Veteran Disney animator Tom Bancroft known for his work on Disney greats such as “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Lion King,” “Aladdin,” “Pocahontas,” “Mulan” and “Brother Bear” is teaching a Lipscomb University and today the school published and interview with him about his career and his classes there.
The undergraduate animation program developed by Bancroft is only in its second semester of existence. He has taught Character Design I and Character Design II and plans on teaching additional classes as the program progresses into its second year. Bancroft says he has also been excited to bring in industry experts as adjunct professors, including John Hill and John Pomeroy, who teach Animation History and 2D Animation, respectively.
I’m Joaquin Baldwin, I work at the Walt Disney Animation Studios as a CG Layout Artist, I’m currently working on the film Wreck-It Ralph that should come out in November of 2012. Here’s some more info on Wreck-It Ralph:
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation? I cleaned a ceramics lab and worked in the admissions office at my old college (CCAD). I was also a webdesigner for about 6 years, which is not a crazy job, but sometimes you gotta make porn sites 🙂
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I made 3 short films recently while finishing my studies at UCLA: Sebastian’s Voodoo, Papiroflexia and The Windmill Farmer. They were incredibly fun to make, and getting a chance at going out to film festivals all over the place with them was a unique experience all filmmakers should experience at least once.
How did you become interested in animation? I was a computer nerd and used to experiment with computer graphics while in high-school. I liked blowing shit up (in the computer, but also in real life making explosives but that’s another story). I learned a lot of technical things this way, but not much on the artistic side. I came to the US to study art and webdesign and decided that I kind of hated it, and doing animation was more fun. It wasn’t until that point that I embraced animation as a way to Continue…
What is your name and your current occupation?
Guy Vasilovich. Animation Director, creator, writer
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I drew caricatures of patrons on the ceiling of a beer bar.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
Art Directed the Great Mouse Detective. Created the animated series Moville Mysteries and Iggy Arbuckle nature Freak. Co-created the internationally syndicated comic strip: When I was Short
How did you become interested in animation?
I practiced drawing from the Preston Blair since I could hold a crayon.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
Chicago Illinois. I was accepted to Continue…
What is your name and your current occupation? Mark Kennedy, head of story at Disney Feature Animation
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation? An overnight shift putting “The New York Times” into newspaper machines
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of? Tangled, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast
How did you become interested in animation? It didn’t hit me until I was in junior high school. It was when I first saw the “Dragon’s Lair” video game. I never thought about animation or drawing until then, so I had to try and catch up fast in order to go to art school by the time I graduated high school.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business? I’m from Cupertino, California USA and I went to The California Institute of the Arts right after high school, then started working at Disney feature animation after 3 years at CalArts.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
Every day is different. It depends on where the film is in the production cycle. In the beginning of the cycle, I spend most of my time in the story room with the directors and the other story artists (and writer, if there is one) talking through the story and writing it out on Continue…
What is your name and your current occupation?
Thomas Estrada. I’m a senior animator at Disney Interactive.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Not really crazy, but the most unusual was working as a pest control technician for several years. Covering Hollywood and Encino, I killed the bugs of Gene Kelly, George Carlin, and Jaclyn Smith, among others. What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
The Prince of Egypt, The Emperor’s New Groove, Treasure Planet, and the Toy Story 3 video game.
How did you become interested in animation?
As far back as I can remember, I loved to draw. I have memories of early grade school, drawing pictures of “Giant Robot” for school friends. I knew then that I wanted to this for a living.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I grew up in the San Fernando Valley in Southern California. After graduating high school in 1988, I had no idea about how to actually be a professional artist. I enrolled into art classes at the community college, but was soon discouraged after a couple semesters, thinking a career in art required going to schools like Cal Arts or Otis Parsons, places I could never afford. So I quit school, found a regular job and did whatever freelance art I could find such as airbrushing t-shirts, drawing brochure covers and painting murals. Finally in the summer of 1996 my wife and I attended her family reunion and discovered she had a cousin who was a Disney animator. He gave me an honest assessment of my drawing skills, then Continue…
Irven LeRoy Spence (April 24, 1909 – September 21, 1995) was an Americananimator. He is best known for his work on MGM’sTom and Jerry animated shorts. Spence has been credited variously as Irven Spence, Irvin Spence, and Irv Spence.
