Sohn’s ascendancy to the director’s chair marks a victory for increased diversity within the ranks of feature animation directors. While the 37-year-old Korean-American Sohn won’t be the first Asian director of a contemporary big-budget CGI film—South Korea-born Jennifer Yuh Nelson directed DreamWorks’ Kung Fu Panda 2—he will become Pixar’s first non-white director (Walt Disney Animation Studios, by contrast, has never had a non-white person direct any of its 50-plus full-length animated films).
A CalArts grad and 14-year Pixar veteran, Sohn has contributed extensively to the studio’s projects. He worked in the art and story departments on Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, WALL·E, and Up; directed the Pixar short Partly Cloudy; served as the visual inspiration for Russell in Up; and voiced Emile in Ratatouille and Squishy in Monsters University, among other vocal performances.
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