks Fifth Avenue[edit]

In both 1994 and 1995 Joyce’s Santa Calls books were inspiration for the Christmas displays for Saks Fifth Avenue on 5th Avenue.

The World of William Joyce[edit]

This exhibition is run by the National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature. It began in 1998 and is currently still traveling nationally.


Artspace is a gallery located in Shreveport that is run under the guidance of the Shreveport Regional Arts Council. Joyce serves as the Artistic Director.[17] He has helped bring a Peter Pan Centennial exhibit, an Art of Robots exhibit, and Faces of Katrina.


In 2006, Joyce founded the Katrinarita Gras Foundation to raise money for victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. He is selling prints of his unpublished Mardi Gras The New Yorker cover through the foundation with all profit going to Louisiana artists and arts organizations.[18]

Awards and accolades[edit]

Joyce in March 2012 holding an Oscar for his short film The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore during a parade in his and Brandon Oldenburg's honor held in downtown Shreveport.

Joyce received the 2008 Louisiana Writer Award for his enduring contribution to the "literary intellectual heritage of Louisiana." The award was presented to him on October 4, 2008, during a ceremony at the 2008 Louisiana Book Festival in Baton Rouge. On February 26, 2012, he won an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film, "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore."

Newsweek called him one of the top 100 people to watch in the new millennium.[19]

Academy Awards[edit]

Year Nominated work Category Result
2012 The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore Best Animated Short Film Won

Personal life[edit]

Bill Joyce lives with his son Jackson Edward Joyce in Shreveport, Louisiana. His daughter, Mary Katherine, died from a brain tumor at the age of 18 on May 2, 2010.[20][21] Rise of the Guardians, a film inspired by stories Joyce told her while young and later resulted in The Guardians of Childhood book series, was dedicated to her memory, reading “For Mary Katherine Joyce, a Guardian Fierce and True” during the credits. [22] The main character of Epic, which is also based on Joyce's book, The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs, was named after her.[23] His wife, Frances Elizabeth Baucum Joyce, who was a Shreveport attorney, died on January 20, 2016 at the age of 55, after a long battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.[24]

Works by William Joyce[edit]


In May 2017, Atheneum Young Readers released the picture book "Bently & Egg," A Day With Wilbur Robinson, of which the film version is entitled Meet the Robinsons, and Dinosaur Bob and His Adventures with the Family Lazardo. All are under the label "The World of William Joyce."[25]

Note: All books are written and illustrated by William Joyce, except as noted

  • My First Book of Nursery Tales / Retold by Marianna Mayer ; illustrated by William Joyce (1983)[26]
  • Tammy and the Gigantic Fish / By Catherine & James Gray ; illustrated by William Joyce (1983)[27]
  • Waiting for Spring Stories / By Bethany Roberts ; illustrated by William Joyce (1984)[28]
  • William Joyce's Mother Goose / Illustrated by William Joyce (1984)[29]
  • George Shrinks Written and illustrated by William Joyce (1985)[30]
  • Shoes / Written by Elizabeth Winthrop (1986)
  • Dinosaur Bob and His Adventures with the Family Lazardo / (1988)
  • Humphrey's Bear / By Jan Wahl ; illustrated by William Joyce (1989)
  • Some of the Adventures of Rhode Island Red / By Stephen Manes ; illustrated by William Joyce (1990)
  • A Day with Wilbur Robinson / (1990)
  • Nicholas Cricket / By Joyce Maxner ; illustrated by William Joyce (1991)
  • Bently & Egg / (1992)
  • Santa Calls / (1993)
  • Don't Wake the Princess: Hopes, Dreams, and Wishes / Cover art (1993)
  • A Wiggly, Jiggly, Joggly Tooth / By Bill Hawley ; illustrated by William Joyce (1995)
  • The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs / (1996) Play (premiere at Strand Theatre, Shreveport)-1998
  • Buddy / (1997)
  • World of William Joyce Scrapbook / by William Joyce ; photos by Philip Gould and design by Christine Kettner (1997)
  • Life with Bob (board book) / (1998)
  • Baseball Bob (board book) / (1999)
  • The Art of Robots / (2004)
  • The Art of Rise of the Guardians / (2012)
  • The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore / (2012)[31]
  • The Mischievians / (2013)[32]
  • The Numberlys / co-illustrated with Christina Ellis (2014)[33]
  • A Bean, A Stalk And A Boy Named Jack / (2014)[34]
  • Billy's Booger / (2015)[35]
  • Ollie's Odyssey / (2015)[36]
  • Bently & Egg / (2017)[37]

