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Meet Winnie The Pooh Filmmakers

Winnie the Pooh Model Sheet

STEPHEN ANDERSON (Director) joined Walt Disney Feature Animation in 1995 as a story artist on “Tarzan.” Prior to taking on directing duties for “Winnie the Pooh,” he served as director of 2007’s “Meet the Robinsons.” Anderson’s credits in the WDAS story department include “The Emperor’s New Groove” and “Brother Bear.” He served as story supervisor for both films. Prior to joining Disney, Anderson worked as an animator at Hyperion Animation on “Rover Dangerfield” and “Bebe’s Kids.” He made his directorial debut with the TV series “The Itsy Bitsy Spider.” Anderson grew up in Plano, Texas, before attending the prestigious California Institute of the Arts, where he also served as a story instructor for five years. Steve currently resides in Canyon Country, Calif., with his wife Heather and their son Jacob.

Prior to his role as director of “Winnie the Pooh,” DON HALL (Director) served as head of story for 2009’s “The Princess and the Frog.” As head of story, he worked closely with the directors in editorial and recording sessions; his responsibilities included story crew supervision, storyboarding sequences and writing. Hall began his career at Walt Disney Animation Studios in June of 1995, coming onboard as a story trainee on “Tarzan.” He served as a storyboard artist on “The Emperor’s New Groove,” “Chicken Little” and various development projects. For “Meet the Robinsons,” Hall was elevated to head of story. He was nominated for an Annie Award for storyboarding on “The Emperor’s New Groove”—his work on “Meet the Robinsons” netted him a second nomination. Hall graduated with a BFA in drawing and painting from the University of Iowa and a BFA in character animation from California Institute of the Arts. After graduating from Cal Arts, he returned to the campus as an instructor in advanced story development. Hall is a native of Glenwood, Iowa, and currently resides in Pasadena with his wife and two children.

Prior to venturing into the Hundred Acre Wood, PETER DEL VECHO (Producer) served as producer of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ 49th full-length animated feature, “The Princess and the Frog.” The film reunited him with directors Ron Clements and John Musker, creators of “The Little Mermaid” and “Aladdin.”

Del Vecho joined Walt Disney Animation Studios in 1995 and came to the studio with a wealth of production experience in theater. Having worked at numerous theaters in New York and on the East Coast, Del Vecho eventually joined the renowned Guthrie Theater before leaving in 1995 as the associate producing director. It was his passion for a collaborative artistic environment that brought him to Disney.

As the production manager of “Hercules,” he was responsible for guiding a production team of 300 artists and helping to bring this epic adventure to the screen. His next credit was as the associate producer of the 2002 animated film “Treasure Planet.” Del Vecho also served as associate producer on the 2005 animation adventure “Chicken Little,” for which he was creatively involved in the production of the studio’s first full-length 3D animated feature.

Born and raised in Boston, Mass., Del Vecho developed an interest in music and theater at an early age and he went on to study theater production at Boston University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. From there he worked as a stage manager in various theaters on the east coast before a nine-year stint at the renowned Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Minn.

In addition to his accomplishments as a filmmaker, Del Vecho is married to a loving and supportive wife, Jane, and is father of twin 13-year-old children, Gregory and Georgina. He holds an FAA Sport Pilot certificate and flies his own weight shift trike in and around the Los Angeles area.

JOHN LASSETER (Executive Producer) is a two-time Academy Award®-winning director and creatively oversees all films and associated projects from Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios. Lasseter made his feature directorial debut in 1995 with “Toy Story,” the first ever feature length computer animated film, and since then has gone on to direct “A Bug’s Life,” “Toy Story 2” and “Cars.” He returns to the driver’s seat, directing this summer’s “Cars 2.” His executive producing credits include “Monsters, Inc.,” “Finding Nemo,” “The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille,” “WALL•E,” “Bolt” and last year’s critically acclaimed “Up,” the first animated film ever to open the Cannes Film Festival, and the recipient of two Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Score. Lasseter also served as executive producer for Disney's Oscar®-nominated “The Princess and the Frog” and “Tangled,” as well as Pixar’s most recent critical and box-office hit, “Toy Story 3,” which is based on a story written by Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich.

Lasseter wrote, directed and animated Pixar’s first short films, including “Luxo Jr.,” “Red’s Dream,” “Tin Toy” and “Knick Knack.” “Luxo Jr.” was the first three-dimensional computer animated film ever to be nominated for an Academy Award® when it was nominated for Best Animated Short Film in 1986; “Tin Toy” was the first three-dimensional computer animated film ever to win an Academy Award® when it was named Best Animated Short Film in 1988. Lasseter has executive produced all of the studio’s subsequent shorts, including “Boundin’,” “One Man Band,” “Lifted,” “Presto,” “Partly Cloudy,” “Day & Night,” and the Academy Award®-winning “Geri’s Game” (1997) and “For the Birds” (2000).

