Rob Minkoff
Rob Minkoff.png
Biographical information

August 11, 1962


Palo Alto, California, US

Career information

Film director, film producer, animator, screenwriter


1983 – present


The Lion King

We set out to do something very different from the things that had been done before. Aladdin, Beauty, and Mermaid were all basically love stories and this one is more about the relationship between a father and a son. It is just as crucial and interesting in its own way, but a real different subject and a change of pace from other Disney films."
―Rob Minkoff on making The Lion King[1]

Robert R. "Rob" Minkoff (born August 11, 1962) is an American filmmaker.[2] He is known for directing the Academy Award–winning animated feature, The Lion King.


Minkoff was born in Palo Alto, California. There, Minkoff developed a keen appreciation for animation when he began drawing. Repeated viewings of the family's 8mm film collection, which included excerpts from Disney's Sleeping Beauty added more to his fascination and allowed him to view the action one frame at a time. As a teenager, while babysitting for friends, he discovered Christopher Finch's landmark book, The Art of Walt Disney, and immediately began learning all he could about animation. [1] During most childhood, Minkoff was involved in theater since age ten and appeared in numerous productions for the Palo Alto Children's Theater and Theater Works.[2]

During the 1980s, Minkoff studied at the California Institute of the Arts, also known as CalArts, in the Character Animation department. During the summer of 1982, Minkoff received an internship at Disney, and had a chance to train with one of the "Nine Old Men," Eric Larson. The following year, he was hired to work with Larson on a personal animation test which would led to Minkoff being hired by the Feature Animation department of Walt Disney Studios in 1983, where his first assignment was as an in-betweener on The Black Cauldron. [2] [1]

He would soon became the character designer for The Great Mouse Detective including the title character, Basil. Moving quickly through the ranks, he became an animator, and was promoted to supervising animator during the production of that film. Finally, Minkoff made his directorial debut on Tummy Trouble (1989), the first of a series of shorts to feature Roger Rabbit. He went on to direct another Roger Rabbit short film, Roller Coaster Rabbit, one year later, at the Feature Animation satellite studio at the Disney-MGM Studios in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

Minkoff was slated to be the director of a feature-length sequel to Who Framed Roger Rabbit. However, when production was delayed, he would sign on as co-director alongside Lion King director Roger Allers on April Fool's Day 1992.[1] Despite, most of the Disney Feature Animation staff and studio head Jeffrey Katzenberg feeling The Lion King was a less important project than Pocahontas, the film went on to receive raving reviews and gross $783 million worldwide.

Minkoff would leave Disney to pursue other interests.[3] Five years later, he would direct the family film, Stuart Little, and its sequel which reunited him with Nathan Lane. He also served as director on The Haunted Mansion, which reunited with Lion King producer, Don Hahn, and The Forbidden Kingdom (2008).

Since 2003, Minkoff's Sony-based production company Sprocketdyne Entertainment and Bullwinkle Studios developed a live-action/CG film of Mister Peabody and Sherman, with a possibility of Minkoff to direct it.[4] The live-action film was not realized, but in 2006, Minkoff joined DreamWorks Animation to direct a computer-animated film adaptation. Andrew Kurtzman was set to write the screenplay, based on the pitch, developed by Minkoff with his longtime producing partner Jason Clark.[5] Having gone through several release changes, it was confirmed that Mr. Peabody & Sherman will be released on March 7, 2014.[6] He is also attached to direct the fantasy action adventure film, Chinese Odyssey.[7]

Personal Life

He married Crystal Kung on September 29, 2007. Minkoff is the brother-in-law of Jeffrey Kung, a Chinese singer and radio VJ. In 2012, Minkoff and his wife welcomed a son.[8]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 The Lion King: Film Notes.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Rob Minkoff Biography -Yahoo! Movies. Yahoo! Inc.
  3. Hill, Jim. The Long Story Behind the Emperor's New Groove. The Laughing Place.
  4. Ball, Ryan. A CG Mr. Peabody Will Travel in Feature.
  5. DreamWorks Animation and Director Rob Minkoff Team Up to Bring 'Mr. Peabody & Sherman' to the Big Screen.
  6. THR Staff. DreamWorks Animation Pushes Back Release for 'Mr. Peabody & Sherman'.
  7. Fernandez, Jay A.. Rob Minkoff sets sail for 'Chinese Odyssey'. The Hollywood Reporter.
  8. Desowitz, Bill. Immersed in Movies: 'How to Train Your Dragon 2' Wows Comic-Con. “Minkoff then admitted that he is now the father of a 10-month-old son and that the movie has special meaning with the bonding of father and son.”

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