Chris Buck – Director Frozen
CHRIS BUCK (Director) made his directing debut on the 1999 Disney animated blockbuster “Tarzan,” and is back at the helm (along with director Jennifer Lee) for the new 2013 animated adventure from Walt Disney Animation Studios. Buck began his professional career with Disney in 1978, and has made important contributions as an animator, supervising animator, character designer and director. His other feature directing credit is on the Oscar®-nominated 2007 film “Surf’s Up” from Sony Pictures Animation.
Born in Wichita, Kan., Buck studied character animation for two years at CalArts before launching his career at Disney as an animator on the 1981 animated feature “The Fox and the Hound.” He received an animation credit on a short film “Fun with Mr. Future” and did some early experimental work on “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.”
From 1984-92, Buck worked on a variety of freelance assignments, including several for Disney. Joining creative forces with director Tim Burton, Buck helped storyboard Disney’s 1984 live-action featurette “Frankenweenie.” He went on to animate commercials for such Los Angeles-based production entities as Film Fair, Kurtz & Friends and Duck Soup. He also served as a directing animator (teamed again with Burton) on the 1993 “Family Dog” episode of Steven Spielberg’s “Amazing Stories,” which was directed by Brad Bird. Buck served as director of the subsequent 13 half-hour episodes of the animated series. Buck helped design characters for Disney’s 1989 animated blockbuster “The Little Mermaid,” and performed similar duties as well as experimental animation for “The Rescuers Down Under.” This was followed by a stint at Hyperion Pictures, where he helped develop several films and served as a directing animator on the feature “Bebe’s Kids.”
In 1992, Buck returned to Disney on a fulltime basis to work as a supervising animator on the 1995 animated feature “Pocahontas,” overseeing the animation of three characters: Percy (Ratcliffe’s pet pug), the mystical Grandmother Willow and Ratcliffe’s civil servant Wiggins.
Buck went on to direct (with Kevin Lima) “Tarzan,” followed by Sony’s “Surf’s Up” (with fellow director Ash Brannon), helping to create a wildly inventive parody of surfing documentaries focusing on the adventures of a 17-year old rockhopper penguin named Cody Maverick (voiced by Shia LaBeouf).
In addition to his impressive accomplishments as an artist and filmmaker, Buck also taught character animation classes at CalArts from 1988-93. He and wife Shelley have three children.