A story writer and artist for Walt Disney Studios from the late 1990s onward, Chris Williams eventually worked his way up to director on a pair of high profile projects in 2008 and 2009. The first was...
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Raised in Canada, Williams developed an interest in animation after attending two summer programs at the prestigious art school Sheridan College. He later received a fine arts degree from the University of Waterloo in Ontario. After graduation, he headed south to become part of the Walt Disney Studios animation team in Orlando, FL. He first served as an intern before joining the story team for "Mulan" (1998), the first feature to be produced in the Florida studio. Williams then relocated to Disney's campus in California, where he wrote the story that eventually blossomed into "The Emperor's New Groove" (2000). He received an Annie nomination for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Writing for his work on that film.
Williams contributed to the story development on "Brother Bear" (2003), which featured future collaborator Byron Howard among its animation design team. He also served as story artist on "Chicken Little" (2005) and "Meet the Robinsons" (2007) before teaming with Howard to direct "Bolt" (2008), Disney's 48th animated feature. The pair, who replaced "Lilo and Stitch" (2002) helmer Chris Sanders, were given just 18 months to complete the CGI feature - a fraction of the usual time allotted for such a project. Despite the overwhelming odds, "Bolt" was released in theaters in late 2008 to positive reviews and resounding box office returns. Ticket holders also got to enjoy "Glago's Guest" (2008), a CGI short by Williams that accompanied "Bolt" during its theatrical run. The short was nominated for four Annies, including Best Animated Short Subject. As for "Bolt," the critical acclaim for the film eventually yielded numerous critical awards and nominations. Chief among these were Golden Globe and Oscar nods for Best Picture, as well as numerous accolades from national and regional critical associations.
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