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Director Profile: Gary Trousdale


Disney Enterprises. All rights reserved.

Occupation: Director
Active Years: 19
Birthplace: California

Gary Trousdale launched his directing career with the Academy Award(R) -winning musical-fantasy "Beauty and the Beast" and has gone on to direct two other features for the Studio -- "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" and "Atlantis: The Lost Empire." The multi-talented Disney veteran has been involved in making animated films at the Studio for over 16 years, working in a variety of capacities from effects animator to in-betweener to story supervisor and director. He first came to Disney in May, 1984.

Born in La Crescenta, California, Trousdale recalls loving cartoons as a child and creating his own "flip books" by the time he was in fourth grade. During his junior high school years, he toyed with the notion of becoming an architect but a fateful meeting with a representative from CalArts (the Disney-supported institution in Valencia, California that offers a curriculum in character animation) during his sophomore year of high school inspired him to pursue a career in animation. He put together a portfolio of his drawings and paintings and was accepted by the school.

After studying at CalArts for three years, Trousdale joined the ranks of working animators. In 1982, he was hired by Carter/Mendez Productions, where he served a one-year stint animating, designing and storyboarding various projects for television. His next assignment was for Grand American Fare, where he did illustrations and paste-ups for restaurant menus, special event flyers and T-shirts.

Trousdale got his start at Disney as an effects assistant on "The Black Cauldron" (1985) and went on to create additional effects for the Studio's live-action fantasy, "My Science Project" in his role as assistant and clean-up animator. During this time, his series of "bad attitude" gag cartoons earned him some attention and, ultimately, a place on the story development team for the feature animation division. In that capacity, he contributed to three sucessive films: "Oliver & Company," "The Little Mermaid" and "The Rescuers Down Under." His credits also include story and design work on Disney's award-winning, innovative computer-animation short, "Oilspot and Lipstick," as well as preliminary story development on "The Prince and the Pauper," "Aladdin" and other projects ("Goofy of the Apes," "Mickey's Halloween").

In 1989, Trousdale and his "Beauty" collaborator Kirk Wise were teamed for the first time as co-directors on "Cranium Command," the four-minute animated pre-show for "Wonders of Life" at Epcot. They had previously worked together developing the scenario for a Roger Rabbit short.

Following his stint on "Beauty," Trousdale worked on the story team for "The Lion King" and helped to board that film before focusing his efforts on "Hunchback."

Trousdale and his wife, Jill, a layout and sketch artist, live in the San Fernando Valley with their sons, Nathan and Calvin.

Director Credits

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