Coffin was trained at the Gobelins in Paris and started to work at Amblimation, the 2D London based facility, where he worked on the Steven Spielberg-executive-produced We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story. He then started as a freelance animator in the French CGI studio Ex Machina where he worked as animator and eventually animation supervisor. Pierre Coffin's directorial career kicked off with a short named Pings in 1997.
He then started to collaborate by doing commercials with Passion Pictures Paris and Mac Guff. He created the characters of Pat and Stan for TF1 a TV series. In 2010 he completed, with Chris Renaud, the feature CGI animated movie Despicable Me for Universal. In 2013, Coffin directed Despicable Me 2, with Renaud, and is directing for 2014 with Kyle Balda a Despicable Me spin-off, Minions.