William Charles “Bill” Littlejohn (January 27, 1914 – September 17, 2010) was an American animator and union organizer. Littlejohn worked on both animated shorts and features from the 1930s through to the 1990s. His notable works include the Tom and Jerry shorts, the Peanuts television specials, the Oscar-winning short, “The Hole” (1962), and the Oscar-nominated “A Doonesbury Special” (1977). He has been inducted into the Cartoon Hall of Fame and received the Winsor McCay Award and lifetime achievement awards from the Annie Awards and the UCLA Film and Television Archive. Director Michael Sporn has called Littlejohn “an animation ‘God’.”
Littlejohn was also co-founded and served as the first president of the Screen Cartoonists Guild Local #852 in 1938. He led the effort to gain recognition for the union at the major Hollywood animation studios. When Walt Disney refused to negotiate with the union and fired 16 pro-union artists, Littlejohn led the union in the 1941 Disney animators strike. The strike lasted nine weeks and resulted in Disney’s recognition of the union, substantial salary increases, a 40-hour work week and screen credits. The Disney strike has been recognized as a watershed moment in the movement to unionize the animation industry.
Born in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, Natwick studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and had five brothers and two sisters. Natwick’s parents, James and Henrietta (Lyon) owned a furniture store. His grandfather, Ole, was one of the earliest Norwegian immigrants to the United States arriving in Wisconsin in 1847 (Ole was born on April 8, 1826, to Ole Torkjellson Natvig and Anna at Sagi Natvig, Ardal, Sogn, Norway). He had eleven children in Grand Rapids, Wisconsin (now part of Wisconsin Rapids), including James W., Grim’s father, and Joseph, who was the father of Mildred Natwick, Grim’s first cousin.
Natwick had his nickname since before high school as a takeoff on his “anything but Grim” personality. He was well known even in high school for his artwork and his poetry. Although never published, many pages of his poetry were displayed in the summer of 2011 at the South Wood County Historical Museum in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, where there is a permanent exhibit of Natwick’s works. His brother Frank was reputedly one of the first Wisconsin athletes to be invited to the Olympics in 1908. He was a high hurdler for the University of Wisconsin–Madison where he was president of his class.
Patterson won a Golden Award at the 1985 Motion Pictures Screen Cartoonists Awards.
Robert Fred Moore (September 7, 1911 – November 23, 1952), was an American artist and character animator for Walt Disney Productions. Often called “Freddie,” he was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. Despite limited formal art training, he rose to prominence at Disney very quickly in the early thirties due to his great natural talent and the tremendous appeal of his drawings, which is still greatly admired by animators and animation fans.
Moore was born in Los Angeles and is best known for being the resident specialist in the animation of Mickey Mouse. He is most notable for redesigning the character in 1938 for his landmark role as The Sorcerer’s Apprentice in Fantasia, a look which remains Mickey’s official look to this day. His animation of the earlier Mickey design was especially memorable in the 1938 short The Brave Little Tailor, the last significant appearance of the “pie-eyed” Mickey.
Moore was well-known around the studio for his drawings of innocently sexy, often nude, women, referred to as “Freddie Moore Girls.” Some of his girl designs found their way into Disney films: for example, the centaurettes in Fantasia and the teenage girls in the “All the Cats Join In” segment of Make Mine Music. (In “All The Cats Join In”, Moore personally animated the sequence at the beginning, when the girl answers the telephone and then quickly showers and dresses, through to her scene putting on lipstick in front of her mirror). Moore’s enduring influence can also be seen in the design of Casey’s daughters in the 1954 short Casey Bats Again. His girl drawings remain iconic and influential. A model sheet for Ariel in the 1989 Disney film The Little Mermaid made specific distinctions between the design of that character and a “Freddie Moore Girl.”
Moore was a close friend of fellow animators Ward Kimball and Walt Kelly, though he apparently had a quieter and more reserved nature than either of them. Many surviving gag drawings by Kelly from the period of Pinocchio show Kimball as the corrupt Lampwick, with boyish Moore as Pinocchio. Moore and Kimball were also caricatured as song and dance men in the 1941 Mickey Mouse short “The Nifty Nineties.” Moore makes a brief (and quiet) live-action appearance in the 1941 feature The Reluctant Dragon, along with Kimball and animator Norm Ferguson during one of the studio tour sequences.
He talked little about his family. His daughters were Sue Moore and Melinda Moore. Later on, his daughter Sue had married and had another daughter named Kelly Hall, who now resides in Tacoma, Washington with her two children.
