When 30-year-old Gil Kenan was a student at Grover Cleveland High School in Reseda, he could not have imagined that just a few years after his 10-year reunion, he would find himself nominated for an Academy Award.
But Kenan got the call early Tuesday morning and found out that he was up for an Oscar for directing the film “Monster House,” which is competing with “Cars” and “Happy Feet” in the best animated film category.
“It’s really been kind of a fairly tale,” Kenan said. “Being a kid from Reseda to UCLA Film School to directing and now going to the Oscars. It’s just ridiculous.”
The film, about a haunted house that eats people, was a solid hit last fall but beat back such better-known films as “Over the Hedge” and “Ice Age: The Meltdown” for an Oscar nod.
“Aside from this being my first film and first nomination, what I’m most excited about is what an amazing year this has been for animation,” he said. “To be singled out in such a strong year is pretty exciting.”
Kenan, who was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award, is working on his next film, “City of Ember,” which is being produced by Tom Hanks.