Frans Vischer

June 11, 1958

Animator, Character Layout Artist, Supervising Animator, Character Animator, Character Designer,
Sequence Director, Model Designer, Storyboard Artist/Designer, Storyboard Director, Author/Illustrator

Bio Summary:
Vischer was born in the Netherlands then moved to California who was greatly interested in Disney
movies. He started creating his own animations at a young age with a home-made lightbox and an 8 mm
camera. He attended CalArts at the recommendation of Chuck Jones, whom he met at a guest speaker
presentation at a community college. After graduating from CalArts, he immediately got a job at
Disney apprenticing under Eric Larson, then worked on his first short “Mickey’s Christmas Carol” in
1983. He worked at Disney for a while before branching to other various animation studios throughout
the years mainly as a supervising animator, animator, and storyboard artist. Recently, he did some
work for Disney, but he is not working exclusively for them. At present, he is working on his own
children’s books based on his cat Fuddles. He now lives in Glendale, CA with his wife and three
children who serve as inspiration for his books.

Early Life/Family:
Vischer was born in Rotterdam, Netherlands. When he was eleven, his family moved to the United States.
His family was very supportive of his love for animation and took him to the Disney Studio for a tour.
His father then built a makeshift lightbox for Vischer to make short films with. Vischer’s high school
art teacher, Fran Coleman, made an impact on him by expanding his view on art by teaching him about
drawing, painting, and sculpture. While he was still in high school, he met Chuck Jones at a local
junior college and showed Jones one of his animated films. Jones encouraged Vischer to attend the
California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). Vischer’s portfolio was rejected from CalArts, but when
Jones showed Jack Hannah, the head of the animation department of the school, one of Vischer’s films,
he got accepted into the school. Then when he graduated, he was offered a job at Disney in 1981.

He has attended Cupertino High School in Cupertino, California. Afterwards, he attended a local junior
college. Then he got accepted at CalArts in Valencia, California. He attended CalArts from 1978 to
1981, studying under Disney veteran Bill Moore, Ken O’Connor, T. (Thornton) Hee, Jack Hannah, and many
more. Upon graduation, Disney hired him and trained him with Eric Larsen, the head of the training department.

Career Outline:
· In 1981, once he graduated from CalArts, he joined the crew of “Mickey’s Christmas Carol” as Randy Cartwright’s inbetweener.
· From 1989 to 1991, he worked at Hyperion as a sequence director. He first storyboarded scenes from “Rover Dangerfield” then proceeded to supervise the animations of the same scenes. Then he moved to London to supervise a team to animate and do clean-up work for “Bébé’s Kids”.
· From 1993 to 1996, he worked at Turner Feature Animation as a supervising animator and story artist on characters Darla Dimple and Max in “Cats Don’t Dance”.
· Afterwards, for five years, DreamWorks Animation hired him as a supervising animator and storyboard artist for the movie “The Road to El Dorado.” He worked on the story and supervised animation on the chief of the film. Afterwards, he worked on storyboards for “Tusker,” a movie that eventually never got made.
· From 1999 to 2001, Vischer worked as an author and illustrator for a children’s book Jimmy Dabble at PenguinPutnam.
· Klasky Csupo hired him as a sequence director from 2001 to 2003 working on “The Wild Thornberrys Movie”.
· He worked at Universal Studios from 2003 to 2005 storyboarding scenes and supervising animation on characters Junior, Miss Plushbottom, and Ivan the doorman in “Curious George.” He also supervised at July Films, a studio subcontracted to work on “Curious George” in this time.
· For six months, he worked on “The Simpsons Movie” as an animator, but was moved to working on storyboards after feeling that he was doing too much animation.
· For five years starting from 2008, Vischer worked for Walt Disney Animation Studios as a 2D animator on Dr. Facilier in “The Princess and the Frog”, the “Winnie the Pooh” movie, and the academy award-winning “Paperman”.
· From 2009 to present, Vischer writes and illustrates Fuddles and A Very Fuddles Christmas, children books, for Simon & Schuster in New York.

Comments On Style:
Having been grown up with Disney, Vischer was heavily influenced by Disney in his
style, copying artwork in his childhood. Eventually, he learned to draw with
volume and weight, giving his appealing character designs a more life-like quality
in them with the use of interesting shapes. His approach to animation and
character design are influenced by Glen Keane. He aims to create clear and
engaging compositions.

For his children’s books, he draws influence from his children, trying to create works
that would be entertaining to them. The artists that inspire him are Walt Disney,
Ronald Searle, N.C. Wyeth, Pat Oliphant, Jeff MacNelly, Michelangelo, David Small,
Jack Davis, and A.B. Frost.

