Pete Docter
Deborah Coleman/Pixar

Pixar Animation Studios


Chief Creative Officer

A key Pixar creative, the multifaceted director-animator-screenwriter-producer has been nominated for eight Oscars and won best animated feature for “Inside Out” and “Up.” Docter is not only supremely skilled technically but also has great story instincts. All his films showcase his ability to project real life and emotions into pixels and CG characters, as evidenced by his work in such seminal Pixar productions as “Monsters, Inc.,” “Inside Out” and “Up” (all of which he wrote and directed), along with his writing on “WALL-E” and the first two “Toy Story” films.

The Minnesota native taught himself the basics of animation, attended the California Institute of the Arts, where he won a student award for his animated film “Next Door,” and then joined Pixar at 21 as its 10th employee. John Lasseter quickly recognized Docter’s gifts and potential, and he became a crucial partner in the development of “Toy Story” and the blockbuster franchise, reportedly basing the character of Buzz Lightyear on himself.

He made his directorial debut in 2001 with “Monsters, Inc.” and later exec produced the 2013 prequel “Monsters University.” He is working on an original story for “Toy Story 4” that is scheduled for a 2019 release.


  • UP


  • University of Minnesota–Twin Cities (MN, USA)
  • California Institute of the Arts (CA, USA)

Variety Honors

  • Comedy Impact

News from Variety

Pete Docter on 'Inside Out's' Team Tackling Unique Challenges

Pete Docter on 'Inside Out's' Team Tackling Unique Challenges

Pete Docter, director/co-writer of Disney Pixar’s “Inside Out,” says the film presented unique challenges, but the artisans’ demands were often surprisingly similar to live-action work. He spoke with Variety about some of his key team.Production designer Ralph EgglestonThis was arguably the toughest job on the film, since the entire world was made up. There was no place to look for reference, since it was set inside the mind, rather than the brain. His job was to lead a very small...



What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given in your career?

“Never accept advice from strangers on an unranked international professional index.”

What or who inspires you?

“Chuck Jones cartoons.”

Deep Dive

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