Doug Sweetland is a cinematic master. Doug Sweetland, in case you wondering, is a cinematic master because he is the man behind my third favorite Pixar short of all-time, Presto. (My first being For the Birds, and the second being Geri's Game).
In addition to accomplishing the enormous feat of directing Presto, Mr. Sweetland was an animator on Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Monsters Inc., Toy Story 2, and Finding Nemo, and then moved up in the food chain to become a Story Artist for The Incredibles and Supervising Animator on Cars. He has won two Annie Awards, been nominated for several others, and was also nominated at the Oscars for Presto. It is fair to say that he is a fairly high-regarded bigwig up in Emeryville.
Announced earlier today, however, Doug has left his position at Pixar in the dust. He left the dream job of a lifetime in order to direct a feature for Sony Pictures Animation. The film is entitled The Familiars, and is based on a children's book of the same title by Adam Epstein (who also worked on the screenplay for the film).
Hannah Mighella, president of the studio, had this to say about the ex-Pixarian:
It was clear from our first conversation with Doug that we'd found our director. Not only does he possess a keen story sense and a wonderful sense of humor but his passion for animation and for this project are unrivaled.Although Doug has to be slightly insane to just pick up and leave Pixar, I am very excited to see what he does with The Familiars and Sony Pictures Animation. Perhaps I will finally be able to rate a non-Disney/Pixar animated film 10 out of 10 for once.
Source: PR Newswire