Tony Bancroft Director
Upon graduating from high school, Tony was accepted into the exclusive, Disney sponsored art college, California Institute of the Arts (Cal-Arts) in 1987, where he thrived artistically and developed a lifelong passion for animation. As a result of his time at CalArts, he was “drafted” to the big leagues of Walt Disney Animation Studios. His ability to quickly adapt his skills to any given project led him to work on such legendary animated productions as The Rescuers Down Under, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin. His diligence and a meticulous eye for character performance were rewarded when he became the Supervising Animator for both The Lion King and The Emperor’s New Groove. Memorable characters such as Pumbaa, the lovable warthog and spinach puff specialist, Kronk were two of the comedic creations that Tony brought to life for those Disney classics. He capped a successful 12-year career at Disney, being named co-director of the award-winning feature Mulan; adding to his list of credits, “youngest director in Disney’s history” and an Annie Award for Best Director that year.
With a desire to broaden his horizons, Tony was tapped by Sony Pictures to become the Animation Director for their summer release, Stuart Little 2 and then briefly returned to Disney to direct the English-language voice talent for the U.S. release of Miyasaki’s Porco Rosso. The culmination of his talent and experience led Tony to found his own animation studio – Toonacious Family Entertainment – where he specialized in DVD feature development and commercial production. Toonacious also produced their own original DVD series called Lenny and Sid.
Tony currently serves as the Creative Director for Divide Nine Animation in Glendale, CA. Besides being in charge of all creative content for the studio he is directing the studio’s first CG animated feature. Tony has lectured at many art colleges, most notably California Institute of the Arts, Art Academy of San Francisco and the Art Institute of Los Angeles. He and his wife, Rene’ currently reside in Altadena, CA with their three daughters and dog Maximus Prime.