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Academy Alumni in May Blockbuster Movies

Pokémon Detective Pikachu, Aladdin, and Godzilla: King of the Monsters are set to hit theaters this summer. We’re proud to point out some of the Academy of Art University alumni who worked on these blockbuster movies.

Pokémon Detective Pikachu

This fantasy-mystery film is the first live-action film in the Pokémon franchise. Pokémon Detective Pikachu is about a young man’s quest to find his father with the help of Detective Pikachu (voiced by Ryan Reynolds). As the two continue to investigate the case, they realize that the mystery is more complicated than imagined.

Academy of Art University wants to congratulate the following alumni for working on the film:

  • Samuel Felix Eugene – Lighting Artist, BFA Animation and Visual Effects
  • Yayu Chen – Lighting Artist, MFA Animation, Interactive Technology, Video Graphics and Special Effects
  • Erik Gonzalez – CG Supervisor, BFA Animation and Visual Effects
  • Meghana (Meg) Gupte – Animator, MFA, 3D Animation
  • Neil Safeer Ghaznavi – Digital Compositor, BFA Visual Effects in Film and Television
  • Hans Tsai – Previsualization Artist, MFA 3D Animation
  • Cynthia Crimmins – Animation Department Manager, BFA Computer Arts
  • RJ Palmer – Concept Artist, BFA Illustration


Based on One Thousand and One Nights, Aladdin is a remake of the critically-acclaimed Disney classic from 1992. The film follows Aladdin as he embarks on a magical and romantic adventure after finding a genie in a lamp. As he falls in love with Princess Jasmine, the evil Jafar chases after him for the magical lamp.

Academy of Art University wants to congratulate the following alumni for working on this film:

  • Jean-Denis Haas – Animator, BFA Animation
  • Daniel Gonzalez – Senior Compositor, BFA 3D and Film Generalist
  • Siau Yene Ang – Digital Compositor, BFA Illustration
  • Olov Samuelsson – Compositor, BFA Visual Effects
  • Tracy Nicole Irwin – Creature Technical Director, BFA Computer Animation and Visual Effects

Godzilla: King of the Monsters

This monster fantasy film is the second in the three-part series of the Godzilla franchise, produced by Legendary Pictures. Godzilla: King of the Monsters is about the “crypto-zoological agency Monarch” fighting against Godzilla, King Ghidorah, Mothra and Rodan.

Academy of Art University wants to congratulate the following alumni for working on this film:

  • Erik Gonzalez – CG Supervisor/ Lighting Lead, BFA Visual Effects and Animation
  • Richard Tang – Generalist TD, MFA Visual Effects
  • Juan Melgoza – Sequence Supervisor, BFA Visual Effects
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