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Dr. Jan Jaroslav Pinkava (born 21 June 1963, in Praguemarker) is the director and writer of the Pixar Oscar-winning 1997 short film Geri's Game and the originator and co-director of Pixar's Oscar-winning 2007 film Ratatouille.

He is the third-born of four children of the Czech polymath Václav Pinkava alias Jan Křesadlo. The family emigrated to Britain in 1969, where he obtained British citizenship.

He attended Colchester Royal Grammar Schoolmarker from 1974 to 1982 showing interest and talent in the arts, music, drama and sculpture. (One of his juvenile sculptures 'Big Cat' was acquired by Essex Universitymarker and put on permanent display outside the library.)

After obtaining an 8mm movie camera for Christmas in 1975, he began experimenting with pixilation, stop-motion plasticine, paper-drawn and cell animation.He had some early prize-winning successes in animation competitions. Most notably, he won the Young Film-Maker's Competition of the Year Award 1980 on the long-running (1969 to 1984) BBC 2 children's quiz series Screen Test for his animated short "The Rainbow". This was hailed in 2001 on Channel 4's 100 Greatest Kids' TV shows by ex-Screen Test presenters Michael Rodd and Brian Trueman as "the only occasion in the history of the competition where we came across a piece of film that was spectacularly professional", a clip of him receiving the award is shown in the 2007 film Son of Rambow.

He went on to study Computer Science at the University of Wales, Aberystwythmarker, where he graduated with first class honours and obtained his PhD ,During this time he also represented his university in archery, fencing and hang-gliding competitions, and continued developing his cartoon drawing skills.

After university he turned to a career in Computer Animation initially in London, with Digital Pictures, who specialised in TV commercials.

In 1993 he joined Pixar, and moved to the USA. His "Arrows" TV commercial for Listerine won the Gold Clio Award in 1994.

His 1997 animated short Geri's Game won the Oscar and a string of other awards.

The short film "67 Aluminum Plates"was created during the 1998 Ottawa International Animation Festival by a group of volunteers under the direction of Jan Pinkava. The film is stop motion, filmed in one long day and edited the next.[139511] It was shown on the closing night of the festival. Credits include: Jan Pinkava, Jordan Craig, Carolyn Craig, Rob Anderson, Jean Claude Kalache, Denis LeLong, Carol Beecher, Floyd Bishop Jr, Heather Hosel, Hugo Desrosiers, Karen Oxhorn, Susan Campbell, Charlie Hill, Ginette Brisson, Chris Mullington, Ed Eagen, and sculpture by Ulysse Comtois.

In 2000, he began work as director on Ratatouille, a European-flavored, ultimate-outsider tale based on his original story. This was to have been his feature film debut and the first Pixar film beyond the terms of the then-expiring Pixar-Disney franchise.In 2005, Pinkava was replaced as main director by The Incredibles director Brad Bird. In an interview given in 2006, Pinkava had "no comment" about this turn of events and for two years staunchly refrained from comment on the genesis of the film. At the time when he was replaced, Pinkava had written the core storyline of the film and created the styling, key characters and sets. Following his departure from the project, Pinkava initially undertook other duties and then left the company. In the final film, Pinkava is credited for his original story idea [139512] and as the co-director. The film was nominated for five Academy Awards, including a nomination for Pinkava (along with Jim Capobianco and Brad Bird) in the Best Original Screenplay category.


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  2. Savoring Pixar's Ratatouille - TIME

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