January 17, 1970
Animation writer and director Genndy Tartakovsky's long list of credits include such classic TV shows as "Dexter's Laboratory" (Cartoon Network 1996-2003) and "Samurai Jack" (Cartoon Network 2001-04), making him one of the most prominent young animators of his generation. As a child in his native Moscow, and later on in America, Tartakovsky would draw for hours on end, envisioning a world where the creations he had stewing in his head would come to life on paper. By his early 20s he was working as an art director for the prestigious animation studio Hanna-Barbera, and later had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work alongside Hollywood heavyweight George Lucas. The hard work finally paid off in 2012, when he helmed the high-grossing animated feature "Hotel Transylvania," thus becoming a bona-fide A-list talent - a rarity for an animator.Born into a Jewish family in Moscow during the era of Soviet rule, Tartakovsky and his family moved around a lot, making sojourns in Germany and Italy before finally landing in the United States. His family settled in Chicago when he was seven, where Tartakovsky's status as a foreigner was immediately felt in school. As a result, Tartakovsky withdrew into himself and became isolated from the rest of his classmates. It was around this time that he became obsessed with comic books, and before long started drawing his own characters. By the time his eighteenth birthday rolled around, Tartakovsky's family was certain that he would choose a traditional career in business. But for the budding artist, his mind had been made up long ago, and he defiantly enrolled in the animation program at the California Institute of Arts in Los Angeles. While attending Cal Arts, Tartakovsky made two student films, one of which would become the basis for "Dexter's Laboratory." He also met another promising young artist by the name of Craig McCracken. Impressed by Tartakovsky's student films, McCracken recommended him for an art director position with the prestigious animation studio Hanna-Barbera. It was there that Tartakovsky's career would really begin to take off. After joining the team at Hanna-Barbera, Tartakovsky was directly involved in the creation of three of the studio's most prominent animated series of the late '90s and early 2000s, among them McCracken's "Powerpuff Girls" (Cartoon Network 1998-2004) and his own atmospheric drama "Samurai Jack." It was also during his tenure there that Tartakovsky developed his vision for "Dexter's Laboratory," a science-fiction themed comedy about an inventive young boy and his bratty older sister. "Dexter's Laboratory" was nominated for four Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Animated Program, which soon caught the attention of the legendary director George Lucas. Lucas was putting together an animated "microseries" based on his hugely popular "Star Wars" franchise, and hired Tartakovsky to spearhead the project. "Star Wars: Clone Wars" was an instant success when it debuted on Cartoon Network in November of 2003, earning Tartakovsky his first Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Animated Program. Tartakovsky continued to work mostly in TV throughout the remainder of the decade, having co-created yet another science-fiction series for the Cartoon Network, "Sym-Bionic Titan," in 2010. However, that show was cancelled after its first season. Undeterred, in 2012 Tartakovsky made his feature film debut with the darkly humorous animated comedy "Hotel Transylvania." The film was a huge success at the box office, making over $350 million globally, while further cementing Tartakovsky's status as a talent to watch. Naturally, he followed it up with a sequel, "Hotel Transylvania 2" (2015).