Under Lasseter’s supervision, Pixar’s animated feature and short films have earned a multitude of critical accolades and film industry honors. Lasseter himself received a Special Achievement Oscar® in 1995 for his inspired leadership of the “Toy Story” team. He and the rest of the screenwriting team of “Toy Story” also earned an Academy Award® nomination for Best Original Screenplay, the first time an animated feature had ever been recognized in that category.

In 2009, Lasseter was honored at the 66th Venice International Film Festival with the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement. The following year, he became the first producer of animated films to receive the Producers Guild of America’s David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Motion Pictures. Lasseter’s other recognitions include the 2004 Outstanding Contribution to Cinematic Imagery award from the Art Directors Guild, an honorary degree from the American Film Institute, and the 2008 Winsor McCay Award from ASIFA-Hollywood for career achievement and contribution to the art of animation.

Prior to the formation of Pixar in 1986, Lasseter was a member of the Computer Division of Lucasfilm Ltd., where he designed and animated “The Adventures of Andre and Wally B,” the first ever piece of character-based three-dimensional computer animation, and the computer-generated Stained Glass Knight character in the 1985 Steven Spielberg-produced film “Young Sherlock Holmes.”

Lasseter was part of the inaugural class of the Character Animation program at California Institute of the Arts, and received his B.F.A. in film in 1979. Lasseter is the only two-time winner of the Student Academy Award for Animation, for his CalArts student films “Lady and the Lamp” (1979) and “Nitemare” (1980). His very first award came at the age of five, when he won $15 from the Model Grocery Market in Whittier, Calif., for a crayon drawing of the Headless Horseman.

BURNY MATTINSON (Senior Story Artist) is one of the few remaining Disney artists who worked with Walt Disney and is still on staff at Walt Disney Animation Studios. Mattinson’s lengthy career in animation is highlighted by helming the Academy Award®-nominated 1983 animated featurette “Mickey’s Christmas Carol,” which returned Mickey Mouse to the big screen for the first time in 30 years.

The veteran Disney filmmaker had previously worked on such classics as “Lady and the Tramp,” “101 Dalmatians,” “the Sword in the Stone,” “The Jungle Book” and “The Rescuers.” He served as a key member of the story team on Disney’s contemporary classics including “Aladdin,” “Beauty & the Beast,” “The Lion King, “Pocahontas,” “Mulan,” “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” “Tarzan,” and most recently, the highly successful Goofy short “How to Hook Up Your Home Theater.”

Mattinson was born in San Francisco and still recalls the profound impact that seeing “Pinocchio” had on him at the age 6. By the time he was 12, he was drawing Disney-type characters and dreaming of being a cartoonist.

In 1953, Mattinson started his career at Disney working in the studio mailroom. He was 18 and had no formal art training. Within six months, he was delivering more than mail as he ascended the rungs of the animation ladder, beginning as an in-betweener on “Lady and the Tramp.” He was promoted to assistant animator on “Sleeping Beauty” (working under Disney legend, Marc Davis) and continued in that capacity on “101 Dalmatians.” He spent the next 12 years assisting Eric Larson on such films as “The Sword in the Stone,” “The Jungle Book” and “The Aristocats.” In 1972, after completing an internal training program, he became an animator on “Robin Hood” and a key animator on “Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too.” Following this, he worked on storyboards and title designs for “The Rescuers” and “The Fox and the Hound” before directing “Mickey’s Christmas Carol” in 1983. In 1984, Mattinson wrote, produced and directed “The Great Mouse Detective.”

Before joining the team in the Hundred Acre Wood, MARK HENN (Supervising Animator for Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin) served as supervising animator for Princess Tiana in “The Princess and the Frog,” helping to design the character and oversee her animation throughout the film. Henn joined Walt Disney Animation Studios in 1980 as an in-betweener for “The Fox and the Hound.” He was promoted to animator less than a year later, tackling the featurette “Mickey’s Christmas Carol,” for which he was part of the team responsible for animating Mickey Mouse. As an animator on “The Black Cauldron,” Henn worked on the Horned King’s henchman, Creeper, the furry Gurgi and Fflewddur Flam, the wandering minstrel. He animated Goofy in “How to Hook Up Your Home Theater” for Disney’s shorts program and provided animation for the bookend sequences of for the Walt Disney Studios’ hit “Enchanted.”

