Princess Grace Award:
Graduate Film Scholarship, 1989
Eric Darnell is chief creative officer and co-founder of Baobab Studios, the leading VR animation studio. The company's Emmy-award winning VR animation, “Invasion!” starring Ethan Hawke, launched to substantial critical acclaim, with Roth Kirschenbaum Films (Maleficent, Snow White and the Huntsman, Alice in Wonderland) signed on to adapt it into a feature film. Right out of the gate, Baobab Studios garnered laurels from film festivals globally, from Tribeca to Cannes. The animation is one of the most downloaded experiences on major VR players including Oculus, Samsung, Within, Hulu and others. Baobab’s second animation ASTEROIDS! starring Elizabeth Banks was an official 2017 Sundance Film Festival selection and their latest Rainbow Crow, starring John Legend, Diego Luna, and Constance Wu made its premiere at Tribeca Film Festival this year.
Eric’s career spans 25 years as a computer animation director, screenwriter, story artist, film director, and executive producer. He was the director and screenwriter on all four films in the “Madagascar” franchise, which together have grossed more than $2.5 billion at the box-office. He was also executive producer on “The Penguins of Madagascar.” Previously, Eric directed DreamWorks Animation's very first animated feature film, “Antz,” which features the voices of Woody Allen, Gene Hackman, Christopher Walken, and Sharon Stone. Eric earned a degree in journalism from the University of Colorado and a master’s degree in experimental animation from The California Institute of the Arts.