(Director-Producer) is recognized as one of the most prestigious animators in the industry and is admired by his peers all over the world for his creative talent, as well as for his versatility in bringing memorable characters to life. While working on his films, Bluth wears many hats. He designs characters, selects colors, serves as Key Storyboard Artist, and when the mood strikes him, he has also been known to write some clever songs to accompany his lively and amusing characters. As if these duties don't keep him busy enough, he also writes and/or collaborates on most of the scripts for his projects.
Bluth was born into a family of seven children in El Paso, Texas and grew up in a highly creative environment. After watching Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, he found his calling. From the age of six on, he could always be found drawing. It soon became his dream to work for Walt Disney Studios and bring his drawings to life as he had seen accomplished in films. Bluth's family moved to Santa Monica, California, and upon graduation from high school, he took a portfolio of his drawings to the Disney studio in Burbank. He accepted a position in the animation department as an "in-betweener,"
which required him to create the drawings in between the animator's key drawings to complete a movement. Bluth worked with Disney from 1955 through 1956 on the classic motion picture Sleeping Beauty.
Making the decision to continue his formal education, Bluth enrolled at Brigham Young University, studying English Literature. However, during this time he continued to work during the summers for Disney.
After completing his education, he and his brother Frederick (a.k.a. Toby) started a live theater in Santa Monica, where they produced and directed popular musical comedies. Although this venture proved to be exciting, after three years Bluth decided to commit to a career in animation.
His first job upon re-entering the animation field was for Filmation Studios in Los Angeles, a television animation production company. He was hired as a Layout Artist, which in television production requires that the artist draw the stage or set design and the character poses for the Animators. Bluth was extremely adept at this and was promoted to the head of the department where he worked for three years.
In 1971, he returned to the Disney Animation Department as an Animator. Bluth then began what would be considered a sky-rocket ride to the top of the animation field. He was promoted within two years to Directing Animator, followed by Director of Animation, and the following year he became a Producer/Director. From 1971 to 1979, Bluth worked on many acclaimed Disney projects, including Robin Hood (1973), Winnie the Pooh and Tigger, Too (1974), The Rescuers (1977), Pete's Dragon (1977) and The Small One (1978).
Inspired by many of Disney's classics and filled with the desire to restore that quality to animated films, Bluth began a short project in his garage with two fellow Disney Animators, Gary Goldman and John Pomeroy. This short project, known as "Banjo, The Woodpile Cat," began production in March, 1975. For the next four-and-a- half years, the trio worked nights and weekends in all areas of production to accomplish the finished project. During this time, they still kept their "day"jobs at Disney.
In early 1979, Bluth, Goldman and Pomeroy were approached by film industry businessmen who offered to fund them on a feature film. "Banjo" served as an excellent
portfolio and showed that they could create the "classical" look. In September, 1979, on Bluth's birthday, the trio resigned from Walt Disney Productions to start their own independent production company. For their first feature film, they selected Robert C. O'Brien's award-winning novel Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of
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