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Karen Rupert Toliver: From 'Hair Love' Producer to VP of Animated Film at Netflix

Karen Rupert Toliver: From 'Hair Love' Producer to VP of Animated Film at Netflix

Congratulations are in order!

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

Toliver was previously an executive vice president at Sony Pictures Animation (SPA), working on major pictures like the Oscar-nominated film “The Mitchells vs. the Machines.” Toliver also made history as the first black woman to win an Oscar for animation, for her work as lead producer on Matthew Cherry’s “Hair Love.” Before joining the SPA family, Toliver had built a name for herself at the now defunct Blue Sky Studios animation house, working on popular franchise films like “Ferdinand,” “Ice Age,” and “Rio.” Now Toliver is transitioning to Netflix, recently being named VP of animated film at the streaming powerhouse. 

“It has been an absolute dream working with Kristine Belson and her game-changing team at Sony Pictures Animation. The experience has been instrumental in shaping how I approach producing. Storytelling in animation continues to evolve and expand, and I am excited to join the team at Netflix to continue breaking new ground,” Toliver told reporters. 

In her new role, Toliver will work directly with Melissa Cobb, Vp of Netflix’s kids and family division. She will work on putting out two to three animated films annually in collaboration with fellow Netflix animation VP Gregg Taylor. Currently the featured and shorts animation lineup included “Robin, Robin,” “Klaus,” “The Willoughbys,” “Over the Moon,” and “Apollo 10 ½: A Space Age Childhood.” 

SPA President Kristine Belson spoke warmly about Toliver’s transition, saying, “Karen Toliver has been so impactful at Sony Pictures Animation since she joined our team in 2017. She is also a dear friend. It’s been a joy working with her on our slate of films and series, and I know that she will bring her unique ability to inspire storytellers to her new job. We are excited for Karen, and the opportunity to partner with her on movies at 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 feature films. An executive with exceptional passion for animation, Karen possesses a strong vision for the future of storytelling in the medium and we can’t wait to see it come to life.” 

Congratulations, Karen! Take us into the future!

Photo Courtesy of Sony