Michigan salutes Monsters University Director, Dan Scanlon

Dan Scanlon and Kori Rae Fox News

While Michigan-native and Monsters University director Dan Scanlon wraps up his globe-trotting press junket to promote the film’s release, the local Detroit coverage about Scanlon’s journey to Pixar is at its height. Between a special segment on Detroit’s Fox News, to an article in The Detroit News, we’re excited to see our shared hometown (Pixar Post is based in Michigan) represent Dan. In this Fox News video interview (UPDATED: The video link is no longer active), Kori Rae (Producer) and Dan chat about his experience directing his live-action film, Tracy, hailing from Clawson and making Monsters U a prequel instead of a sequel.

Following the video interview, an article from The Detroit News (UPDATED: The article link is no longer active) highlights a similar tone, but this time focuses more on Dan’s journey from college to landing his job with Pixar – it’s really interesting. Below is an excerpt from the article titled, “Clawson kid grows us to be a monsters animator”.

“I always dreamt of doing something with film, or something with art, but I never really believed I’d have an opportunity to do it,” Scanlon says.

Scanlon says he was always obsessed with art. “I started drawing when I was about 5 years old, constantly drawing,” he says. As he grew, he got a camera and started dabbling in live action and animation. He entered some local film festivals and competitions, and then landed a job with a company called Character Builders in Ohio after college. He spent three years there working on direct-to-video Disney productions. Then he built up the nerve to take a shot at the big time. “I just wanted to take a risk and see if I could get out to California, and amazingly, Pixar was my first choice and I didn’t hear back from anybody but Pixar,” he says now.

“That was 11 years ago and it’s been a dream ever since,” Scanlon says. He started out as a storyboard artist on “Cars” and “Toy Story 3.” In 2006, he co-directed an animated short, “Mater and the Ghostlight,” with Pixar guru John Lasseter, and then directed a live-action feature called “Tracy.” It all led to the “Monsters University” job.

The Detroit News Dan Scanlon
Screenshot from The Detroit News article

Dan’s interview with The Detroit News took place while on his way to the Monsters University charity screening in Royal Oak, Michigan and we were lucky enough to have attended the event. In case you missed it, be sure to read our review of the event as well as the silent auction filled with amazing Pixar artwork – yes, we may have even won an amazing piece by Robert Kondo.

Comments 1
  1. His story is inspiring, and I'm sure Pixar knew what they were doing when they offered him a spot. I'm saturated with anticipation for MU tonight; it will be interesting to see a full-length feature with Scanlon as director!

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