Best Quotes from Chris Meledandri

Education is supposed to be our great equalizer, but when only half of low-income students are enrolling in college and only three tenths are graduating, you have to figure some of our children are getting a greater equalizer than others.

Chris Meledandri

In the 1960s, my father chose to introduce Italian-style clothing into a world that was filled with boxy Brooks Brothers suits. So if you were dressing in his clothes in New York or California, you were breaking a rule. And my mother, Risha, who is still living, has always been an activist. I don’t think my mom has met a cause she doesn’t like.

Chris Meledandri

This phenomenon with Betty White is so wonderfully amazing. In a world where ageism runs rampant, out of left field, all of a sudden, the country decides to celebrate Betty White, and she becomes cool at 90. That’s remarkable.

Chris Meledandri

I think that every enduring story that has expressions over multiple periods, that role of being the keeper of the integrity of the vision is a very important role.

Chris Meledandri

I go back to family: ‘Ice Age’ was about disparate characters rejected by their own kind. They come together to save the child. ‘Despicable Me’ is about redefining what a family could be. It has a visual distinction and an experimental quality.

Chris Meledandri

I believe people leave a theater bonding with characters. Story is the vessel that carries character. Comedy is a very important component of expressing character.

Chris Meledandri

What I worry about the most is the competition for young eyeballs. We have so many other competing forms of media. I don’t take any audience members for granted.

Chris Meledandri

We start with strong characters and build the movie from there. That not to say we don’t struggle with story – that’s the most challenging part.

Chris Meledandri

I have to understand how we are going to market the movie. We view marketing as an extension of content creation… Every time a consumer sees our movie, in whatever form, our obligation is to entertain the audience.

Chris Meledandri

The cost of an animated film really comes down to man hours. If you gather together world-class talent, then the question becomes how do you deploy that talent in a way that minimizes waste.

Chris Meledandri

I do think we’re in a period of time culturally where there is just this extraordinary connection that we have to our pets, and in many ways, they are displacing kids. They’re so much simpler than dealing with a kid because of this unconditional love that does not get complicated by adolescence or any other manipulation.

Chris Meledandri

Owning pets is as close to a universal phenomenon as, I think, anything.

Chris Meledandri

I don’t fly by the seat of my pants. I set strategies, and then I pursue those in unrelenting fashion.

Chris Meledandri

I have been very fortunate since ‘Ice Age’ to make movies that somehow charm audiences. I think that the key to it for me has been coming up with the right ideas but, more importantly, choosing the right collaborators and artists to execute those ideas.

Chris Meledandri

My experience is that there’s absolutely a correlation between the enthusiasm within an animation studio for a given character and the enthusiasm the audience feels when seeing the movie.

Chris Meledandri

In animation, what’s wonderful is that when you start to work with multiple nationalities, the common language becomes a visual language rather than a spoken language, which blends beautifully with the art form.

Chris Meledandri

A favorite film? The first ‘Ice Age’ and the first ‘Despicable Me.’ They’re the films that have introduced me to characters that I still feel extremely bonded with.

Chris Meledandri

If you’re going to make a movie about a character who is a supervillain, it’s fantastic to have a core sense of empathy for that character.

Chris Meledandri

I was pulled out of school for every moratorium day and every rally for a left-wing candidate… from Ed Koch in his heyday to Eugene McCarthy. That’s the culture that I came from.

Chris Meledandri

If you are not breaking rules and you are not taking risks, you are not going to end up with movies where there is discovery… and, to me, that is the magic of going into the cinema.

Chris Meledandri

Children succeed when grown-ups care about them.

Chris Meledandri

When we moved from ‘Ice Age’ to ‘Ice Age 2,’ we were really stuck; a story didn’t just organically emerge. While I’m very proud of ‘Ice Age 2,’ from a storytelling sense, it’s a very thin story.

Chris Meledandri

You have to love Dr. Seuss to take on the responsibility of conveying his work in animation or any medium.

Chris Meledandri

Ted Geisel was trying to make a statement about awareness and personal responsibility. He was very clear about that. But the ideas and themes in ‘The Lorax’ go beyond a love of trees. It’s also a story about the dangers of greed and the power of redemption. That’s what makes it a timeless tale.

Chris Meledandri

Like many people, I had the powerful experience of being raised on Dr. Seuss, then becoming a parent and revisiting him with my own children. That multigenerational experience around his work is very meaningful.

Chris Meledandri

My faith in my filmmaking changed on the heels of ‘Titan.’ It allowed me to pursue things that I previously would have questioned.

Chris Meledandri

My early experiences in animation taught me that following someone else is not a great idea.

Chris Meledandri

Embrace risk. The driving force behind our economic model at Illumination Mac Guff is designed to preserve the opportunity to take risk. Subvert the expectation of the audience. Surprise them with unexpected choices.

Chris Meledandri

I grew up with probably three different authors having a seminal influence on my childhood, Dr. Seuss being one and Maurice Sendak being another.

Chris Meledandri

Absolutely, you rise and fall based on your creative team.

Chris Meledandri

Songs give you incredible opportunity to convey a tremendous amount in a relatively short period of time.

Chris Meledandri

There’s no deadline that a movie has to be made by. We have to believe that we have served the responsibility, however long it takes us to get to that point.

Chris Meledandri