Rolie Polie Olie series[edit]

  1. Rolie Polie Olie (1999)
  2. Rolie Polie Olie: How Many Howdys? (board book) (1999)
  3. Rolie Polie Olie: A Little Spot of Color (board book) (2000)
  4. Rolie Polie Olie: Polka Dot! Polka Dot (board book) (2000)
  5. Snowie Rolie (2000)
  6. Rolie Polie Olie- Character Books: Olie, Spot, Zowie, Billie (2001)
  7. Sleepy Time Olie (2001)
  8. Big Time Olie (2002)
  9. Busy Books (2002)
Peakaboo You!
Rolie Polie Shapes
Be My Pal!
Rocket Up, Rolie!

The Guardians of Childhood series[edit]

  1. Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King / written with Laura Geringer (2011) [38]
  2. E. Aster Bunnymund and the Warrior Eggs at the Earth's Core! / (2012)[39]
  3. Toothiana: Queen of the Tooth Fairy Armies / (2012)[40]
  4. The Sandman and the War of Dreams / (2013)[41]
  5. Jack Frost: The End Becomes the Beginning / (2018)
Picture books[edit]
  1. The Man in the Moon (2011)[42]
  2. The Sandman: The Story of Sanderson Mansnoozie (2012)[43]
  3. Jack Frost (2015)



Year Title Role Notes
1995 Toy Story Conceptual and art design
1997 Buddy Screenwriter & Co-Producer Screen story
1998 A Bug's Life Conceptual and art design
2005 Robots Writer, Producer & Production Designer
2007 Meet the Robinsons Writer & Executive Producer
2007 Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium Production Designer Main title sequence design
2011 The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore Director & Writer
2012 Rise of the Guardians Writer & Executive Producer
2013 Epic Writer, Production Designer, & Executive Producer
2013 The Scarecrow Executive Producer
2013 The Numberlys Director, Writer
2014 Silent Executive Producer
2014 The Cask of Amontillado Director
TBD The Great Gatsby Director Animated film adaptation

Television series[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1998-2004 Rolie Polie Olie Created by, based on the book series of the same name
2000-2001 George Shrinks Created by, based on the book of the same name