When MGM closed their animation studio in 1957, Muse joined his former bosses at their new company, Hanna-Barbera. He was one of the most prolific animators working for Hanna-Barbera’s classic period of the late 1950s and early 1960s. He animated many important shows and sequences, including all of the short pilot The Flagstones, from which The Flintstones series was sold, as well as the original opening and closing titles of the series (the instrumental “Rise and Shine” titles, seen in the first two seasons, rather than the later, more familiar “Meet the Flintstones” titles). Muse also animated all of the first-produced episode of the series, “The Swimming Pool” (during the first season, episodes were assigned to one animator, who had only about four weeks each to complete them). Other early episodes animated entirely by Muse include “Hot Lips Hannigan”, “The Monster From The Tar Pits”, and “The Tycoon” (the J.L. Gotrocks episode). Muse also animated the opening and closing titles for Top Cat (1961). Over a period of three decades, he provided animation for nearly all of Hanna-Barbera’s animated television series, including The Huckleberry Hound Show (1958), The Flintstones (1960), The Yogi Bear Show (1961), Top Cat (1961), The Jetsons (1962), Wacky Races (1968), Hong Kong Phooey (1974), Jabberjaw (1976), and Challenge of the SuperFriends (1978).
By 1940 Tytla was tiring of animating heavies. Not one to want to be typecast Tytla requested as his next assignment Dumbo (namesake star of the 1941 film), the babyelephant ridiculed and rejected because of his big ears.
Manny Gould (May 30, 1904 – July 19, 1975) was an American animated cartoonist from the 1920s to the 1970s.
Gould was employed by the Barré Studio in the early 1920s under the direction of William Nolan. When the studio closed, Nolan went to work for Charles Mintz on the Krazy Kat cartoons, distributed first by Paramount Studios and then Columbia Pictures. Gould and Ben Harrison went with him and later replaced him. Gould and Harrison moved with the Mintz studio to Los Angeles in 1930. Also going with him were his sister Martha Barbara Gould and brothers Louis R., Allen, and Will Gould, a sports cartoonist for the Bronx Home News who drew the syndicated strip Red Barry in the 1930s and became a television and movie screenwriter.
Gould was hired in 1947 by Jerry Fairbanks Productions Productions as a director for its animation department, where Lilly had gone to head the story department. His last credited cartoon for Warners was released in 1949. Lilly formed his own commercial animation company in 1952 and by the late 1950s hired Gould to be his animation director.
Chuck Jones joined Leon Schlesinger Productions, the independent studio that produced Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies for Warner Bros., in 1933 as an assistant animator. In 1935, he was promoted to animator, and assigned to work with new Schlesinger director Tex Avery. There was no room for the new Avery unit in Schlesinger’s small studio, so Avery, Jones, and fellow animators Bob Clampett, Virgil Ross, and Sid Sutherland were moved into a small adjacent building they dubbed “Termite Terrace”. When Clampett was promoted to director in 1937, Jones was assigned to his unit; the Clampett unit was briefly assigned to work with Jones’ old employer, Ub Iwerks, when Iwerks subcontracted four cartoons to Schlesinger in 1937. Jones became a director (or “supervisor”, the original title for an animation director in the studio) himself in 1938 when Frank Tashlin left the studio. Jones’ first cartoon was The Night Watchman, which featured a cute kitten who would later evolve into Sniffles the mouse.
In 1950, Jones and Maltese began working on Rabbit Fire, a short that has changed Daffy Duck’s personality.
Jones remained at Warner Bros. throughout the 1950s, except for a brief period in 1953 when Warner closed the animation studio. During this interim, Jones found employment at Walt Disney Pictures, where he teamed with Ward Kimball for a four-month period of uncredited work on Sleeping Beauty (1959). Upon the reopening of the Warner animation department, Jones was rehired and reunited with most of his unit.
In the early 1960s, Jones and his wife Dorothy wrote the screenplay for the animated feature Gay Purr-ee. The finished film would feature the voices of Judy Garland, Robert Goulet and Red Buttons as cats in Paris, France. The feature was produced by UPA, and directed by his former Warner collaborator, Abe Levitow. Jones moonlighted to work on the film, since he had an exclusive contract with Warner Bros. UPA completed the film and made it available for distribution in 1962; it was picked up by Warner Bros. When Warner discovered that Jones had violated his exclusive contract with them, they terminated him. Jones’ former animation unit was laid off after completing the final cartoon in their pipeline, The Iceman Ducketh, and the rest of the Warner Bros. Cartoons studio was closed in early 1963. Jones claimed in his autobiography that this happened because Warner finally learned they weren’t making Mickey Mouse cartoons.
