Jim Morris ’77, G’78
Jim Morris ’77, G’78 joined Pixar Animation Studios in 2005 and currently serves as general manager and executive vice president of production. There, he oversees the production of the studio’s features, shorts, DVD content, and theme park activities, and manages Pixar’s studio tools, systems, development, and human resources departments. Morris produced Disney•Pixar’s Academy Award-winning feature, WALL•E, for which he was also awarded Producer of the Year in Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures from the Producer’s Guild of America.
In addition to his many duties at Pixar, Morris produced the live action feature for Disney, John Carter, with director Andrew Stanton.
Prior to joining Pixar, Morris held a range of key positions in various divisions of Lucasfilm Ltd. He served as president of Lucas Digital Ltd. and managed its two divisions, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) and Skywalker Sound. As ILM’s general manager for over 10 years, he supervised a staff of more than 1,400 artists and technicians and guided the largest visual effects facility in the entertainment industry.
During Morris’s tenure, ILM created the groundbreaking, Academy Award-winning visual effects in Jurassic Park, Death Becomes Her, and Forrest Gump. Other notable projects completed under his management include Mission: Impossible, Twister, Saving Private Ryan, Star Wars: Episode I, Star Wars: Episode II, The Perfect Storm, Pearl Harbor, Minority Report, Pirates of the Caribbean, Master and Commander, and the three Harry Potter films.
Morris joined ILM in 1987 as a producer of visual effects for films and commercials. He was subsequently promoted to ILM’s executive in charge of production, where he supervised all of the company’s production. The Abyss, which earned an Oscar for Best Achievement in Visual Effects, and Always are among Morris’s producing credits.
Before joining ILM, Morris was executive producer at Arnold & Associates, where he oversaw the company’s three offices and produced national commercials for clients such as Atari and Chevron. Prior to that, he was executive producer at One Pass, where he headed the commercial production department. He also served in the production departments at J. Walter Thompson and Foote, Cone & Belding in San Francisco. Morris worked as a producer and director for PBS affiliate WCNY-TV, and began his career as a cameraman and editor at NBC affiliate WSYR-TV.
Morris is the recipient of both the Producers Guild of America Digital 50 Award and the Visual Effects Society Board of Directors Award, and is past president of the San Francisco Film Commission.
Since earning a bachelor’s degree in film and a master’s degree in television and radio from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Morris has generously supported Syracuse University through his ongoing commitment to sharing the extraordinary expertise of Pixar company representatives.
The College of Visual and Performing Arts, the Syracuse International Film Festival, the Newhouse School, and the entire SU community have all benefited from his personal experience when he has spoken on campus. Morris is also responsible for regularly sending Pixar’s leading film and animation experts to Syracuse to engage with our students. Most recently, he has facilitated broader ties between the VPA’s Department of Transmedia and the Pixar University Relations Program, as well as conference calls with groups of faculty and staff on current curricular initiatives.