He is a warm, friendly person who puts a lot of hard work and dedication into what
he does to try to do the best he can to the point of being a perfectionist. He is
incredibly talented and is humble, keeping his ego in check. He is helpful and also
not afraid to ask for help. With his crew on “Cats Don’t Dance,” he would be very
generous with the information he would tell them and helped them change their works to
better the scenes and not just to increase his ego. He is optimistic and positive,
who is fun to be with and a pleasure to be around; he has a silly sense of humor and
often laughs at his own jokes first. He is also a professional who can adapt to art
styles and characters quickly—he was able to carry the characters through a fluid
continuity from when he first picked them up.

When Wayne Carlisi was working under Frans Vischer on “Cats Don’t Dance,” Carlisi
would be working on a tedious scene when Vischer would suggest changes to the animation.
Carlisi would say “It’s hard to get stuff by with you,” when Vischer would reply “Hard?
I’m being easy on you!”

He would often spend time with his animation team on “Cats Don’t Dance” by eating
lunch, playing stupid pranks, watching movies, and playing soccer on the roof of
their building together Miscellaneous:
· Ever since he was a child, Vischer loved soccer. He likes to play, watch, and coach soccer.
· He can speak German and Dutch.
· His series of children’s books (excluding Jimmy Dabble) are based on his actual cat.
· His latest book A Very Fuddles Christmas was released on October 1st, 2013.
· Vischer worked at Disney Animation Studios full time while he was working on the Timon and Pumbaa shorts, meaning he had evenings and weekends to work on them.
· One of the inspirations for Darla Dimple was when Vischer was in line at a drugstore pharmacy one late night and observed a child throwing a tantrum.

· 2013 “Frozen” Preproduction Animator
· 2012 “Paperman” Final line animator
· 2011 “Kung Fu Panda: Secret of the Masters” Additional animator
· 2011 “Winnie the Pooh” Animator
· 2009 “The Princess and the Frog” Animator: “Dr. Facilier” and Tiana’s fantasy sequence
· 2009 “Pups of Liberty” Lead animator
· 2009 “Wild About Safety: Timon and Pumbaa Safety Smart in Water!” Animator
· 2009 “Wild About Safety: Timon and Pumbaa Safety Smart Goes Green!” Animator
· 2009 “Wild About Safety: Timon and Pumbaa Safety Smart at Home” Animator
· 2007 “The Simpsons Movie” Character layout artist (listed as Franz Vischer)
· 2006 “Curious George” Lead animator: “Junior”, “Ivan”, and “Mrs. Plushbottom”, Storyboard artist
· 2003 “Rugrats Go Wild” Sequence director
· 2002 “The Wild Thornberrys Movie” Storyboard artist
· 2000 “The Road to El Dorado” Supervising animator: “Chief”, Additional storyboard artist
· 1998 “The Prince of Egypt” Additional animator
· 1997 “Cats Don’t Dance” Supervising animator: “Darla Dimple” and “Max”, Storyboard artist
· 1995 “A Goofy Movie” Storyboard artist
· 1992 “Bébé’s Kids” Animation Director
· 1991 “Rover Dangerfield” Character animator, Character designer, Sequence director, Storyboard artist
· 1991 “Michael & Mickey” Animator
· 1989 “Tummy Trouble” Animator
· 1989 “Bugs Bunny’s Wild World of Sports” Animator
· 1989 “Back to Neverland” Animator
· 1988 “DuckTales” Storyboard designer (2 episodes)
· 1988 “Daffy Duck’s Quackbusters” Animator
· 1988 “Night of the Living Duck” Animator
· 1988 “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” Animator
· 1987 “The Duxorcist” Animator
· 1986 “The Glo Friends” Storyboard director (listed as Franz Vischer)
· 1986 “My Little Pony: The Movie” Model designer
· 1985 “Kissyfur” Storyboard artist
· 1985 “Kidd Video” Additional storyboard artist
· 1983 “Mickey’s Christmas Carol” Inbetweener

· 1997 Nominated for an Annie Award for Best Individual Achievement: Character Animation for “Cats Don’t Dance” for characters “Darla Dimple” and Max”

Related Links:

Bibliographic References:
"Frans Vischer | Animation Insider- Animation Interviews and Articles." Interview by Mike
Milo. Animation Insider Animation Interviews and Articles RSS. N.p., 23 May 2012. Web. 31 Aug. 2013. .
"Interview with Frans Vischer." Interview with Frans Vischer. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Oct. 2013.
Vischer, Frans. "Frans Vischer Illustration." Frans Vischer Illustration. N.p., 2010. Web. 31 Aug. 2013.
Vischer, Frans. "Frans Vischer." Facebook. Facebook, n.d. Web. 31 Aug. 2013.
Vischer, Frans. "Frans Vischer." LinkedIn. LinkedIn Corporation, n.d. Web. 31 Aug. 2013.

Contributors To This Listing:
Tiffany Lam

Animators Hall of Fame