“Whether writing for lost and striving souls traveling in the “Little Miss Sunshine” van, or runaway toys coming to terms with loss and change, Arndt has a gift for writing emotional payoff. Which helps explain why he’s risen so high on the strength of just two films.” - Michael Cavna of The Washington Post
A full-time screenwriter and perhaps upcoming director, Michael Arndt, interestingly only holds two screenwriting credits to his name- Little Miss Sunshine and Toy Story 3.
Although not much is known about his early life, it is known that he graduated from Tisch School of the Arts of New York University for film, and then went on to be a script reader as well as Mathew Broderick’s personal assistant until 1999.
He saved thousands of dollars to become a full-time screenwriter, and after quitting for Mathew Broderick, from the 23-26th of May in 2000 he wrote the first draft of Little Miss Sunshine. Over 100 revisions later he began submitting his script, however he received very little success until the Endeavor Talent Agency read the script in July 2001. It was then they assembled the project with budding directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris. After years of “development hell” the film premiered at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival where it garnered overnight success, and won Arndt the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. Subsequently, Pixar asked Arndt to assist them in writing Toy Story 3 the same year.
Arndt has has been noted has a “fine craftsman” and an “earnest and devote practitioner of screenwriting”. Although only having written two films, Arndt evidences the power of writing a great story- one ripe with complex characterizations, narrative drive, and emotional connection.