The Pixar co-founder and former Walt Disney Animation Studios president will serve alongside Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin and PDI co-founder Glenn Entis.
Nine-time Emmy Award-winning Baobab Studios has just announced Ed Catmull, Pixar co-founder and former longtime president of Walt Disney Animation Studios, has joined its board of directors and creative advisory board. He joins Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin, and Glenn Entis, co-founder of PDI (acquired by DreamWorks SKG) and former Chief Visual and Technology Officer at Electronic Arts.
Honored with five Academy Awards as well as the A. M Turing Award (widely known as the "Nobel Prize of Computing") for his contributions to 3D graphics and CGI filmmaking, Catmull brings over 50 years of experience to Baobab’s board. Catmull served as President of both Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar following Pixar’s acquisition by Disney in 2006. He has overseen numerous groundbreaking films and sequels from both studios, including Disney’s Big Hero 6, Frozen and Zootopia, and Pixar’s Finding Nemo, Incredibles 2, Toy Story 4, plus many others.
“I’m honored to join the board of directors of Baobab Studios and to be part of their creative journey,” said Catmull. “Baobab is at the forefront of telling incredible stories across mediums, and I look forward to supporting the entire team as the company evolves into the preeminent animation studio of the future.”
“I have followed Ed’s work for years and am proud to welcome him to our board of directors,” said Maureen Fan, CEO and co-founder of Baobab Studios. “Ed’s leadership and innovative genius in the world of animation is unparalleled, and his insight will be invaluable as we imagine new characters and worlds, as well as an active role for our audiences inside of them.”
Catmull will help guide Baobab creative and operations efforts as the studio accelerates its award-winning storytelling across both emerging and traditional mediums. Studio Emmys won over its first five years include consecutive Best Interactive Media trophies for Invasion!, Asteroids!, Crow: The Legend, and last year, Baba Yaga. Baobab recently announced a deal with Disney Branded Television to create The Witchverse, an event anthology series for Disney+ based on Baba Yaga, Baobab’s three-time Emmy Award-winning short film and VR experience, starring an all-female ensemble of Kate Winslet, Jennifer Hudson, Daisy Ridley, and Glenn Close.
Entis is an Academy Award-winning animation pioneer and games industry veteran who co-founded Pacific Data Images (PDI), where he co-wrote PDI's first animation system, earning him a Scientific and Technical Award from the Academy of Motion Pictures and Arts and Sciences. DreamWorks SKG acquired PDI in 2000 to enable the studio’s pivot to computer graphics. Together, they created the studio’s first animated feature, Antz!, which was directed by Baobab Studios’ co-founder and Chief Creative Officer, Eric Darnell.
While CEO of DreamWorks Interactive, alongside Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg, Entis oversaw the creation of video games including the groundbreaking Medal of Honor series, whose story was directed and produced by Spielberg and music composed by Michael Giacchino. Its commercial and critical acclaim spawned 14 sequel installments and a new video game genre, the World War 2 first person shooter genre. Electronic Arts acquired Dreamworks Interactive in 2000, and Entis joined the gaming giant, becoming its Chief Visual and Technology Officer.
Lin is one of the two pioneering founders of Twitch, the world’s largest live social video platform for gamers and creators, which was acquired by Amazon in 2014 for over $1 billion. One of the most respected entrepreneurs and executives in digital media, Lin is also a co-founder of Gold House, the leading Asian and Pacific Islander (API) changemaker community that unites, invests in, and promotes API creative and companies.
Most recently, Baobab added five people to the creative teams, including, Oscar-nominated Director Erick Oh, Director Jony Chandra, Director of Marketing Hayley Porter, and Games Creative Directors Michael McCormick (The Sims) and Brian Tinsman (Pokémon).
Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.