Master Workshop with Don Bluth (Title TBA)
DON BLUTH, trained by the nine old men is one of the original pioneers of independent animation filmmaking. As an animator, producer and director he was invited by 20th Century Fox to move to Phoenix, Arizona to co-helm the creation of Fox Animation Studio in 1994, following an already illustrious career in the animation industry dating back to 1955.
His career has brought him into contact with all categories of traditional animation, from mixing colors for Ink & Paint to writing scripts, to directing and even composing songs. He was an inbetweener and assistant animator to John Lounsbery on Sleeping Beauty (1959) and Sword in the Stone (1961). He left Disney and returned to Brigham Young University where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature. He spent three years in the mid-sixties as the producer/director of live musical plays with his brother, Toby. He returned to Disney in 1971, after three years in TV animation as a layout artist. His career began to skyrocket, first as an animator on Robin Hood (1973); as a directing animator on Winnie the Pooh and Tigger, Too (1974) and The Rescuers (1976); then as director of animation for Pete’s Dragon (1977) and producer/director on The Small One (1978). His name came to the public’s attention in 1979, when he resigned his post at Walt Disney Productions, along with long-time partners and fellow animators, Gary Goldman and John Pomeroy, to found Don Bluth Productions.
Their first film, Banjo the Woodpile Cat was produced in Mr. Bluth’s garage during nights and weekends over a four and a half year period while working at Disney. Since then, he has written, directed, produced and designed characters and environments for 12 films and three laser disc video games. These include The Secret of N.I.M.H. (1982); Dragon’s Lair video game (1983); Space Ace video game (1983); An American Tail (1986); The Land Before Time (1988); Dragon’s Lair II: A Time Warp video game (1989); All Dogs Go To Heaven (1989); Thumbelina (1994); Anastasia (1997) Bartok the Magnificent (1999) and Titan A.E. (2000).
Mr. Bluth has given seminars on storyboarding, character design, animation and directing at schools across the nation and in Mexico City, Mexico and Florence, Italy. Recently, he has authored two books; the first, titled The Art of Storyboarding was released in November 2004 and the second, The Art of Animation Drawing, in the first quarter of 2005.
Don and Gary Goldman were honored in 2001 by Animation Magazine with a Lifetime Achievement Award for their contribution to the art of animation. In 2004, Don was honored with the prestigious Winsor McKay Award, at the annual Annie Awards ceremony by the International Animated Film Society for his Lifetime Artistic Contribution to the Animation Industry. He & Gary Goldman were honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award in Animation by the Savannah College of Art & Design in 2005.
Don Bluth has been a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences since 1976. He makes his home in Scottsdale, Arizona. He continues to work on the development of animation education, produces and directs musical plays with young members of his church, and works with Goldman on developing new properties for feature animation.
Join Don Bluth, Gary Goldman and John Pomeroy for a discussion on their experiences from big studio to independants and join in the crew reunion