Sheridan Trained Animator Receives Oscar for Big Hero 6
Big Hero 6, directed by Sheridan-trained animator Chris Williams, has won the 2015 Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film. The film picked up the top award last night at the Academy Awards ceremony in Hollywood, California.
Big Hero 6 centres on the special bond that develops between Baymax, a plus-sized inflatable robot, and prodigy Hiro Hamada. Williams joined forces with director Don Hall on the film which was adapted from a Marvel comic title.
“We are immensely proud to learn that Chris has won this year’s Oscar for Best Animated Feature. His dedication to excellence in his craft is at the heart of Sheridan’s renowned animation program,” said Jeff Zabudsky, President & CEO of Sheridan.
“Sheridan has been at the forefront of animation education since 1971 and this level of recognition is a testament to our success in nurturing and training the best animators in the world,” Zabudsky added.
Williams earned a bachelor of fine arts degree at the University of Waterloo before enrolling in Sheridan's animation program. Prior to completing the full program he was hired to work at Disney when the studio's recruiters visited Sheridan. However, Williams credits Sheridan with launching his animation career. "My respect and love for animation took root at Sheridan. It was an amazing learning experience," he said. While at Disney, Williams has contributed to such films as Mulan, The Emperor's New Groove, and Chicken Little.
This was Williams’ second trip to the Oscar ceremony, six years after his nomination for
Bolt. Although making the Oscar list for the first time in 2009 was a thrill, this latest nod had special significance, he says.
“It meant that much more because of how impressive the other nominated films are. They are all made by very talented people who have taken on challenging material. I am also very excited that two other nominees are from Sheridan. There’s a lot of camaraderie and respect among us,” said Williams, who grew up in Waterloo, Ontario.
Williams’ bond with fellow nominee Dean DeBlois (How to Train Your Dragon 2) goes back to their first days at Disney in Los Angeles when they worked together on Mulan. “We have been close friends ever since,” said Williams.
A crowd of Sheridan students, staff and faculty gathered at Sheridan’s Oakville campus last evening to watch the show live, and celebrated the announcement of Williams’ win: https://www.dropbox.com/s/it52d9dus1xzijh/0223_SPH_OSCAR-PROMO-v1.mp4?dl=0
Three of the five films nominated in the Best Animated Feature category were directed by animators who studied at Sheridan: How to Train Your Dragon 2,written and directed by Dean DeBlois (1990), and The Boxtrolls, directed by Graham Annable (1991). Many Sheridan graduates also contributed their talent to the three animated features.
Many Sheridan alumni also worked on Disney’s animated short film Feast, which won the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film last night
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