From 2003 to the present, I’ve had a vast array of projects to work on.
It started with former Disney executive Jeffrey Katzenberg – now one of the three Dreamworks founding partners – hiring me as a storyboard artist on an animated feature about a misfit panda bear who transforms into a martial arts genius. Kung Fu Panda. I was let go after four months, only to later discover that 95% of the crew were also dismissed.
C’est la vie.
This was immediately followed by a two-and-a-half year stint doing storyboarding and animation supervision on Curious George for Universal Animation. That was followed by animation supervision on The Simpsons Movie. It seemed that 20th Century Fox Animation needed a “classic Disney touch” to a Snow White parody of Homer and Marge and cute little woodland animals.
After that I was back at Disney yet again, storyboarding on the first Tinkerbell movie. Even after moving with my family to Nashville, Tennessee, the work just continued to follow. Technology has made long distance contracting very friendly – very doable. I continued working on the next Tinkerbell movies: Lost Treasure and Fairy Rescue. Lost Treasure director Klay Hall was a former assistant animator working with me in the Bluth days on The Secret of NIMH. He hired me to work on development and storyboarding on the then-upcoming feature Planes.
Once again, tapping into my interest in history, this became a fun project to work on – tracking the story of a crop duster plane, Dusty, and his odyssey to become a racing plane. The movie featured a sequence where Dusty’s mentor Skipper has a flashback to his days as a World War II war bird in the Pacific. This would be one of the few times I storyboarded in color.
More bread and butter jobs followed, including a Timon and Pumba educational series, Tom and Jerry, Swan Princess, Alvin and the Chipmunks, and most recently Sophia the First on Disney Junior. I am currently working on a new Disney Junior series, Fancy Nancy, which debuted earlier this month.