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SPIRITED AWAY

DONALD W. ERNST (Producer) has been involved in production at Disney for over twelve years, most recently producing Disney's first animated feature for IMAX®, "Fantasia/2000." Among his other distinguished credits, he served as co-producer of the 1992 Disney animated blockbuster "Aladdin." 

A native of Los Angeles, Ernst began his industry career over thirty-five years ago as an editor with an animated commercial company called Telemat. Five years later, in 1961, he joined Columbia Television and began doing sound effects and music editing for such popular programs as "The Donna Reed Show" and "Father Knows Best." Ernst became a full-fledged editor and worked for two years in that capacity on "Gilligan's Island" and served another three-year hitch on "Gunsmoke." 

Ernst's editing career lasted for over three decades and earned him a total of ten Emmy Award nominations and two Emmy statuettes. The Television Academy awarded him their highest honor for his work on the telefilm "Raid on Entebbe" and for an outstanding episode of "Hill Street Blues." 

Segueing from television into feature production, Ernst joined animation producer/director Ralph Bakshi in 1975, and spent the next seven years editing animated features. Among his credits as editor during this period are the motion pictures "The Lord of the Rings," "Wizards" and "Hey, Good Lookin'." He also produced an unsold animated pilot for Bakshi called "Hanging Out." Following this, Ernst returned to editing television shows and went on to receive his two Emmy Awards while working for such major studios as Fox, MGM and Warner Hollywood. 

In 1987, Ernst once again moved back into the world of animation as editor of "The Brave Little Toaster." This led to his joining the Disney studio's feature animation division in 1989. He went on to edit two featurettes for The Disney-MGM Studios' Magic of Disney Animation Tour in Florida – "Back to Never Land" and "Michael and Mickey" – and the first Roger Rabbit short, "Tummy Trouble." This was followed by a stint as producer on two additional projects, "Mickey's Audition" (for Walt Disney World) and the second Roger Rabbit short, "Roller Coaster Rabbit." Ernst also served as executive producer for the 1993 Disney live-action feature "Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey."

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