Don Bluth

Director, Animator, Producer
Arguably one of the biggest names in feature-length animation since Walt Disney, animator and producer Don Bluth learned his craft at the Disney Studio, before turning into a direct competitor after branching out on his ... Read more »
Born: 09/13/1937 in El Paso, Texas, USA

Filmography

Director (12)

Dragon's Lair 2014 (Movie)

(Director)

Titan A.E. 2000 (Movie)

(Director)

Bartok the Magnificent 1999 (Movie)

(Director)

Anastasia 1997 (Movie)

(Director)

A Troll in Central Park 1994 (Movie)

(Director)

Hans Christian Andersen's Thumbelina 1994 (Movie)

(Director)

Rock-a-Doodle 1992 (Movie)

(Director)

All Dogs Go to Heaven 1989 (Movie)

(Director)

The Land Before Time 1988 (Movie)

(Director)

An American Tail 1986 (Movie)

(Director)

The Secret of Nimh 1982 (Movie)

(Director)

Banjo, the Woodpile Cat (TV Show)

Director
Producer (10)

Dragon's Lair 2014 (Movie)

(Producer)

Titan A.E. 2000 (Movie)

(Producer)

Anastasia 1997 (Movie)

(Producer)

A Troll in Central Park 1994 (Movie)

(Producer)

Hans Christian Andersen's Thumbelina 1994 (Movie)

(Producer)

Rock-a-Doodle 1992 (Movie)

(Producer)

All Dogs Go to Heaven 1989 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Land Before Time 1988 (Movie)

(Producer)

An American Tail 1986 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Secret of Nimh 1982 (Movie)

(Producer)
Art Department (7)

Rock-a-Doodle 1992 (Movie)

(Storyboard Artist)

All Dogs Go to Heaven 1989 (Movie)

(Production Designer)

All Dogs Go to Heaven 1989 (Movie)

(Storyboard Artist)

The Land Before Time 1988 (Movie)

(Production Designer)

The Land Before Time 1988 (Movie)

(Storyboard Artist)

An American Tail 1986 (Movie)

(Production Designer)

An American Tail 1986 (Movie)

(Storyboard Artist)
Visual Effects & Animation (6)

The Secret of Nimh 1982 (Movie)

(Animation Director)

The Secret of Nimh 1982 (Movie)

(Layout Artist)

Xanadu 1979 (Movie)

(Animator)

Pete's Dragon 1977 (Movie)

(Animation Director)

The Rescuers 1977 (Movie)

(Animation Director)

Robin Hood 1973 (Movie)

(Character Animation)
Writer (4)

Hans Christian Andersen's Thumbelina 1994 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Rock-a-Doodle 1992 (Movie)

(From Story)

All Dogs Go to Heaven 1989 (Movie)

(From Story)

The Secret of Nimh 1982 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Biography

Arguably one of the biggest names in feature-length animation since Walt Disney, animator and producer Don Bluth learned his craft at the Disney Studio, before turning into a direct competitor after branching out on his own in 1979. While with Disney, Bluth worked as an assistant animator on "Sleeping Beauty" (1958), only to leave for college and to work as a Mormon missionary. He returned in 1971 and was the animator on "Robin Hood" (1973), "The Rescuers" (1977) and "Pete's Dragon" (1977). But he felt that Disney had lost its way through its cost-cutting measures and decided to form his own company with animator Gary Goldman called Don Bluth Productions. Bluth earned immediate buzz for the 30-minute short, "Banjo, the Woodpile Cat," which led to being hired to animate a musical sequence in "Xanadu" (1980). After the mild success of "The Secret of NIMH" (1982), Bluth entered the video game design business, only to see his company declare bankruptcy in 1984. He reformed the studio with fresh investment money and forged ahead with Sullivan Bluth Studios, relocating to Ireland and making "An American Tail" (1986) and "The Land Before Time" (1988) under Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment. In 1992, that company failed and led Bluth to partner with Fox Animation Studios, making "Anastasia" (1997) and "Titan A.E." (2000), the latter of which forced Fox to shutter its doors. Despite his business track record, Bluth was nonetheless noted for quality hand-drawn animation that was once the standard for rival Disney.

