Subject:
Bruce W. Smith

Birth:
September 6, 1961

Occupation/Title:
Writer 5 credit, Director 6 credit, producer 3 credits, Actor 1credit, Animator 25 credit and Supervising Animator at Walt Disney studio.

Bio Summary:
Bruce W. Smithwas born in September 6,1961 in South Central Los Angels California,
He is one of the greatest African-American artists in the history with great pride
in his heritage. He is an American character animator, film director, and television
producer, best known as the creator of the Disney's “The Proud Family” He studied
Character Animation at the California Institute of the Arts. After his graduation,
he started working as an assistant animator for Bill Melendez's in 1984Garfield
television special. While he works for Melednez, he was working on some video games
such as Dragon Slater. Bruce Smith worked with classmates Gary Trousdale
and Kirk Wise, the Beauty and the Beast directors. Three years later in 1987 he
got a job as an animator at Walt Disney Feature Animation. His first project at
Disney as an animator artist was at the Baer Animation on Roger Rabbit and then
as a freelance worked on “Back to Never land” and “Michael & Mickey”. Bruce
continued his work at Disney by directing the controversial film, Bebe’s Kids,
a film. After this Bruce Smith showed his talents to Warner Brothers on the Michael
Jordan- Looney Tunes film Space Jam, which turned out to be a huge hit. Finally
in 1996, Smith become a supervising Animator at Disney, and did an excellent job of
Kerchak the gorilla in Tarzan and then supervising Pacha in the Emperor’s New Groove.
Bruce then start working for Disney Television on the Proud Family, a show that
he co-created, and then he began working with Ron Clements and John Musker on
the Princess and the Frog, and the supervising animator of Dr. Facilier, making
him the first African-American animator in Disney history to supervise an
African-American character. He has recently completed supervising Piglet of the
Winnie the Pooh and is currently one of the top talents in animation at the Hat
Building.

Early Life/Family:
Bruce has three older brothers and one younger brother and a younger sister.
They lived and were raised in South Central Los Angels and went to school
there. When he was 6-7 years old he had an interest in drawing animated
characters. He was talented and gifted individual and soon he realized his love
for such an. He is the only child in his family who was interested in artwork,
especially in drawing animated characters.

Education/Training:
After high school graduation he went to California Art Institute and studied
Art Animation .At the college he joined a group of students who have had
the same interest and Passion for Art of Animation. After graduation from
the Art Institute, he started his first animation job at Bill Melednez
new studio as animator while Mr. Melednes was recruiting a lot of new
artist for a project. During that year, Bruce worked on Dragon Slater, some
video games and Animations. Eventually he worked on lots of new films that were
created or being done by some of his classmates. During the Interview he
mentioned that finding Job right after graduation it was not that easy, and
that recruiters were looking for experience not a degree. He said, “it was very
difficult to find a good job right after coming out of college”; however, he
worked his way up and got some prestige positions at Disney, and Disney
Television, only after being in the business for only three years.

Career Outline: Bruce started his early work as one of the few Black animators in the industry,
during the mid-1990 supervising the animation for The Page master , serving as director
and character designer for Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child,
designing the characters for A Goofy Movie and C Bear and Jamal, and co-directing
the animated segme. He went on to animate for Baer Animation on Who Framed Roger
Rabbit. In 1992 directed the Space Jam and the creator of Da Boom Crew along
with John P. White and Stiles White, In 1998 he joined Walt Disney Feature
Animation. In 2000 when he still worked for Hyperion Pictures then he piloted
his series The Proud Family to Nickelodeon, who passed on it. Disney
Channel eventually picked the series up the following year and ran it until
2005. The series was the first to be produced by his production company
Jambalaya Studios.

Comments On Style:
Bruce Smith is a master at two crucial goals; reaching perfection in the
essence of the character and in making the characters completely
different from what seen in the past with great movement in his characters.
He combines his life learning experience with his learning work of past
animators that he imagines. He studied Gorillas by frequent visits to Zoos
and noticed that they don't move much, but they usually star at people a lot,
which he showed in Kerchak animation. In Dr. Facilier, Smith has said that
although he took inspiration from other animations such as Frank Thomas’s
Captain Hook and Marc Davis’s Cruella de Vill he worked hard to give him
movements and aspects of performance that had not been done by anyone before
which make them different from all others.

Influences:
He grows up watching shows like Flin-stone, which had some old stuff and
he saw some on those simplistic staff and sort of started his drawing.
Simple characters, easy to flow their simple techniques and were very
easy to move around as animation, very simple and possible to move which he
liked their simplicity and had influence on him.

