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Sajan Skaria quit ‘wasting time’ as engineer, bagged an Oscar

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The Times of India | Aswin J Kumar | TNN | March 1, 2016 |

Thiruvananthapuram: After Resul Pookutty, the first Malayali to win an Oscar award, Monday witnessed another person from Kerala, Saajan Skaria, having a brush with Hollywood fame as part of the team behind ‘Inside Out’, named the Best Animated Feature Film at the 88th Academy Awards. Skaria, who works for Pixar Animation Studios, was the character supervisor in the American 3D computer-animated comedy-drama adventure film. Pookutty had got the Academy Award for Best Sound Mixing for Slumdog Millionaire.

Cartoons were Skaria’s childhood obsession. After graduating from Regional Engineering College, Calicut, he joined Siemens. When his German boss saw he could draw, he had only one thing to say: “Good work, you shouldn’t waste your time as an engineer.” Skaria took it to heart and never looked back.  “We never forced him to try any other profession. His boss’s word of praise encouraged him to pursue his dream,” said his father, K Skaria. Sajan lives in the US with his wife and kids.-  Courtesy

A Kerala Connection to Pixar’s Oscar :  The New Indian Express |  By Express News Service | 01st March 2016 |

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: You could say it all began with a broken leg. Years ago. Young Sajan Skaria was in class 6 then. An accident had left him with a broken leg and bedridden. “We had to leave for work, but before we left, we would hand him blank sheets of paper. He would fill them with pictures. That’s how he started drawing,’’ seated at her home in Nalanchira on Monday, Sajan’s mother Thankamma Skaria recalled. Only hours ago, and half a world away, Sajan Skaria, 42, was part of the jubilant crew of Pixar Animation Studios whose ‘Inside Out’ won the Oscar for best animated feature. Sajan is character supervisor with Pixar, which boasts of such hits like ‘Toy Story’ and ‘Finding Nemo.’

Sajan joined Pixar in 2001, and lives in San Francisco with his artist wife Mary Ann and children Esha and Zack. His parents K Skaria and Thankamma live at Ebenezer Lane, Nalanchira, quite close to the Mar Ivanios College where Skaria used to teach zoology. ‘’We were expecting it really. We got up at 5.30 in the morning and watched the ceremony live on Star Movies,’’ a visibly elated Thankamma, a former chemistry teacher at St Goretti’s School, said.  On the teapoy before the couple lay old albums filled with pictures of their youngest son accepting prizes for his cartoons from personalities like Padmarajan and Malayattoor Ramakrishnan. ‘’He used to participate in all the cartoon competitions as a youngster,’’ Thankamma said. Sajan is the youngest of Skaria’s and Thankamma’s three sons. The eldest, Abu Skaria is an engineer with Michelin in Chennai and Jacob is a doctor in England. Sajan did his schooling at Sarvodaya High School and his pre-degree at Mar Ivanios, before joining REC Calicut. For a year after that he worked at Siemens in Bangalore, before signing up for an MS in Animation at Texas A&M University. –  Courtesy


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