Mark Osborne

Mark Osborne

The brother of writer and storyboard artist Kent Osbourne of "Drawn Together" (Comedy Central, 2004-07) fame, he began experimenting with art and film as a youngster, shooting his first videos while in high school. After graduation, Osbourne attended the Pratt Institute in New York, where he studied foundation art. Frustrated by the school's limited curriculum for animation, he transferred to the California Institute for the Arts. There, he dove headlong into filmmaking and animation studies, graduating after only two years in 1992. His thesis, "Greener" (1994), was completed a year and half later with funding from his parents, as well as his own personal savings. Influenced by the work of the Brothers Quay and Aardman Animation's Nick Park, the film told the story of two humanoid figures whose happy but limited existence maintained entirely by machines, changed from a paradise into a trap. The film earned a number of awards from Stateside and international film festivals, and served as Osbourne's entry into the film business.After a stint as a teacher at his alma mater, he soon found work on a variety of projects in different mediums; from promos for various networks and title sequences for television series to a music video for parodist "Weird Al" Yankovic's song "Jurassic Park" in 1994. In 1998, Osbourne completed his second animated short, "More." The six-minute stop-motion film, the first to be shot entirely in the IMAX format, concerned an inventor who creates a machine that helps him relive his childhood memories in order to escape his dull existence. The short was met with considerable critical acclaim, and earned an Academy Award nomination in 1999, among other accolades. Following its completion, Osbourne directed and produced much of the live-action footage for his former CalArts classmate Stephen Hillenburg's series, "Spongebob Squarepants."In 2004, Osbourne partnered with animation veteran John Stevenson to co-direct DreamWorks' "Kung Fu Panda." The action-comedy, which paid tribute to the athleticism and discipline of martial arts and martial arts filmmaking in between gags by Jack Black and its all-star voiceover cast, was released in 2008 to record-breaking box office numbers - its opening weekend was the biggest for a non-sequel in the studio's history, and third only to "Shrek the Third" (2007) and "Shrek 2" (2004). Critics and critical societies responded in kind; the film went on to win 11 Annie Awards in 2009, as well as Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for Best Animated Feature.