Since joining Disney, Henn has risen through the ranks to become one of the industry’s most respected artists. In his first stint as a supervising animator, Henn animated Basil, Dr. Dawson, Olivia and Flaversham in “The Great Mouse Detective.” Since then, he has continued in his role as supervising animator, bringing life to Oliver, Dodger, Jenny and Fagin in “Oliver & Company”; Ariel in “The Little Mermaid”; Bernard and Bianca in “The Rescuers Down Under”; Mickey, the Prince and Goofy in the animated featurette “The Prince and the Pauper”; Belle in “Beauty and the Beast”; Jasmine in “Aladdin”; Young Simba in “The Lion King”; the free-spirited and irrepressible heroine in “Mulan,” as well as her father Fa Zhou; the hula dancers in the opening sequence of “Lilo & Stitch”; and Grace in “Home on the Range.” He also served as an animator on the title character in “Pocahontas.” In 2000, Henn traded his pencil for a director’s chair and directed the award-winning short “John Henry,” which is based on the popular American legend.

A native of Dayton, Ohio, Henn was age 7 when he announced that he wanted to be an animator after being inspired by the Disney animated classic “Cinderella.” In 1980, he successfully completed the character animation program at California Institute of the Arts, then began his career at Disney, where he was mentored by legendary Disney animator Eric Larson. Henn is an antiques collector and American history buff. He and his family currently reside in the Santa Clarita Valley.

RANDY HAYCOCK (Supervising Animator for Eeyore) oversees the design and animation of Eeyore in”Winnie the Pooh,” giving feedback into the development of the look and personality of the character, while working with the directors to ensure that the performance matches their vision. Haycock also served as supervising animator for Naveen in “The Princess and the Frog.” Haycock grew up in Grand Junction, Colo., aspiring to be a paleontologist, then a comic book artist—but after seeing the classic “Fantasia” at age 15, he set his sights on becoming an animator at the Walt Disney Animation Studios. He got his wish several years later, after attending Brigham Young University and California Institute of the Arts.

Before Haycock joined the Disney team in February 1992 as a rough in-betweener on the feature”Aladdin,” he gained experience working in character layout/character design and development on an animated television series.

Following”Aladdin”, Haycock served as an animator on a succession of the Studio’s features:”The Lion King,” “Pocahontas,” “Hercules” (supervising on Baby and Young Hercules), “Tarzan” (supervising on Clayton),”Atlantis: The Lost Empire” (supervising on Princess Kida),”Treasure Planet”,”Chicken Little” and”Meet the Robinsons” (supervising Franny, Fritz, Petunia, Laszlo and Tallulah), as well as animating Goofy in the short”How to Hook Up Your Home Theater.” Haycock also animated on the upcoming short “The Ballad of Nessie.”

Haycock and his wife, five children and three dogs, all live in Santa Clarita, Calif.

DALE BAER (Supervising Animator for Owl) had always wanted to work at Disney since he was an 8-year-old boy who wished that he could fly like Peter Pan. He joined Walt Disney Animation Studios in 1971 when the Animation Training Program launched. Baer’s first production was “Robin Hood,” tackling everything from rough in-betweens and clean-up to animation. His early credits also include “The Rescuers” and “Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too.”

Baer next worked a freelance basis and through his company Baer Animation; projects included animating on “The Black Cauldron,” “The Prince and the Pauper,” “Mickey’s Christmas Carol” and “The Great Mouse Detective.” He also served as animation supervisor on for the Los Angeles unit of “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.”

Baer returned to Disney in 1998 and quickly rose to the position of supervising animator for the character of Yzma in “The Emperor’s New Groove,” winning an Annie Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement for Character Animation in 2001. He was supervising animator for Wilbur in “Meet the Robinsons,” and assisted with animation and character design on various shorts.

Baer is a native of Denver, Colo., and was a student at the Chouinard Art Institute. He currently lives in Leona Valley, Calif., with his dogs, cats and llamas.

ANDREAS DEJA (Supervising Animator for Tigger) served as supervising animator for Mama Odie and Juju on “The Princess and the Frog” before tackling Tigger for “Winnie the Pooh.”

In 2007, Deja received the prestigious Winsor McKay – Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Animation Film Society – Hollywood for his for outstanding and unique contributions in animation.

Deja first applied for a job as a Disney animator at the age of 10. A native of Poland who was raised in Germany, Deja remembers writing to the studio after seeing “The Jungle Book.” The studio replied, explaining that they were fully staffed, but they were always on the lookout for exceptional talent. This response offered him the encouragement he needed to work toward his goal, and at the age of 23, after completing his studies in visual communication at the Folkwangschule in Essen, Germany, he applied again and was accepted.

