Who is Crystal Kung Minkoff’s Husband Rob Minkoff? Read Up on His Film Career

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills husband directed The Lion King and Stuart Little, among many achievements.

Crystal Kung Minkoff’s husband, Rob Minkoff, might possibly be as much of an icon as she is in his own right. The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills cast member’s husband has had an extensive career directing and designing some of your favorite animated movies from the 1990s and 2000s.

Crystal and Rob have been together since 2003: They met at a friend’s birthday party, and had their first date at the Finding Nemo premiere. After getting married in 2007, the couple waited five years to have their kids, Max and Zoe, and are still very much in love.

Crystal told The Daily Dish in 2021 that Rob is “an incredible dad and a great husband,” and thinks that he should be in the cast of a reality show, not the other way around.

“[Rob] deserves his own show because he’s such a great person, honestly,” she said. “He’s so humble, and that personality trait to me is number one. My dad was super humble and Rob just has that and he’s so talented and he doesn’t even talk about it. I don’t think he even realizes his talent, you know?”

Learn a bit more about his movie credits and education below.

Daily Dish Crystal Rob Minkoff
Daily Dish Crystal Rob Minkoff Crystal and Rob Minkoff Photo: Crystal Kung Minkoff/Instagram

What movies has Rob Minkoff directed?

The long time animator has been at the helm of some of big children’s films, like the first animated Lion King film and the first live-action Haunted Mansion film.

“Rob is just like — look, the guy makes family movies,” Crystal said during The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills After Show in 2022. “He is a kid at heart and he’s very soft and sweet. He’s such a good dad.”

He also helmed Stuart Little, Stuart Little 2, and Mr. Peabody & Sherman.

In addition to various hits for children, Rob has directed films geared towards an older audience, including Flypaper (2011) and The Forbidden Kingdom (2008). He also has directed episodes for the TV series Leverage and Aftermath.

Most recently, he directed the animated film, Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank based on the Mel Brooks classic, Blazing Saddles, which was released in 2021.

Crystal Kung Minkoff and her husband, Rob Minkoff, pose with their two kids.
A family guy who makes movies for families. Photo: Crystal Kung Minkoff/Instagram

The Lion King (1994)

Rob directed the 1994 animated film alongside Roger Allers — his first time directing a full-length animated film. The Lion King didn’t start out as a “Disney darling,” according to The Ringer, which gave new directors, like Minkoff, the chance to prove themselves. But, the directors adjusted on the fly, putting together the film as they went along.

“For two years we were pushing that boulder up hill,” Rob told The Ringer in 2019.

This bet against them worked to their advantage. “But the truth was the fact that it was an experiment meant we could do things in an unconventional way and I think that added to the success of the film and what it became because it didn’t have limitations,” Rob explained during a virtual “Happily After Hours” talk in 2020.

And it became a massive hit, winning two Academy Awards and grossing the most at the box office worldwide for any film released that year.

Stuart Little (1999)

Rob’s next full-length feature film was Stuart Little, with Michael J. Fox lending his voice to Stuart Little — a talking mouse who gets adopted by human parents, lives in Manhattan, and is on the run from the family cat, Snowbell. The film, which debuted in 1999, incorporated elements of animation with live action actors.

In an interview with The Chicago Tribune in 1999, Rob said that directing this film was a bit of a challenge for him. “In its own way, it’s much harder than the other films I’ve done,” he said. “It combines two different art forms and techniques — meaning live action and CGI (computer generated imagery). And when you have to deal with doing both at the same time, that’s when you face a unique set of challenges.”

The challenges must have been rewarding and successful enough, because Rob went on to direct the sequel, Stuart Little 2, in 2002.

The Haunted Mansion (2003)

Rob was the director for the 2003 live action film The Haunted Mansion starring Eddie Murphy, which was inspired by the Disney amusement park ride with the same name.

“It’s not exactly the ride, people sometimes confuse that,” he explained during “Happily After Hours.” “We’re trying to make a movie that could be a companion to the ride.”

Mr. Peabody & Sherman (2014)

Mr. Peabody & Sherman is an animated film based on the 1950’s cartoon series, Peabody’s Improbable History, about the world’s smartest dog. The animated film focuses on Mr. Peabody, the talking dog voiced by Ty Burrell, and his adopted human son, Sherman, as they travel back in time to fix a rift that they created.

Rob told D Magazine in 2014 that he was most interested in expanding on the characters in the film.

“We can explore these characters more than they could have ever done in the original show,” he said. “We spent a lot of time figuring out Mr. Peabody. What does it mean if you’re a dog in a human world? That was the fun of the development in the movie.”

Rob Minkoff’s Other Animation Work

Crystal Kung Minkoff sits with her husband and their two kids at a baseball game.
Rob and Crystal, taking their kids out to the ball game. Photo: Crystal Kung Minkoff/Instagram

Rob got his start doing animation work on some pretty famous kids’ films.

Rob was a character designer for the 1987 animated film, The Brave Little Toaster, as mentioned on RHOBH Season 13, Episode 12. He also played a pivotal role in the design of the character, Ursula, in The Little Mermaid, when he worked as a character animator for the 1989 animated film.

Rob Minkoff’s Education

Crystal Minkoff, Rob Minkoff and Jeffrey Kung sitting together at the White House in Washington D.C.
Crystal Kung Minkoff posts an image of herself and her husband, Rob Minkoff and her brother, Jeffrey Kung to her instagram account on May 9, 2023. Photo: Crystal Minkoff/Instagram

Before he got schooled by working at Disney, Rob attended the California Institute of the Arts in Santa Clarita, California, and graduated in 1983.

Rob first got introduced to animation when he was looking at a coffee table book, The Art of Walt Disney, while hanging out at a friend’s house in his hometown of Palo Alto, California. “I cracked it open and it was filled with so much incredible artwork from the golden age of animation,” he said during “Happily After Hours.”

This love of animation took him to CalArts, he told Verde Magazine in 2014, which led him to discover his love of directing.

“I really enjoyed the process of performing and storytelling,” he said. “I would go see films, get a bit of an education about movies by watching older movies. They had quite an impact on me. I wanted to find a way to participate in that.”

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