From ‘Hair Love’ Producer to VP of Animated Film – BOTWC

Congratulations are in order!

Karen Rupert Toliver was recently named the new vice president of animated film at Netflix, Variety reports.

Toliver previously served as executive vice president of Sony Pictures Animation (SPA), working on major images like the Oscar-nominated film “The Mitchells vs. the Machines.” Toliver too made history by becoming the first black woman to win an Oscar for animation, for her work as lead producer on Matthew Cherry’s “Hair Love.” Prior to joining the SPA family, Toliver had made a name for himself at the now-defunct animation house Blue Sky Studios, working on popular franchise films like “Ferdinand,” “Ice Age” and “Rio.” Now, Toliver is making the transition to Netflix, having recently been named vice president of animated film at the streaming powerhouse.

“It has been an absolute dream to work with Kristine Belson and her groundbreaking team at Sony Pictures Animation. The experience has been instrumental in how I approach production. Storytelling in animation continues to evolve and to grow, and I’m excited to join the Netflix team in continuing to innovate,” Toliver told reporters.

In her new role, Toliver will work directly with Melissa Cobb, vice president of Netflix’s children and family division. She will work on releasing two to three animated films a year in conjunction with fellow Netflix VP of Animation Gregg Taylor. Currently, the lineup of featured animations and shorts included “Robin, Robin”, “Klaus”, “The Willoughbys”, “Over the Moon”, and “Apollo 10 ½: A Space Age Childhood”.

SPA President Kristine Belson spoke warmly of Toliver’s transition, saying, “Karen Toliver has had such an impact at Sony Pictures Animation since joining our team in 2017. She’s also a friend very expensive. It was a joy to work with her on our slate of films and series, and I know she will bring her unique ability to inspire storytellers to her new work. We are thrilled for Karen and the opportunity to partner with her on films on Netflix in the future.

Cobb echoed similar sentiments, saying, “We are thrilled to welcome Karen to Netflix where she will be a key partner in creating our ambitious slate of animated features. An executive with an exceptional passion for animation, Karen has a strong vision for the future of storytelling in the medium and we can’t wait to see it come to life.

Congratulations, Karine! Take us to the future!

Photo courtesy of Sony