Michaël Dudok de Wit was born in Abcoude in the Netherlands. After his high school education in the Netherlands, he attended the Geneva School of Fine Arts. In 1978, he graduated from the West Surrey College of Art & Design (now the University for the Creative Arts) with his first film The Interview.
After working for a year in Barcelona, he settled in London where he directs and animates award-winning commercials for television and cinema. In 1992, he created the short film Tom Sweep, followed by The Monk and the Fish (1994), which was made in France with the studio Folimage. This film was nominated for an Oscar and has won numerous prizes including a César Award for Best Short Film and the Cartoon d'or. Michael also writes and illustrates children's picture books and teaches animation at art colleges in England and abroad.
His film Father and Daughter (2000) won an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, the Grand Prix at Annecy, Grand Prix at Animafest Zagreb and dozens of other major awards. In 2006, he made the short film The Aroma of Tea, which was drawn entirely with tea. His films The Monk and the Fish and Father and Daughter were included in the Animation Show of Shows. In 2016, he released the feature-length film The Red Turtle. It was nominated for Best Animated Feature Film at the 89th Academy Awards.