Relationships

Sibling
had six one older and five younger

Virgil Bluth

Father

Emaline Bluth

Mother

Virgil R Bluth Jr

Brother
born in February 1934

Charles Bluth

Brother
born in October 1944

Frederick Bluth

Brother
born in July 1940

Kathyleen Bluth

Sister
born in May 1941

EDUCATION

Brigham Young University

Provo, Utah

graduated from high school in 1955

Milestones

2000

Attempted to win over a teenage audience with the animated science fiction feature "Titan A.E.", which boasted an over-the-edge rock-and-roll score underneath the action

1999

Made "Bartok the Magnificent", a straight-to video prequel to "Anastasia"

1997

Released first animated feature made for Fox, "Anastasia"

1995

Last project with Pomeroy, "The Pebble and the Penguin" (no director credited); Pomeroy would later work on the Disney movies "Pocahontas" (1995) and "The Tigger Movie" (2000)

1994

Signed a long-term production deal (with Gary Goldman) with 20th Century-Fox

1994

Bluth's sixth feature, "Hans Christian Andersen's Thumbelina", released under Warner Bros. 'Family Entertainment' banner; first time sharing directorial credit with Goldman; previously Goldman had received credit as co-director

1992

Sullivan Bluth declared bankruptcy

1989

Became a full one quarter partner along with Sullivan, Goldman, and Pomeroy

1988

Made "The Land Before Time" for Amblin Entertainment and Universal

1986

Relocated Sullivan Bluth Studios to Dublin, Ireland

1986

First film as production designer and storyboard artist (also director, producer), "An American Tail"; first collaboration with executive producer Steven Spielberg

1985

Sullivan Bluth Studios inaugurated in Van Nuys, California

1984

Met Morris Sullivan, a 72-year-old semi-retired mergers and acquisitions broker; Sullivan offered to become their "guardian angel"

1984

Don Bluth Productions went bankrupt

1983

Produced the first interactive video arcade game, "Dragon's Lair"; featured a fully animated sword-and-sorcery narrative

1983

Hired by the San Diego-based Cinematronics to animate some interactive video arcade games

1982

"Banjo, the Woodpile Cat" aired on ABC-TV

1982

Produced, wrote, and directed "The Secret of NIMH"; first feature by Don Bluth Productions

1980

Animated a cartoon sequence for the teen-oriented musical, "Xanadu"

1979

Set up shop in Bluth's Culver City garage 18 miles away

1979

Last animation asssignment at Disney, "The Fox and the Hound" (released in 1981)

1979

Left Disney with Goldman and John Pomeroy, taking about a dozen other artists with them on his 41st birthday, September 13

1977

First feature film as animation director, "The Rescuers", co-directed by Lounsbery, Reitherman and others

1974

Began pre-production work on "The Black Cauldron" (not released until 1985)

1973

First feature film as animator, "Robin Hood", directed by Wolfgang Reitherman

1972

Joined at Disney by animator and future partner Gary Goldman, then fresh out of college

1970

Returned to Disney

1967

Joined Filmation Studios as layout artist; worked on Saturday morning cartoons

1957

Traveled to Argentina as Mormon missionary

1955

Joined Walt Disney Productions upon high school graduation, working 18 months as an assistant animator before fulfilling his Mormon mission and going to college; served as an "inbetweener" to Disney animator John Lounsbery on "Sleeping Beauty" (released 1

At age six, moved with family to Payson, Utah

Dissatisfied with the financial arrangements on their previous collaborations with Amblin and loath to work again for Disney, Sullivan Bluth declined the opportunity to produce animation for "Who Framed Roger Rabbit"

Produced "Space Ace", a fully animated sci-fi narrative on interactive laser disc for video arcades

Moved to Southern California as a teenager

Managed and directed theater with brother in Culver City, California

Studio and its two completed features purchased by a partnership of John Boorman's Merlin Films and Media Assets, a Hong Kong company; distribution rights sold to Warners as a "first-look" option for any animation produced over the next five years

Formed and worked with young people's singing group, "The New Generation"

Rupert Murdoch purchased Star TV, the owner of Media Assets

First short film completed by Don Bluth Productions, "Banjo, the Woodpile Cat"; Bluth's debut as story and songwriter (also produced and directed)

Bonus Trivia

.

Bluth gives 10 percent of his annual salary to the Mormon Church.

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