Cinco Paul: Mormon Screenwriter
Cinco Paul is a screenwriter most recently known for his work with writing partner Ken Daurio on animated feature films Despicable Me 2 and Despicable Me. He also wrote The Santa Clause 2 (2002), The Lorax (2012).
Cinco Paul received his name because he was born on Cinco de Mayo in 1964. He graduated from Yale University and received a fellowship at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Art, where he earned his MFA.
Paul met Daurio when Daurio had a lead in a musical Paul wrote for his LDS stake’s sesquicentennial celebration (1997) of the Mormon pioneers’ arrival in Utah. They first formed a band they called Otter Pops and also began to collaborate on scripts. Within a year they had sold their first script. Their second script was made into a movie the year following. One of their tactics early in their careers was to sing their story pitches to movie producers. It opened the door for them for Bubble Boy and College Road Trip. Audrey Geisel, the widow of Dr. Seuss, was pleased with the script that Paul and Daurio wrote for an animated adaptation of Horton Hears a Who! They wrote it in connection with Illumination Entertainment, a film production company founded by Chris Meledandri.
Paul and Daurio said they want to write movies that are “uplifting, optimistic, and for everybody.” Paul also said that “religion is a very strong part of the lives of people, and it rarely gets any sort of real representation in films and TV,” so he and Daurio made sure the scene of the three girls praying stayed in the film Despicable Me.
Despicable Me earned $543 million worldwide, which brought on the sequels Despicable Me 2 (which grossed almost $1 billion), Minions, and short films. Despicable Me 3 is in production and will be released in 2017. They are also working on The Secret Life of Pets, due out in 2016.
Paul is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, having attended church with his mother while growing up. His father was not a member, so Paul did not get baptized until prior to going to Yale. His father insisted that he complete his degree, so after graduating, he served a full-time mission to Japan. He and his wife, have three children.