In 1963, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer contracted with Sib Tower 12 to have Jones and his staff produce new Tom and Jerry cartoons as well as a television adaptation of all Tom and Jerry theatricals produced to that date. This included major editing, including writing out the African-American maid, Mammy Two-Shoes, and replacing her with one of Irish descent voiced by June Foray. In 1964, Sib Tower 12 was absorbed by MGM and was renamed MGM Animation/Visual Arts. Jones’ animated short film The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics won the 1965 Academy Award for Best Animated Short. Jones also directed the classic animated short The Bear That Wasn’t.
As the Tom and Jerry series wound down (it was discontinued in 1967), Jones produced more for television. In 1966, he produced and directed the TV special How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, featuring the voice and facial models based on the readings by Boris Karloff. Jones continued to work on other TV specials such as Horton Hears a Who! (1970), but his main focus during this time was producing the feature film The Phantom Tollbooth, which did lukewarm business when MGM released it in 1970. Jones co-directed 1969’s The Pogo Special Birthday Special, based on the Walt Kelly comic strip, and voiced the characters of Porky Pine and Bun Rab. It was at this point that he decided to start ‘ST Incorporated’.
MGM closed the animation division in 1970, and Jones once again started his own studio, Chuck Jones Productions. He produced a Saturday morning children’s TV series for the American Broadcasting Company called The Curiosity Shop in 1971. In 1973, he produced an animated version of the George Selden book The Cricket in Times Square, and would go on to produce two sequels. Three of his works during this period were animated TV adaptations of short stories from Rudyard Kipling‘s The Jungle Book: Mowgli‘s Brothers, The White Seal and Rikki-Tikki-Tavi. During this period, Jones began to experiment with more realistically designed characters, most of which having larger eyes, leaner bodies, and altered proportions, such as those of the Looney Tunes characters. Jones resumed working with Warner Bros. in 1976 with the animated TV adaptation of The Carnival of the Animals with Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. Jones also produced the 1979 film The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie which was a compilation of Jones’ best theatrical shorts; Jones produced new Road Runner shorts for The Electric Company series and Bugs Bunny’s Looney Christmas Tales (1979), and even newer shorts were made for Bugs Bunny’s Bustin’ Out All Over (1980).
McKimson’s first directorial work, Daffy Doodles (at least his first released directorial work, though it was for the most part a Frank Tashlin cartoon; he cut his actual directorial teeth on a Seaman Hook wartime cartoon for military audiences in 1944), wherein Daffy draws moustaches on all the pre-drawn (and even some natural) faces in his sight, was released in early April 1946.
In 1953, the Warner Bros. cartoon studio laid off most of its staff for a period of six months. After the studio reopened, Freleng and Jones quickly re-assembled their respective units, but McKimson discovered every member of his previous team, apart from writer Tedd Pierce and background painter Dick Thomas, refused to work with him again.[why?] At the start of this period, McKimson animated on three of his own shorts, The Hole Idea, Dime to Retire, and Too Hop to Handle. (in fact, he was the sole animator credited on The Hole Idea)  Soon, McKimson assembled a new team of artists, including layout man/background painter Robert Gribbroek and animators Warren Batchelder, Ted Bonnicksen, and George Grandpre. Tom Ray, Russ Dyson, and Keith Darling helped at various points.
McKimson soldiered on at Warner’s cartoon studio as it began to lose people (including Jones) in 1962. Over this time, he directed his share of shorts and worked on the feature The Incredible Mr. Limpet. After the studio closed, he joined DePatie-Freleng Enterprises, co-owned by his old associate Friz Freleng and David H. DePatie, who had been a producer at the Warners studio. At DePatie-Freleng, McKimson directed several The Inspector shorts and worked on some of the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies contracted out to DePatie-Freleng by Warner Bros. In 1967, Warner opened its animation studio again; McKimson went back in 1968 and stayed until the animation studio shut down again in 1969. His last Warner Bros. cartoon was Injun Trouble with Cool Cat. Injun Trouble was also the last of the original Looney Tunes or Merrie Melodies cartoon to be produced before the Warner Bros. cartoon studio was closed. McKimson was the one person to be at the studio from the start of the Looney Tunes series through its finish in 1969, first as an animator and then as a director.
