Contact: Gregg Mitchell (323) 782-4574
 
News Release: April 15, 2008
Oscar-Winning Writer-Director Brad Bird to Receive WGAW's AWC Animation Writing Award

LOS ANGELES -- The Writers Guild of America, West's Animation Writers Caucus (AWC) has awarded its tenth-annual Animation Writing Award for lifetime achievement to acclaimed Pixar writer-director Brad Bird, whose most recent film, Disney/Pixar's Ratatouille, won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film.

Bird's two-decade career and craft will be feted at the WGA West's 2008 Honorary Awards Luncheon on April 23 at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles.

“Brad's work has put him in the pantheon of animation creators for whom the art and craft of animation writing are elegantly (and sometimes literally) drawn together,” commented WGAW President Patric M. Verrone.

Sustaining a rare balance between critical accolades and commercial success, Bird has written and directed successive animated hits, including Disney/Pixar's 2007 feature Ratatouille (for which he also received an Oscar nomination for Best Writing, Original Screenplay) and Disney/Pixar's 2004 feature The Incredibles (for which he won his first Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film, as well as a nomination for Best Writing, Original Screenplay).

Prior to joining Pixar, Bird wrote and directed the critically acclaimed 1999 animated feature, The Iron Giant, which won the International Animated Film Society's Annie Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Theatrical Feature, as well as a BAFTA Children's Award for Best Feature Film (screenplay by Tim McCanlies, story by Bird, based on the book by Ted Hughes).

At age 11, Bird began creating his first animated film - and finished it nearly three years later.  The film brought him to the attention of Walt Disney Studios, where, at age 14, he was mentored by Milt Kahl, one of Disney's legendary animators known affectionately as the “Nine Old Men.” Bird eventually worked as an in-demand animator at Disney and other studios.

Bird's animated television credits include serving as executive consultant on Fox's The Simpsons and King of the Hill, the two longest running and most celebrated animated series on TV. During the '80s, he also created, wrote, directed, and co-produced the popular “Family Dog” episode of Steven Spielberg's Amazing Stories, which launched in its own short-lived spinoff animated series in the '90s, and co-wrote the 1987 live-action feature *batteries not included (screenplay by Brad Bird & Matthew Robbins and Brent Maddock & Steven S. Wilson, story by Mick Garris).

Currently, Bird is busy prepping his next project: the live-action feature film 1906.

The WGAW's AWC Animation Writing Award is given to that member of the Animation Writers Caucus or Writers Guild who has advanced the literature of animation in film and/or television through the years, and who has made outstanding contributions to the profession of the animation writer. Past AWC Writing Award winners include Al Jean and Michael Reiss, Mark Evanier, Patric M. Verrone, Jack Mendelsohn, and last year's recipient, Jules Feiffer. Founded in 1994, the WGAW's Animation Writers Caucus represents over 600 animation writers and works to advance economic and creative conditions in the field. Through organizing efforts, educational events, and networking opportunities, the Caucus is a leading proponent for animation writers.

The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) represents writers in the motion picture, broadcast, cable, and new media industries in both entertainment and news. For more information, please visit: www.wga.org.