  1. ^ "Guardian of Childhood: William Joyce". NCCIL.org. National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature. Archived from the original on May 27, 2018. Retrieved May 26, 2018.
  2. ^ "William Joyce: Guardian of Childhood". ArkellMuseum.org. Arkell Museum. Retrieved May 26, 2018.
  3. ^ Godby, Corey. "Exhibition: William Joyce". MuddyColors.com. Retrieved May 26, 2018.
  4. ^ "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore from Moonbot Studios Wins Best Animated Short in 2011 Oscars". MoonbotStudios.com. Retrieved May 26, 2018.
  5. ^ Jardine, William (July 29, 2012). "Interview: William Joyce, Moonbot Studios Co-Founder and Co-Director of Morris Lessmore". A113 Animation. Retrieved July 30, 2012.
  6. ^ Jones, Malcolm (March 13, 2005). "Heavenly Metal". The Daily Beast. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
  7. ^ Daly, Helen (June 1, 2005). "HOT HOUSE: Reel FX Creative Studios Ramps Up for Animated Fare". Studio Daily. Retrieved September 11, 2011.
  8. ^ Webb, Cynthia D. (January 16, 2005). "Reel FX moves to larger digs in Deep Ellum". Dallas Business Journal. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
  9. ^ Connelly, Brendon (April 23, 2009). "Dreamworks Teaming Up With William Joyce for the Guardians of Childhood". SlashFIlm. Retrieved September 23, 2009.
  10. ^ McCarthy, Todd (October 11, 2012). "Rise of the Guardians: Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 11, 2012.
  11. ^ "New Talent for Louisiana". PR Newswire. August 6, 2009. Retrieved September 2, 2011.
  12. ^ LeBlanc-Berry, Lisa (January 2011). "William Joyce: Making art come to life". Ourhouse.biz. Retrieved September 3, 2011.
  13. ^ Donahoo, Daniel (May 31, 2011). "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is a Game-Changing eBook App". Wired. Retrieved September 3, 2011.
  14. ^ ""The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore" Nominated for Best Animated Short in 2011 Oscars". MarketWatch. January 24, 2012. Retrieved January 25, 2012.
  15. ^ Mitchell, Jon (January 11, 2012). "The Numberlys Invent the Alphabet in a World Run By Numbers". Read Write Web. Archived from the original on January 16, 2012. Retrieved January 26, 2012.
  16. ^ Barnes, Brooks (January 10, 2010). "Taking Aim at the Big Names in Animated Film". The New York Times. Retrieved October 7, 2010.
  17. ^ http://artspaceshreveport.com/artspace-advisory-board/
  18. ^ "Cheney-killed New Yorker cover finds new life". New Orleans CityBusiness. September 13, 2006. Retrieved September 4, 2011.
  19. ^ Newsweek (April 21, 1997). "The Century Club". Newsweek. Retrieved July 28, 2011.
  20. ^ Breznican, Anthony (March 29, 2012). "You'd better watch out for DreamWorks Animation's 'Rise of the Guardians' – NEW PICS & TRAILER". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
  21. ^ "Mary Katherine Joyce Obituary". Shreveport Times. May 5, 2010. Retrieved January 3, 2011.
  22. ^ Feinberg, Scott (October 15, 2012). "'Rise of the Guardians' Unveiled, Rises to Top Tier of Animated Contenders (Analysis)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 17, 2012. Ramsey included a dedication to her at the end of the film, a gesture for which Joyce said he is very appreciative.
  23. ^ Desowitz, Bill (May 16, 2013). "Immersed in Movies: Chris Wedge Gets 'Epic'". Animation Scoop. Retrieved June 18, 2013.
  24. ^ Talamo, Lex (January 21, 2016). "Updated: Services announced for Elizabeth Joyce". Shreveport Times. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
  25. ^ Chere Dastugue Coen (May 1, 2017). "New title out this week by bestselling Louisiana author". The Shreveport Times. Retrieved May 2, 2017.
  26. ^ "My First Book of Nursery Tales".
  27. ^ Gray, Catherine; Gray, James (March 1991). Tammy and the Gigantic Fish. ISBN 0064432637.
  28. ^ Roberts, Bethany (1984). Waiting for Spring Stories. ISBN 0060250615.
  29. ^ "William Joyce's Mother Goose".
  30. ^ Joyce, William (October 2, 1985). George Shrinks. ISBN 0060230703.
  31. ^ "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore". Moonbot Studios. Retrieved March 19, 2015.
  32. ^ "The Mischievians". Moonbot Studios. Archived from the original on March 15, 2015. Retrieved March 19, 2015.
  33. ^ "The Numberlys". Moonbot Studios. Retrieved March 19, 2015.
  34. ^ "A Bean, A Stalk And A Boy Named Jack". Moonbot Studios. Retrieved March 19, 2015.
  35. ^ "Billy's Booger". Moonbot Studios. Archived from the original on March 15, 2015. Retrieved March 19, 2015.
  36. ^ "Ollie's Odyssey". Retrieved March 17, 2017.
  37. ^ "Bently & Egg". Retrieved March 17, 2017.
  38. ^ "Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King". Simon & Schuster. Retrieved August 23, 2011.
  39. ^ "E. Aster Bunnymund and the Battle of the Warrior Eggs at the Earth's Core". Simon & Schuster. Retrieved August 23, 2011.
  40. ^ "Toothiana". Simon & Schuster. Retrieved June 21, 2012.
  41. ^ "The Sandman and the War of Dreams". Simon & Schuster. Retrieved December 22, 2012.
  42. ^ "The Man in the Moon". Simon & Schuster. Retrieved August 23, 2011.
  43. ^ "Sanderson Man Snoozy (w.t.)". Simon & Schuster. Retrieved March 3, 2012.

External links[edit]