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Hollywood's biggest night has a special connection to ONU

Pixar animation artist Bob Peterson co-won the 2010 Academy Award for Best Animation Feature Film for "Up." (photo/imdb.com)

Hollywood is a place where dreams unfold and magic awaits for actors, writers, directors, and other creative arts – including three Ohio Northern University alumni.

Bob Peterson, a 1983 mechanical engineering graduate, co-directed and wrote Pixar film studios’ “Up,” the 2010 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film, and lent his voice to the role of Dug, the loveable golden retriever who was so fascinated with squirrels. He was also an animator and storyboard artist for the award-winning “Toy Story,” and played a cinematic role for other popular animated features: “A Bug’s Life,” “Toy Story 2,” “Monsters, Inc.,” “Finding Nemo,” “The Incredibles,” “Cars,” “Ratatouille,” “Toy Story 3,” and “Monsters University.”

Peterson’s career began with Pixar in 1995, and continues with “The Good Dinosaur,” a production scheduled for national release in November 2015.

Hoping to follow in Peterson’s footsteps are budding screenwriters Danny Kellermeyer, a 2013 history and English graduate, and Matt Wayt, a 2007 creative writing and professional writing alumnus. They are living in Los Angeles and are working tirelessly to catch their big break.

These ONU alumni provide hope to current and future students that Hollywood success is possible, with perseverance, talent, and getting the right break – like many of this year’s Academy Award winners, announced on Feb. 22.

The Academy of Motion Picture Artists recognized the following actors, actresses, and directors:

  • J.K. Simmons, Best Supporting Actor, for his role in “Whiplash”
  • Patricia Arquette, Best Supporting Actress, for her role in “Boyhood”
  • Eddie Redmayne, Best Actor for his role in “The Theory of Everything”
  • Julianne Moore, Best Actress for her role in “Still Alice”
  • Alejandro González Iñárritu, Best Director, for “Birdman,” which was named Best Picture