Working with Eric Larson, one of Disney’s legendary “nine old men,” Deja completed several tests and went on to do early character design, costume research and animation for “The Black Cauldron.” His next assignment was “The Great Mouse Detective,” for which he animated the mouse queen and her robotic twin. Deja helped design many of the characters for “Oliver & Company” and did some animation before spending a year in London as a lead animator on “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” under director Richard Williams.

On “The Little Mermaid,” Deja oversaw the animation of Triton, a powerful figure requiring expert skills in draftsmanship and acting ability. For Disney’s Academy Award®-winning animated musical “Beauty and the Beast,” Deja served as the supervising animator for the first of his many Disney villains—the pompous and narrow-minded Gaston.

He continued down the dark path, designing and animating the evil vizier Jafar for Disney’s hit animated musical “Aladdin.” He also supervised the animation for the power-hungry villain Scar in “The Lion King,” which became one of The Walt Disney Studios’ most successful films, as well as one of the highest-grossing films of all time. Deja’s credits also include “Runaway Brain,” the first Mickey Mouse short since 1953. He supervised the animation on the famous mouse at the company’s Paris-based animation facility. Deja served as the supervising animator for the title character in Disney’s epic animated comedy “Hercules,” as well as Lilo in “Lilo & Stitch.” He animated Bambi’s father in “Bambi II” from DisneyToon Studios, and Goofy in “How to Hook Up Your Home Theater.”

ERIC GOLDBERG (Supervising Animator for Rabbit and the Backson Song) is a veteran director, designer and animator who has worked extensively in New York, London and Hollywood, creating feature films, commercials, title sequences and television specials in both worlds of hand-drawn and computer animation. Goldberg served as supervising animator of the the trumpet-playing alligator Louis in the hand-drawn feature “The Princess and the Frog.”

Goldberg’s early forays into Super-8 filmmaking won top prizes in the Kodak Teenage Movie Awards, including 1974’s Grand Prize of summer film courses at the University of Southern California. He received a full scholarship to Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, where he majored in illustration and took supplemental animation and film courses.

One of his first professional jobs in freelance animation (while still in school) led to a job as a full-time assistant animator on Richard Williams’ “Raggedy Ann and Andy.” Following the film’s completion, Williams invited Goldberg to work in his London studio as a director/animator on countless television spots. He had the good fortune to work with Ken Harris at that time, learning techniques honed during Harris’ stint as Chuck Jones’ greatest animator. Goldberg’s association with Richard Williams continued in Los Angeles, where Goldberg served as director of animation on the Emmy®-winning “Ziggy’s Gift,” based on the popular newspaper cartoon.

Goldberg and wife Susan (a fellow animation artist, who has often served as art director on his projects) returned to London, where he co-founded Pizazz Pictures, a commercials studio with worldwide clientele. He directed spots utilizing diverse techniques—everything from cel-animation and brush-painting, stop-motion and pixillation, to live-action/animation combinations and digital compositing.

Disney recruited Goldberg for what turned out to be a ten-year run at the studio, beginning with his work as supervising animator on the wise-cracking Genie in “Aladdin.” He went on to co-direct the successful “Pocahontas” and animated the feisty Danny DeVito-voiced satyr Phil in “Hercules.” He then directed, wrote and animated two sequences for “Fantasia/2000” (“Carnival of the Animals” and “Rhapsody in Blue”), with wife Susan serving as art director on both.

Goldberg has experimented with ground-breaking computer animation techniques that replicates the fluidity and “squash-and-stretch” of the best hand-drawn animation. The effort resulted in the Tokyo DisneySea theme park attraction Magic Lamp Theater, which stars Goldberg’s signature character the Genie in 3D computer animation. He also directed “A Monkey’s Tale,” a 12-minute high-definition cartoon for a Buddhist cultural center in Hong Kong.

Prior to “Winnie the Pooh,” BRUCE SMITH (Supervising Animator for Piglet, Kanga, Roo) served as supervising animator for the villain of “The Princess and the Frog,” Dr. Facilier. Supervising animators set the drawing style of their characters and guide the performance. In this role, Smith oversees a staff of animators to ensure the high level of quality that has come to be expected from the Walt Disney Animation Studios.

Smith joined Walt Disney Animation Studios in 1988. He created original animation for the theme parks, while animating on such features as “Tarzan,” “The Emperor’s New Groove” and “Home on the Range.”

Smith was always interested in the art of animation. After studying character animation at Cal Arts, Smith tested the waters at various animation studios before landing at Disney. It was there that he worked on his first feature film, “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?”

Throughout his career, Smith has worked on multiple groundbreaking projects. He was the director on “Bebe’s Kids” and the director of animation on “Space Jam.” Smith went on to create and executive produce “The Proud Family,” the Disney Channel’s popular animated television series.