Birthdate: January 1, 1970
A rising star in Hollywood feature animation, director/animator Jonathan del Val is a key creative player in the animation studio Illumination Entertainment. He began in French animation on Fabrice Jubert’s short comedy, French Roast (2008), which was nominated for the Best Animated Short Academy Award in 2010. Del Val moved over to Paris-based Illumination in 2009 to work as a senior animator on Despicable Me (2010), and with future director/voice collaborator, Pierre Coffin on Coffin’s short Brad & Gary (2011), also produced by Illumination.
Del Val took a break from his work with Illumination to serve as a senior animator on Bibo Bergeron’s French-language short produced by EuropaCorp, A Monster in Paris (2011), with the voices of Vanessa Paradis, Francois Cluzet, and Ludivine Sagnier. Over the next decade, Del Val rose up the artistic production ladder at Illumination Entertainment, with The Lorax (2012), in which he served as a senior animator.
He was the character animator on Despicable Me 2, with the voices of Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Benjamin Bratt, Steve Coogan, and Ken Jeong, and one of the highest-earning animated films of recent history, with a cumulative worldwide box-office return of $971 million. Working as lead animator on Minions (2015), Del Val moved quickly into the position of animation director on the box-office hit, The Secret Lives of Pets (2016), with the voices of Steve Coogan, Louis C.K., Kevin Hart, Lake Bell, Albert Brooks, and Dana Carvey.
Del Val continued as animation director on Illumination’s The Grinch (2018), with the voices of Benedict Cumberbatch, Rashida Jones, Pharrell Williams, Kenan Thompson, and Angela Lansbury. He jumped from animation director to co-director (with Chris Renaud) for the sequel, The Secret Lives of Pets 2 with the voices of Patton Oswalt, Hart, Harrison Ford, and Tiffany Haddish. The Minions sequel, Minions: The Rise of Gru (2022) marked Del Val’s second feature as co-director (with Kyle Balda and Brad Ableson), with a voice cast starring Carell, Coffin, Henson, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Michelle Yeoh, and Lucy Lawless.
Jonathan del Val attended Institut Georges Melies, where he studied animation from 2001 to 2003 and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, and also at the EESA, the European School of Animation.