Doug Sweetland, director of the Oscar-nominated short film Presto and a longtime animator at Pixar, will direct the animated feature film The Familiars for Sony Pictures Animation.
Sweetland comes to SPA after 16 years at Pixar, where he worked as an animator on features including Toy Story, Toy Story 2, A Bug’s Life, Monsters, Inc., and as a storyboard artist on The Incredibles and as supervising animator on Cars. He also wrote and directed Presto and won two individual achievement Annie Awards.
The Familiars is based on a just-published novel by Adam J. Epstein and Andrew Jacobson, who are adapting their story into a screenplay. The book is the first in a series about young wizards in training and their animal companions. Sam Raimi and Josh Donen are executive producers on the film.
“It was clear from our first conversation with Doug that we’d found our director, “ said Hannah Minghella, president of production for Sony Pictures Animation. “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.”