Dan Mason


Animator at Pixar Animation Studios

Bio Summary:
Mr. Mason worked in stop-motion animation before being hired
to Pixar in 1998. He currently works for Pixar in San Francisco with his

Early Life/Family:
early life not found, currently has children, unknown ages

In his interview about the Pixar zoetrope, Mr. Mason
mentions that the transition to working at a desk was difficult because he
had been used to working on physical sets. He also expressed worry for the
animators currently coming into the workforce from school, which leads one
to presume Mr. Mason may not have had formal animation training. This is
the only information that could be found regarding his training or work
before digital animation at Pixar.

Career Outline:
Mr. Mason started his animation career working on
stop-motion films before securing a job as a computer character animator at Pixar.

Comments On Style:
Itís difficult to analyze Mr. Masonís specific animation
style because I was unable to find out which specific characters he
animated. Additionally, his style is probably muted to some extent in order
for the characters to stylistically fit together in the finished
production. He did mention squash and stretch in the zeotrope interview,
and talked about the differences between animating organic characters like
that of Finding Nemo versus solid characters like that of Toy Story or
Cars. One could gather from his interview that an emphasis is put on squash
and stretch and morphing of characters to show expression and personality.


From his zeotrope interview, Mr. Masonís personality seems to
be very down-to-earth and friendly. During my research process, many of the
results from search engines turned out to be announcements of Mr. Mason
guest-speaking at different venues. His personality and talent seems to
have allotted him a sort of PR role for Pixar. Additionally, he seemed to
be very passionate about animation of all sorts, and excited to solve
problems and experiment with new technologies of the industry.

Anecdotes: (There were several from this interview, this was my favorite)

ďWhat happened was, when we were in London and we added Jesse to the disc.
Buzz and Woody had a little bit of an argument. We were away for about a
half an hour, 30 minutes, and I came back and some bad things had happened
inside that Zoetrope. We had to take Woody away for a little while and
speak to him. And then we brought him back a little bit later on. That's
how I remember it, at leastÖ.

Yes. So, basically what happened was, there was a rod. So, this rod's going
through the characters. The rods go down into the disc, they go down about
two inches into the disc and they go up through the characters.

So, this was the Woody and Bullseye model. There was a rod that failed. And
these rods had been soldered. So, there was kind of like an S-shape of the
rod that goes up from the disc in to Bullseye and then into Woody. And one
of those failed, and it broke.

The Zoetrope had run in New York for... what was that show, Elyse? Six
weeks? Or eight weeks? It had been running every day for a while and we got
to London, we set it up, and it was running, it was great. And then this
thing happened.

It was kind of traumatic, but we fixed it. We got the show on and we
decided we understood, we went back. We figured out what it was with the
rod that had caused the problem. We did reprints of all the characters -
reprints from the prototype printer of any of the characters that were
broken - and we designed a new rod that had more support so it would never
happen again... as I knock on wood. [knocking]Ē (*in conversation with dan


Nightmare Before Christmas, 1993
Bump in the Night, 1994
Gumby: The Movie, 1995
James and the Giant Peach, 1996
David Blaine: Street Magic, 1996
The Spanish Prisoner, 1997
A Bugís Life, 1998
Toy Story 2, 1999
For the Birds, 2000
Monsters, Inc., 2001
Mikeís New Car, 2002
Finding Nemo, 2003
The Incredibles, 2004
Cars, 2006
Ratatouille, 2007
Your Friend the Rat, 2007
Wall-E, 2008
Up, 2009
Materís Tall Tales, 2010
Clash of the Titans, 2010
Toy Story 3, 2010
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, 2010
Cars 2, 2011
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, 2011
Battle Los Angeles, 2011
Monsterís University, 2013


Related Links:
Bibliographic References:
"Daniel K Mason Filmography." **. The New York Times, 2010. Web. 20 Oct. 2013. <>.
"Daniel Mason." *IMDb*., n.d. Web. 20 Oct. 2013. <> Mason, Dan K., Elyse Klaidman, and Jerome Ranft. "In Conversation with Dan Mason." Interview. **. Australian Centre for the Moving Image, 1 July 2007. Web. 25 Oct. 2013. Contributors To This Listing:
Katherine Hale

Animators Hall of Fame