Kung Fu Panda 2 and it’s sequel Kung Fu Panda 3 were two fantastic movies. Perhaps it was because they were directed by a woman! Jennifer Yuh Nelson is our terrific woman this Tuesday. Jennifer was the first woman to direct an animated feature from a major Hollywood studio.
Jennifer was born in South Korea and then immigrated with her parents and sisters at the age of 4 to California. Jennifer’s childhood consists of watching martial arts and drawing. She went to college at California State University, where she received a BFA in Illustration. Jennifer then followed her sisters into the animation field and joined DreamWorks Animation as a storyboard artist. She got to work on films such as, Madagascar and Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas. When Jennifer got the opportunity to direct Kung Fu Panda 2, it became the highest grossing film ever directer by a woman. That is such an amazing accomplishment!
Jennifer became the first woman to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film and to win the Annie Award for Best Directing in a Feature Production. She broke many boundaries and showed that having hard work and dedication really pays off. Jennifer may have first been seen as just an immigrated woman from South Korea, but now she is seen as a successful South Korean woman who directs film for major companies!