CalArts’ animation alumni top $26 billion in box-office grosses


How do colleges measure the success of their graduates?

Here’s one way: tally up how well their movies do at the box office.

That’s the novel approach being taken by the California Institute of the Arts, the Valencia institution founded by Walt Disney and his brother Roy.

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The college said movies directed by graduates from CalArts’ famous animation programs have generated $26.4 billion in box office revenue since 1985.


This year has been especially rewarding year for CalArt graduates who directed Disney’s “Wreck-It Ralph” (Rich Moore), “Frankenweenie” (Tim Burton) and “Hotel Transylvania” (Genndy Tartakovsky). Alumni Kyle Balda, director of “Dr. Seuss’ Lorax” and “Brave” filmmakers Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman also had Top 10 grossing films for 2012.

Other famous CalArts graduates include John Lasseter, chief creative officer at Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, Disney directors John Musker (“Aladdin”), Kirk Wise (“Beauty and the Beast”) and Gary Trousdale (“The Hunchback of Notre Dame”), and Henry Selick (“Coraline”).

“It’s an indicator of how much we have served as an engine for the industry and how much our alumni have contributed,” said Steve Anker, dean of the School of Film/Video at CalArts. “Our alumni have revolutionized the industry.”

Anker said the data and interactive infographics designed by CalArts alumna Stephanie Smith are part of an effort to promote greater awareness about the college’s programs as it seeks to raise funds for new facilities.


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