October 20, 1972
PhotosView All (4)
When director and screenwriter Thor Freudenthal was in high school in Berlin, he wrote and illustrated a series of comics that were published by the German publisher of the Tintin comic series. His love for storytelling compelled him to attend the Berlin Academy of Arts and try his hand at filmmaking. His early efforts, which included the short films "Monkey Business" and "Mind the Gap," garnered him kudos and made people take notice of this budding talent. He was granted a scholarship to attend CalArts in Valencia, California, and there he began to really make a name for himself, working in various roles on such Hollywood animated features as the children's picture "Stuart Little" and its sequel, as well as acting as a second unit director on the Disney film "The Haunted Mansion." He directed his first live-action picture, a short entitled "Motel" in 2005, which led to him being handed the reins to his first full-length feature in 2009. That year he directed the children's comedy "Hotel for Dogs," which was based on a 1971 novel by Lois Duncan. The film went on to be a financial success, establishing Freudenthal's career. The next year he worked on his second feature, "Diary of a Wimpy Kid," in this case based on a graphic novel by Jeff Kinney. In 2011, he also produced an episodic web series about a high school spy, entitled "Aim High."