Personality:
Bruce W. Smith is one of the coolest, hippest personalities with a great
sense of taste and passion in his animation movies today. He knows
how to create his animation movies interested and tries to find a different
ways to connect with people who are not usually a Disney movie audience. During
the interview he mentioned that how much he loves his job, and said that; I
sort have fun doing what we do, the environment that he work in, the art shows,
galleries and the people who he works with. He seems to enjoy special events
and meeting other artist and celebrities as well. He also enjoys meeting sport
personalities and casts from other movies he calls it fun and funny, and saying
that in any ways affect my overall thinking, while I am drawing.

Anecdotes:
So many different things, projects, meeting and other interesting things happen
around him everyday while he is working. During these time, he really enjoy
meeting other artist and celebrities like Michael Jordan, which they played
basketball together or seeing Space Ship crew and members which are different
from his environment.

Miscellaneous:
1996 (creative consultant): “C-Bear and Jamal” (TV Series)

Filmography:
· 1984 (key assistant animator): “Garfield in the Rough” (TV Short)
· 1985(writer):“Thundercats” (TV Series, 2 episodes)
· 1986(writer):“Silverhawks” (TV Series - 5 episodes)
· 1987 (animator): “Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night”
· 1988 (animator: additional animation): “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”
· 1989 (animator): “Tummy Trouble” (Short)
· 1989 (key animator): “Back to Neverland” (Short)
· 1990 (animator): “Happily Ever After”
· 1991 (animator): “Michael & Mickey”
· 1991(character animator):“Rock-A-Doodle”
· 1991 (character designer and animator, sequence director):“Rover Dangerfield”
· 1992 (principal character designer):“Bébé's Kids”
· 1992 (director):“Bébé's Kids”
· 1993 (character designer):“A Cool Like That Christmas” (TV Movie)
· 1994 (supervising animator):“The Pagemaster”
· 1995 (character designer):“A Goofy Movie”
· 1995 (character designer):“Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child” (TV Series - 4 episodes)
· 1995 (director): “Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child” (TV Series) (5 episodes)
· 1996 (animation director): “Space Jam”
· 1996 (character designer):“C-Bear and Jamal” (TV Series)
· 1997 (character designer):“Cats Don't Dance”
· 1999 (supervising animator):“Tarzan” (Kerchak and Baboons & Baby Baboons)
· 2000 (supervising animator):“The Emperor's New Groove” (Pacha)
· 2000 (animator):“The Indescribable Nth” (Short)
· 2001-2005 (writer): “The Proud Family” (TV Series - 51 episodes, developer - 2 episodes)
· 2002(director):“The Proud Family” (TV Series)
· 2002-2005 (executive producer):“The Proud Family” (TV Series - 2 episodes)
· 2004 (co-creator): “Da Boom Crew” (TV Series)
· 2004 (supervising animator):“Home on the Range” (Pearl)
· 2004 (executive producer): “Da Boon Crew" (TV Series)
· 2005 (director):“The Beach” (TV Movie)
· 2005(director):“The Picnic” (TV Movie)
· 2005(director):“The Proud Family Movie” (TV Movie)
· 2005 (writer): “Lilo & Stitch” (TV Series, Characters-1episode)
· 2005 (executive producer):“The Proud Family Movie" (TV Movie)
· 2009 (voice of Dr. Facilier): “The Princes and the Frog"
· 2009 (supervising animator):“The Princess and the Frog”
· 2011 (animator):“Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Masters” (Video short - animator: Duncan Studio Production)
· 2011 (supervising animator):“Winnie the Pooh” (Kanga, Roo and Piglet)
· 2012(lead animator):“Tangled Ever After” (Short)

Honors:
§ 2010 (Nominated Annie): Character Animation in a Feature Production “The Princes and the Frog" (2009)
§ 2003 (Nominated Annie): Outstanding Directing in an Animated Television Production“The Proud Family
(2001) For episode “A Hero For Halloween”.
§ 1997 (Nominated Annie): Best Individual Achievement: Directing in a Feature Production “Space Jam" (1996) · Shared with: Tony Cervone
§ 1995 (Nominated CableACE): Children's Special or Series - 6 and Younger. "Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child" (1995) § Shared with:
• Carole Rosen (executive producer)
• Donna Brown Guilaume (executive producer)
• Mery Marshall (executive producer)
• Willard Carroll (executive producer)
• Thomas L.Wilhite (executive producer)
• Lynne Southerland (producer)
• Michael Din (writer)
• Gordon Lewis (writer)
• Doug Molitor (writer)

Related Links:
http://www.imdb.com

Bibliographic References:
Online search and interview
http://www.imdb.com
Contributors To This Listing:
Bruce W.Smith
Katherine Morris, Bruce Smith's secretary
Pegah Ebrahimpoor Khorsand

Animators Hall of Fame