Jill Culton

After studying at the prestigious California Institute of the Arts (or "CalArts") in Valencia, Jill Culton made her film debut as an animator on the 1993 feature "The Thief and the Cobbler," a visually innovative project directed by Richard Williams. From there, she ventured into more commercially profitable territory, serving as a story artist on 1995's "Toy Story," the first (and, perhaps, most legendary) foray into computer animation from Disney's new Pixar brand. Unlike many successful animators, who tend to work exclusively for one particular studio, Culton bounced around quite a bit--in 1997, she worked as a supervising animator and storyboard artist on the Turner Entertainment-produced musical-comedy "Cats Don't Dance." The project was released to a modest critical reception, but audiences weren't as responsive, and (perhaps as a result) Culton found herself once again working with the Pixar family on her next project, 1998's "A Bug's Life," for which she (once again) worked as a storyboard artist. Culton helped design new characters for the smash sequel "Toy Story 2," and she even took a stab at the first script for 2001's "Monsters Inc.," but her most notable work came in 2006, co-directing and developing the story for the wacky comedy "Open Season," the first feature film entry from Sony Pictures Animation.