Kelly Asbury dies: The Oscar-nominated director helmed Shrek 2 and Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron

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Kelly Asbury dies: The Oscar-nominated director helmed Shrek 2 and Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron

Kelly Asbury dies at 60: The two-time Oscar-nominated director helmed Shrek 2 and Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron The Texas native pa

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Kelly Asbury dies at 60: The two-time Oscar-nominated director helmed Shrek 2 and Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron

  •  The Texas native passed away Friday morning at his home in Los Angeles of complications from abdominal cancer
  • Asbury’s work helming and voicing characters on Shrek 2 helped make the sequel a massive blockbuster, raking in $919.8 million on a $150 million budget, while garnering Oscar and Annie Award nominations
  • His other two Annie Award noms came when he directed and co-wrote the animated fantasy comedy Gnomeo & Juliet (2011)
  • Asbury’s impressive resume also included working as the story artist on the Pixar classic Toy Story (1995), which earned $373.6 million on a $30 million budget
  • He eventually moved on to DreamWorks later in 1995, which led to his directorial debut in Spirit in 2002, where he shared the duties with Lorna Cook 

Kelly Asbury, best known for directing Academy Award-nominated animation films    — Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002) and Shrek 2 (2004) — has died at the age of 60.

The Texas native passed away Friday morning at his home in Los Angeles of complications from abdominal cancer. 

‘He was one of the most admired and beloved people in the industry,’ his representative, Nancy Newhouse Porter of Newhouse Porter Hubbard, told Deadline

RIP: Two-time Oscar-nominated director Kelly Asbury passed away on Friday at the age of 60

RIP: Two-time Oscar-nominated director Kelly Asbury passed away on Friday at the age of 60

Asbury’s work helming and voicing characters on Shrek 2 helped make the sequel a massive blockbuster, raking in $919.8 million on a $150 million budget, while garnering Oscar and Annie Award nominations. 

His other two Annie Award noms came when he directed and co-wrote the animated fantasy comedy Gnomeo & Juliet (2011). The versatile artist also provided the voices of the tiny Red Goon Gnomes in the film.   

He got his star at Walt Disney Feature Animation from 1983-1995, and contributed storyboards for several popular animated films as The Black Cauldron (1985), The Little Mermaid (1989), Rescuers Down Under (1990) and Beauty And The Beast (1991). 

Massive hit: Asbury's work helming and voicing characters on Shrek 2 (2004) helped make the sequel a massive blockbuster, raking in $919.8 million on a $150 million budget, while garnering Oscar and Annie Award nominations

Massive hit: Asbury’s work helming and voicing characters on Shrek 2 (2004) helped make the sequel a massive blockbuster, raking in $919.8 million on a $150 million budget, while garnering Oscar and Annie Award nominations

Asbury’s impressive resume also included working as the story artist on the Pixar classic Toy Story (1995), which earned $373.6 million on a $30 million budget.

He eventually moved on to DreamWorks later in 1995, which led to his directorial debut in Spirit in 2002, where he shared the duties with Lorna Cook.

His talents also included writing and illustrating twelve published children’s books, including Rusty’s Red Vacation, Bonnie’s Blue House and Yolanda’s Yellow School. 

Acclaimed: The Texas native also got an Academy Award nomination for co-directing Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002)

Acclaimed: The Texas native also got an Academy Award nomination for co-directing Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002)

Asbury also wrote a non-fiction book titled Dummy Days (2003), a biography that focused on 20th century ventriloquists Jeff Dunham, Shari Lewis, Jimmy Nelson, Edgar Bergen and Paul Winchell. 

By the early 2010s, he made a brief return to Disney to contribute storyboards to Wreck-It Ralph (2012) and Frozen (2013).

He most recently directed Smurfs: The Lost Village (2017) for Sony Pictures Animation and UglyDolls (2019) for STX Entertainment.       

Later work: Asbury most recently directed Smurfs: The Lost Village (2017) for Sony Pictures Animation and UglyDolls (2019) for STX Entertainment

Later work: Asbury most recently directed Smurfs: The Lost Village (2017) for Sony Pictures Animation and UglyDolls (2019) for STX Entertainment

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