In late 1941, after Tex Avery left, he was replaced as the unit director by Bob Clampett. Scribner turned out to be arguably Clampett’s best animator. Clampett classics such as A Tale of Two Kitties (1942), Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs (1943), Falling Hare (1943), and The Great Piggy Bank Robbery (1946) showcase some of his greatest work: his trademark “Lichty style” of animation. Clampett left Warner Bros. in 1945 to pursue a career in puppetry and television. Not much is known about where Scribner was between 1946-1949 (although he does some animation on two McKimson cartoons starring Porky and Daffy in 1947). In 1950, Scribner returned to Warner Bros. under Robert McKimson’s unit. His animation was tamed down to McKimson’s standards, but he still got away with wild scenes, like in Hillbilly Hare (1950), Hoppy Go Lucky (1952) and Of Rice and Hen (1953). He left Warners in 1954 and worked at UPA. In his later years, Scribner worked with former colleague Bill Melendez on various Charlie Brown movies and television specials, eventually starting a studio called Playhouse Pictures, which produced commercicals for over 45 years.
Walt Disney complimented Les on the lettering he made for the menus on the mirrors at the candy store. Two years later in 1927, about to graduate from Venice High School, Clark got up the nerve to ask Walt for a job. “Bring some of your drawings in and let’s see what they look like,” he recalled Walt saying. At the Hyperion studio in the Silver Lake area east of Hollywood, Clark showed his samples, which he admitted were freehand copies of cartoons in College Humor. Walt admired his “swift, deft” graphic line and hired him.
Clark graduated from high school on a Thursday and jubilantly reported to work the following Monday, February 23, 1927 though Walt warned him “it might just be a temporary job.” The “temporary” job lasted nearly half a century. By the time he retired in 1975, Les Clark was a senior animator and director, and the “longest continuously employed member of Walt Disney Productions.”
Clark entered animation at a pivotal time and participated in events that shaped not only Disney’s future but the history of the art form itself. When he arrived, the Alice Comedies were winding down and a series starring a new character named Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was beginning. Ub Iwerks, who became Clark’s mentor, was the studio’s top animator, capable of turning out large numbers of cleverly animated drawings each day.
Clark’s draftsmanship and versatility as a personality animator developed way beyond what Ub Iwerks was capable of but echoes of the magical, cartoony Iwerks always remained in Clark’s work. A charming example is the little train to Baia in The Three Caballeros (1945), chugging and puffing on crayon rails to a bouncy samba beat through stylized jungle landscapes.
Wolfgang Reitherman (June 26, 1909 – May 22, 1985), also known and sometimes credited as Woolie Reitherman, was a Disney animator and one of Disney’s Nine Old Men.
Reitherman directed several Disney animated feature films including, One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961), The Sword in the Stone (1963), The Jungle Book (1967), The Aristocats (1970), Robin Hood (1973) and The Rescuers (1977). He is also known for reusing animation in movies directed by him. According to Floyd Norman, this was just one of his trademarks, and had nothing to do with time or cost savings: “Woolie was our director on The Jungle Book. Reuse was just Woolie’s thing. He never did it to save money. I really don’t think the “Old Guard” ever had any interest in saving money. I was never a big fan of reuse, but it wasn’t my place to tell these old guys what to do. One final thought. It never seemed to bother Walt, and I never heard him complain about reuse.”
While Kimball was a brilliant draftsman, he preferred to work on comical characters rather than realistic human designs. Animating came easily to him and he was constantly looking to do things differently. Because of this, Walt Disney called Ward a genius in the book The Story of Walt Disney. While there were many talented animators at Disney, Ward’s efforts stand out as unique.
Kimball was profiled by producer Jerry Fairbanks in his Paramount Pictures film short series Unusual Occupations. This 35mmMagnacolor film short was released theatrically in 1944; it focused on Kimball’s backyard railroad and full-sized locomotive.
Kimball was also a jazztrombonist. He founded and led the seven-piece Dixieland band Firehouse Five Plus Two, in which he played trombone. The band made at least 13 LP records and toured clubs, college campuses and jazz festivals from the 1940s to early 1970s. Kimball once said that Walt Disney permitted the second career as long as it did not interfere with his animation work.
