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Don Bluth
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Don Bluth

Bluth, heir apparent to the throne of Disney animation, left that studio nearly three years ago in a dispute over creative quality. He and partners Gary Goldman and John Pomeroy founded Don Bluth Productions in Bluth's garage, where they and 14 other ex-Disney employees completed work on what had been a training film, Banjo the Woodpile Cat, a 30-minute television special. It will be aired on ABC-TV this year.

Born in El Paso, Texas, Bluth moved six years later with his parents and six brothers and sisters to Payson, Utah, where he grew up milking 24 cows every morning, picking tomatoes for school money and dreaming of becoming a Disney animator.

He landed a job as assistant animator at Disney in 1956 and worked on Sleeping Beauty. After a year-and-a-half, he grew restless and left, first to conduct a teaching and recruiting ministry in Argentina for the Mormon Church, then to attend Brigham Young University at Provo, Utah, where he majored in English. He and a brother ran a little theater in Culver City, California, for three years.

In 1967, he joined Filmation Studios as a layout man. In addition to humdrum work on Saturday morning kidvid shows, Bluth formed a touring young people's singing group called the New Generation.

In 1971 he returned to Disney and joined their new training program for animation. He animated on Robin Hood, released in 1973, and Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too, released in 1974. He was directing animator on The Rescuers, released in 1977, and director of animation on Pete's Dragon, a musical fantasy combining live action and animation released at Christmas, 1977. He produced and directed The Small One, a featurette released the next year at Christmas, and was animating on The Fox and the Hound until September, 1979.

Under his own banner he has produced and directed Banjo the Woodpile Cat and the two-minute animated fantasy, sequence in Universal's feature film Xanadu, starring Olivia-Newton-John and Michael Beck. He Is a member of the Shorts Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He currently resides near his garage in Culver City, California.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2002.

Don Bluth Facts

OccupationDirector, Producer
BirthdaySeptember 13, 1937 (86)
BirthplaceEl Paso, Texas, USA

Selected Filmography

Not available.