Paul Grimault has been an important figure in the development of French animation. Born in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, he got his start working as a commercial artist for an advertising company and then began making animated shorts. Eventually Grimault branched out into animated feature films such as La Bergere et le Ramoneur (1952) and Le Roi et l'Oiseau (1979). In 1948, Grimault won first prize at the Venice film festival for Le Petit Soldat. In 1936, he played a small role in the live-action black comedy, Le Crime de Monsieur Lange.