Kimball also produced two editions of a volume titled Art Afterpieces, in which he revised various well-known works of art, such as putting Mona Lisa‘s hair up in curlers, showing Whistler’s Mother watching TV, and adding a Communist flag and Russian boots to Pinkie.
As recounted in Neal Gabler‘s biography of Walt Disney, Ward Kimball was a key figure in spreading the urban legend that Disney had left instructions for his body to be preserved by cryonics after his death.
Amid Amidi wrote a biography of Kimball, Full Steam Ahead: The Life and Art of Ward Kimball that was projected for publication in the fall of 2012. However, publication of the biography was cancelled in February 2013, which Amidi believed was due to pressure from the Disney corporation.
Keane left CalArts in 1974 and joined Disney the same year. His debut work, which was created over a 3-year period, was featured in The Rescuers, for which he was an animator for the characters of Bernard and Penny, alongside the famed Ollie Johnston. In 1975, during the production of his debut film, Keane married Linda Hesselroth, and they are the parents of design artist Claire Keane, and computer graphics artist Max Keane.
After The Rescuers was completed, Keane went on to animate Elliott the Dragon in Pete’s Dragon. Keane also animated the climactic bear showdown in The Fox and the Hound. In 1982, after being inspired by the groundbreaking film Tron, Keane collaborated with fellow animator John Lasseter (Toy Story, Toy Story 2) on a 30-second test scene of Maurice Sendak‘s Where the Wild Things Are, which was optioned for them by Disney executive Tom Wilhite. The test integrated traditional character animation and computer-generated backgrounds (Video on YouTube), and, like Tron, was a cooperation with MAGI. It was also Disney’s first experimentation with digital inked and painted characters. But, the project turned out to be too expensive, and the studio was unwilling to invest further in the planned featurette. The test for Where the Wild Things Are was revolutionary for its time, and a predecessor to the famous ballroom scene in Beauty and the Beast.
In 1983, Keane left Disney as a contracted employee and worked as a freelance artist. During this time, he worked on the character of Professor Ratigan in Disney’s The Great Mouse Detective. He also did some work on The Chipmunk Adventure where he did the sequences of “Boys and Girls of Rock N’ Roll” and “Getting Lucky”. He returned to Disney to work on the characters of Fagin, Sykes and Georgette for Oliver & Company. Keane rose to lead character animator, becoming one of the group of young animators who were trained by and succeeded “Disney’s Nine Old Men“. Keane animated some of Disney’s most memorable characters in what has been referred to as the “New “Golden Age” of Disney Animation. Keane designed and animated the character of Ariel in the 1989 film The Little Mermaid, then the eagle Marahute in The Rescuers Down Under. Subsequently, Keane worked as the supervising animator on the title characters for three Disney hit features: Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast and Pocahontas.
While living with his family in Paris, France for three years, Keane completed work on Disney’s 1999 Tarzan for which he drew the eponymous character. Keane then returned to Disney’s Burbank studio as the lead animator for John Silver in Treasure Planet. In 2003, Keane began work as the director of Disney’s CGI animated film, Tangled (based on the Brothers Grimm story Rapunzel), which released in November 2010. In Tangled, Glen and his team hoped to bring the unique style and warmth of traditional animation to computer animation. In October 2008, due to some “non-life threatening health issues”, Keane stepped back as director of Tangled, but remained the film’s executive producer and an animating director.
On March 23, 2012, having worked approximately 37 years at Disney, Glen Keane left Walt Disney Animation Studios. Keane said in a letter sent to his co-workers, “I owe so much to those great animators who mentored me – Eric Larson, Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston – as well as to the many other wonderful people at Disney whom I have been fortunate to work with in the past nearly 38 years. I am convinced that animation really is the ultimate form of our time with endless new territories to explore. I can’t resist its siren call to step out and discover them.”
On December 2013, it was announced that he had joined Motorola’s Advanced Technology and Projects Group and is cooperating with its engineers to create interactive hand-drawn animation. Keane released his first animated short- Duet– at the Google I/O Conference in San Francisco on June 25, 2014. It is the first hand-drawn cartoon made with 60 fps, and the third in a series of shorts called the Spotlight Stories that are designed to explore spatial awareness and the sensory inputs of a mobile device to create a distinctive storytelling experience.
In addition to his work as an animator, Keane is the author and illustrator of a series of children’s Bible parable books featuring Adam Raccoon and King Aren the Lion.