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AARON BLAISE (Director) makes his directing debut following an impressive career as a top Disney animator. A 14-year veteran of Disney's Florida Animation Studio, Blaise has contributed to a variety of features with supervising roles on "The Lion King” and "Mulan,” and animation assignments on many others. 

Born in Burlington, Vermont, Blaise moved to Naples, Florida with his mother and stepfather at the age of eight. Following high school, he attended the Ringling School of Art and Design, where he trained in painting and drawing. From the age of five, he expressed a strong affinity and desire to draw animals. As an illustration major in school, he aspired to create illustrations for natural history magazines such as National Geographic or Smithsonian. 

When recruiting season arrived at Ringling, Blaise got leads on two companies that were coming to visit: Hallmark and Disney. Deciding to focus his efforts on painting backgrounds, he prepared his portfolio to show to the team from Disney. The greeting card industry's loss became the animation world's gain, and Blaise won an animation internship at Disney. In 1988, he and five other illustrators relocated to Los Angeles to study with mentor animators as part of an experiment to see if artists with strong drawing backgrounds but no animation experience could adapt to the animation world. Blaise was paired with star animator Glen Keane, and after a frustrating initial two weeks, things suddenly "clicked” and he was hooked. 

Following the internship, Blaise was offered a position at Disney's Florida Studio, set to open the following year. 

Blaise was an assistant animator on "Roller Coaster Rabbit” and "The Rescuers Down Under” (both 1990), and a character animator on "Beauty and the Beast” (1991) and "Trail Mix-Up” (1993). He served as supervising animator for Rajah on "Aladdin” (1992), Young Nala on "The Lion King” (1994), and for Yao on "Mulan” (1998). 

Blaise and his wife Karen have two children. He is the older brother of Travis Blaise, an animator on the Koda unit.

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