01/02/2013 05:33 pm ET Updated Jan 24, 2013

'Rise Of The Guardians' Director Peter Ramsey, First African American To Helm Big-Budget Animated Film, On His Milestone (VIDEO)

With Black History Month just a month away, director Peter Ramsey has etched his name in history as the first African-American to direct a major animated film with “Rise of the Guardians.”

While speaking with CNN, the fellow storyboard artist-turned-director opened up on manifesting his childhood dreams into a reality.

“I had a head full of dreams, it was like, ‘how do you go the step of making those dreams a reality,” he recalled. “Even though I grew up five, six miles away from Hollywood I had no idea real people made movies…There were no uncles who were actors or no directors or producers, nothing like that…we were just the Ramseys.”

Despite not having any kinfolk in the industry, the Los Angeles native received a tremendous amount of support from his parents.

“I think we both conveyed to him that he could do better than people in the area where we were living…I knew he was going to be something special,” said Peter's father Herbert Ramsey. “He was always a busy inquisitive kid, [who] wanted to ask questions all the times I didn’t know the answer. But we had books in the house,” Pauline Ramsey, Peter's mother, added.

Well, it paid off. "Rise Of The Gaurdians" recently scored a Golden Globe nomination. Although the reality of the honor didn't set in at first, the UCLA alum admitted that; “It wasn’t until there had been an article written about me in a newspaper and I looked up and I saw tears in my dad’s eyes, and it all came back to me. It does kind of matter.”

Check out Peter Ramsey’s full CNN interview above.

Clarification: Language in the headline has been amended to reflect that Ramsey is not the first black director of an animated film.



African-American Filmmakers