Passion Pictures ramps up animation push with Oscar-winning creative appointment

Alan Barillaro

UK prodco Passion Pictures has hired Alan Barillaro, the Oscar-winning writer and director of 2016 short film Piper, as creative director for its animation division.

The hire comes as the studio plans an “ambitious expansion” into animated TV series and features and follows the appointments of Nicki Cortese as head of development for animated features and series in June and Pixar veteran David Park to spearhead the push as head of production and executive producer last year.

Barillaro is a fellow alum of Pixar Animation Studios, which he joined in January 1997 and worked for nearly 25 years, animating on feature films from 1998’s A Bug’s Life to 2022’s Lightyear. He served as directing animator on 2003’s Finding Nemo and was supervising animator on 2004’s The Incredibles, 2008’s WALL•E, 2012’s Brave and 2018’s The Incredibles 2.

Barillaro will work closely with Park, Cortese, executive producer Debbie Crosscup and Passion Pictures founder and executive creative director Andrew Ruhemann, to build and develop the production slate in all areas from writing and directing through to research, development and full-service production.

Passion has been pushing into long-form animation, producing episodes of Love, Death & Robots for Netfix, and also Headspace for the streamer, as well as 101 Dalmatian Street for Disney and Lego City Adventures for Nickelodeon.

“Alan is a true pioneer in the animation world and an inspiration to many, so we are delighted to welcome him to the Passion Pictures family,” said Ruhemann. A creative powerhouse, Alan will bring invaluable experience and creativity to the studio and we are excited to be a part of the stories he’s going to tell. As well as crafting his own work, Alan will act as a creative consultant on new and existing projects and will be instrumental in developing our ambitious slate within animated features and TV series.”

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