Andrew Adamson

Andrew Ralph Adamson MNZM (born 1 December 1966) is a New Zealander film director, producer and screenwriter based mainly in Los Angeles, where he directed the Academy Award-winning animated films Shrek and Shrek 2. He was director, executive producer, and scriptwriter for the 2005 production of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. He also worked on the movies Batman Forever and Batman & Robin as a visual effects supervisor.

Andrew Adamson

Adamson in 2013
Born (1966-12-01) 1 December 1966
Auckland, New Zealand
OccupationFilm director, film producer, screenwriter, DJ
Years active1990present
Spouse(s)Gyulnara Karaeva[1]

He was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to film, in the 2006 Queen's Birthday Honours.[2]

Personal life

Adamson's parents were a homemaker and a computer engineer. Born in New Zealand, Adamson moved to Papua New Guinea with his parents aged eleven, and he returned to Auckland aged eighteen. When twenty-four, he moved to San Francisco, and divided time between there and Los Angeles. Since making the Narnia films, he has settled back in New Zealand. Adamson has two daughters.[3]


Adamson wanted to be an architect, but missed a university enrollment deadline because of a car accident.[4] Andrew Adamson was recruited by Pacific Data Images to go to work in the USA. The company opened an office in the California city of Los Angeles. There he served as a technical director in the following movies: Toys (1992), starring Robin Williams, and Angels in the Outfield (1994), starring Danny Glover. Previously. Andrew specialised in ads but preferred the idea of telling a story in longer format. Andrew served as visual effects supervisor in the 1995 film Batman Forever, A Time to Kill (1996), and Batman & Robin (1997).


Adamson directed Shrek (the first installment in the series), based on the picture book written by William Steig in 1990,[5] with a moderate budget of US$60 million in 2001. However the film became a worldwide success taking in nearly $500 million in the box office. The film grossed $42,347,760 in the opening week-end. It grossed $267,665,011 in the US and Canada, and foreign totals of $216,744,207 for a worldwide total of $484,409,218. The film featured Hollywood actors Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy and Cameron Diaz.

The next film in the series Shrek 2 (2004) had a big Hollywood budget of around $150 million and was even a bigger success than the first film taking in more than $900 million worldwide. The film opened at $108,037,878, one of the highest openings ever. In the US and Canada, the film went on to gross $441,226,247 and a foreign total of $478,612,511 for a worldwide total of $919,838,758. The film is currently the ninth top grossing worldwide film ever according to website box office tracker Box Office Mojo.

Adamson not only directed this film but also wrote the story. However, he did not direct the next film in the series, Shrek the Third, because he had been contracted by Walden Media to work on The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Instead, the film was directed by Chris Miller and Raman Hui while Adamson served as executive producer. The script of the film was written by J. David Stem and Joe Stillman. The third film was still very successful taking in more than $795 million worldwide with a budget of no more than $160 million, but received negative reviews by critics.

The Chronicles of Narnia

Adamson achieved commercial success and gained worldwide attention when he co-produced, co-wrote and directed The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The film is based on the book by C.S. Lewis of the same name and won various awards, gained critical praise and was a box office success becoming the third highest-grossing film worldwide of 2005 according to Box Office Mojo. The film opened in the US and Canada with totals of higher than $65million and the film ended up with a worldwide gross of $744,783,957 with a budget of $180 million according to Box Office Mojo.[6]

He returned as director to the next Narnia film: The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian which had a worldwide release in May 2008 and grossed over $419 million at the box office. Adamson returned as producer of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader released in Australia on 9 December 2010, and in the United States and UK on 10 December the same year. At the moment though, 20th Century Fox and Walden Media still hold the rights to the series, and they currently retain the option to make The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair in the future. However, 20th Century Fox and Walden Media decided to produce The Magician's Nephew as the next Narnia film instead of The Silver Chair. But, in October 2011, Douglas Gresham confirmed that Walden Media's contract with the C. S. Lewis estate had expired, and any production of a future film was on hold indefinitely.


Experimental hip hop group Death Grips worked with Adamson on their 2018 album Year of the Snitch.[7] He appears on the track "Dilemma," delivering a spoken word introduction to the song.


2004Shrek 2YesYesNo
2005The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the WardrobeYesYesExecutive
2007Shrek the ThirdNoStoryExecutive
2008The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince CaspianYesYesYes
2012Mr. PipYesYesYes
Cirque du Soleil: Worlds AwayYesYesYes
TBACurious George[8]YesYesExecutive
Inherit the Earth[9]YesNoNo

Producer only

Executive producer only

Other credits

Year Film Role
1992 Toys Technical director
1993 Heart and Souls Animation supervisor
1994 Angels in the Outfield Visual effects supervisor
1995 Batman Forever
1996 The Frighteners Digital effects supervisor
A Time to Kill Visual effects supervisor
1997 Batman & Robin
2000 Sleep Easy, Hutch Rimes Grip
2001 Shrek Voice of Duloc Mascot, Songwriter: Merry Men
Pâté Grip; short film
2004 Shrek 2 Voice of Captain of the Guards, Songwriter: Fairy Godmother's Song
2007 Shrek the Third Additional screenplay material
2012 Mirror Mirror Very special thanks
2014 The Dark Horse Special thanks
2020 Prop Culture Himself, Episode: "The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe"

Worldwide gross

YearTitleWorldwide Gross
2004Shrek 2$919,838,758
2005The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe$744,783,957
2007Shrek The Third$797,641,069
2008The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian$419,651,413
2010Shrek Forever After$729,717,930
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader$414,686,950
2011Puss in Boots$554,709,226
2012Mr. Pip$1,714
Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away$32,658,778


Adamson has directed films which have received several accolades. Shrek won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, the BAFTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, and the National Board of Review Award for Best Animated Film. Shrek 2 won the People's Choice Awards for Favorite Movie Comedy, Favorite Sequel, and Favorite Animated Movie. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe won the Academy Award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling, the BAFTA Award for Best Makeup and Hair, the Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Family Film, and the Saturn Awards for Best Make-up and Best Special Effects.

See also


  1. "IMDbPro".
  2. "Queen's Birthday honours list 2006". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 5 June 2006. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  3. Mark Moring (6 May 2008). "The Weight of Story". Christianity Today. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  4. Joe Strike: Adamson Gets Animated About Narnia and VFX In 1991. VFXWorld, 2008-05-17
  5. Patrick Kevin Day (17 October 1990). "Shrek". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 20 May 2010.
  6. "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005) - Box Office Mojo".
  7. Minsker, Evan (12 March 2018). "Death Grips Working on New Music With Shrek Director". Pitchfork. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  8. "Universal set to make a live-action Curious George with Shrek director".
  9. Kroll, Justin (8 January 2015). "Andrew Adamson to Direct Movie Based on 'Zombies vs. Robots' Comic for Sony (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
  10. Kroll, Justin (8 January 2015). "Andrew Adamson to Direct Movie Based on 'Zombies vs. Robots' Comic for Sony (EXCLUSIVE)".

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