Jennifer Yuh Nelson

  Female      South Korean      Director

  Born : May 07, 1972  

About Author

Jennifer Yuh Nelson, also known as Jennifer Yuh (born May 7, 1972), is a South Korean-born American director and storyboard artist. She is best known for her directorial debut Kung Fu Panda 2. Yuh is the first woman to solely direct an animated feature from a major Hollywood studio, and this film also proved to be the most financially successful one for a film directed by a woman. She won an Annie Award for Best Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production for directing the opening for Kung Fu Panda. She was the second woman nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature for her work on Kung Fu Panda 2. After the success of Kung Fu Panda 2, Yuh is now returning to direct Kung Fu Panda 3, which will be released in 2016.

Yuh was born in 1972 in South Korea and immigrated to the United States with her parents and two sisters when she was 4 years old. Yuh spent her childhood in Lakewood, California, where she enjoyed watching martial arts movies, playing with cars, and drawing. "I have been drawing since age 3 and making movies in my head for almost as long. In fact, drawing for me was a way to express those films when I had no other means of doing so," said Yuh. As a young girl, she would sit at the kitchen table for hours and watch her mother draw, copying her every stroke. As a kid, she would fancy stories with her sisters and was learning to draw to get down those stories. Yuh traces the lineage of her career to those formative family experiences.

Interested in art, Yuh followed her sisters to California State University, Long Beach, where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration. There she got introduced to animation, "When I was in college years later, a veteran storyboard artist came to talk to my class. He showed us how he drew movies for a living. My mind exploded. And that led to a career in animation." Jennifer then followed her sisters into an animation business - at first as a cleanup artist at Jetlag Productions, where she worked on various direct-to-video features. In 1997, she got hired as a storyboard artist on HBO's Spawn series, and directed all six episodes in the second season...

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