Mark Osborne
Osborne in 2016
Mark Randolph Osborne

(1970-09-17) September 17, 1970 (age 53)
Years active1993–present
Notable workMore
Kung Fu Panda
The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie
The Little Prince
RelativesKent Osborne (brother)

Mark Randolph Osborne (born September 17, 1970) is an American film director, producer, screenwriter, and animator. He has directed the short film More (1998) and the feature films Kung Fu Panda (2008) and The Little Prince (2015), the former two of which were nominated for the Academy Awards.


Born in Trenton, New Jersey,[1] Osborne grew up in Woodstock, Vermont until at age 14 he moved to Flemington, New Jersey and graduated from Hunterdon Central Regional High School in 1988.[2] He began his career by studying Foundation Art at Pratt Institute in New York before receiving his Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Experimental Animation from the California Institute of the Arts in June 1992. His thesis film, Greener, won numerous awards and was screened at more than 40 film festivals worldwide. He has received two Academy Award nominations, including one for Best Animated Feature of the year for the 2008 critically acclaimed Kung Fu Panda which he directed alongside John Stevenson.[3] Kung Fu Panda has netted more than $630 million worldwide to-date. The action-comedy was Osborne's first major studio project. It also won him and Stevenson the Annie Award for Directing in an Animated Feature Production.[4]

Osborne's other most well-known work to date, the award-winning stop motion animated short More, has been screened at over 150 film festivals worldwide. It was the first IMAX animation film to ever be nominated for an Academy Award (1999). More garnered an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Short, Special Jury Prize for Short Films at the Sundance Film Festival (1999), The SXSW Best Animated Short (1999), the ResFest Grand Prize (1999), the Critics Week selection for CANNES (1999), among many others.[5]

Osborne has also directed a majority of the live-action material for the popular animated TV series SpongeBob SquarePants featuring Patchy the Pirate, as well as all of the live-action sequences for The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, featuring David Hasselhoff. He was classmates with the television show's creator, Stephen Hillenburg, while a student at CalArts. He worked as director on SpongeBob episodes such as "The Sponge Who Could Fly" and "SpongeBob B.C."[citation needed]

His other live-action directing credits include his independent feature film Dropping Out, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2000 and has developed a cult following. Bachelor Pad was also a short live-action comedy Mark made with his brother Kent along with Dylan Haggerty in the late 1980s. Parts of Bachelor Pad can be seen in the unaired second episode of Taterhole, which was a spin-off of The Rudy and Gogo World Famous Cartoon Show in 1997. The entire episode can be viewed here. His short film Greener was broadcast on TNT's Rudy and GoGo's New Year's Eve Flaming Cheese Ball special on New Year's Eve (1995–96).

For a while, Osborne taught stop-motion at his alma mater, CalArts. He later left to pursue his professional aspirations. In 2004, Osborne was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship to assist in the production of another personal stop-motion short film, The Better Half. Between 2010 and 2015, Osborne was directing an animated film, The Little Prince.[6] In November 2016, it was reported that Osborne had been hired to direct and co-write an animated film adaptation of Jeff Smith's comic books, Bone.[7]

In April 2017, 20th Century Fox Animation and Blue Sky Studios announced they would produce Escape from Hat, an animated film adaptation of Adam Kline's fantasy book of the same title, with Osborne set to direct and co-write the script with Kline, and Jinko Gotoh producing the film along with Osborne.[8] However, in November 2018, Netflix acquired the film rights and Melissa Cobb joined the production team.[9][10] As of August 2023, the film was reportedly no longer in development at Netflix.[11]

Osborne, along with singer Chris Martin, wrote the story of Coldplay's Mylo Xyloto concept album and directed the video of "Hurts Like Heaven". He wrote the first issue of the comic adaptation and still hopes to turn the album into a film.[12]

Personal life

Osborne is the brother of TV writer and producer Kent Osborne.[13] Osborne's son, Riley, voiced the Little Prince in the 2015 film The Little Prince, which was directed by Osborne.[14]


Future projects


  1. ^ Marsh, Steven P. "Kung Fu Panda director takes on The Little Prince", The Journal News, February 29, 2016. Accessed July 2, 2018. "The two-time Academy Award nominee’s journey toward making a big-screen version of The Little Prince — based on Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s beloved 1943 illustrated novella — began more than two decades ago, as the result of a young woman’s romantic gesture toward the Trenton, New Jersey, native."
  2. ^ Brickman, Rachael S. "Central grad is Oscar nominee",, January 29, 2009. Accessed July 2, 2018. "The star of Kung Fu Panda doesn't set out to save the Valley of Peace, but he's chosen for the job by chance. He finally succeeds through determination -- and the help of co-director Mark Osborne, a 1988 Hunterdon Central High School graduate."
  3. ^ : Nominees & Winners for the 81st Academy Awards
  4. ^ 36th Annual Annie Nominations and Awards Recipients Archived 2010-08-15 at the Wayback Machine,; accessed June 21, 2015.
  5. ^ Indie Filmmaker's Push for 'More'|WIRED
  6. ^ Keslassy, Elsa (October 15, 2010). "'Panda' man picks 'Prince' project". Variety. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
  7. ^ Kit, Borys (November 16, 2016). "'Kung Fu Panda' Director Mark Osborne Tackling Adaptation of Cult Comic 'Bone' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
  8. ^ Patten, Dominic (April 27, 2017). "'Little Prince's Mark Osborne & Scribe Adam Kline Link With Fox Animation For Two New Projects". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on November 18, 2021. Retrieved November 18, 2021.
  9. ^ Olivas, Shannon (November 16, 2018). "Netflix to Produce Animated Feature Film Escape from Hat from Academy Award Nominated Director Mark Osborne" (Press release). Netflix Media Center. Archived from the original on November 17, 2021. Retrieved November 17, 2021.
  10. ^ Wolfe, Jennifer (November 16, 2018). "Mark Osborne Helming 'Escape From Hat' for Netflix". Animation World Network. Retrieved November 15, 2021.
  11. ^ Moore, Kasey (August 24, 2023). "Escape from Hat No Longer in Development at Netflix". What’s On Netflix. Retrieved August 24, 2023.
  12. ^ Michaels, Sean (July 11, 2012). "Coldplay to launch Mylo Xyloto comics". The Guardian. London, UK.
  13. ^ Cheshire, Godfrey (April 10, 2000). "Review: 'Dropping Out'". Variety. Retrieved January 25, 2014. In their feature debut, helmer Mark Osborne and his brother, scripter-star Kent Osborne,...
  14. ^ Foundas, Scott (May 22, 2015). "Cannes Film Review: 'The Little Prince'". Variety. Retrieved August 9, 2015.
  15. ^ Keslassy, Elsa (October 15, 2010). "'Panda' man picks 'Prince' project". Variety. Retrieved September 14, 2012.
  16. ^ Wolfe, Jennifer (November 16, 2018). "'Mark Osborne Helming 'Escape From Hat' for Netflix' project". Animation World Network. Retrieved July 17, 2019.