Subject: *Max Howard*
Birth: Birth day unknown, born in UK
Occupation/Title: Animation Consultant
Before getting involved in the animation industry, Howard was a theater manager, producer, and actor in London. He earned his start in animation when hired by Disney to head the Disney London studio for the production of “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.” At first Howard was wary about this job offer because of his lack of knowledge about animation and the industry. However, after meeting some of the animators, he said he “realized that they are actors. They have to interpret a script when they put pen to paper. I understood them” (orlandosentinel.com). After completing work on “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” Howard was invited to run the Disney Orlando studio in Florida. He has since then worked for Disney studios in London, Paris, Orlando, and Los Angeles, as well as other companies such as Warner Bros. and DreamWorks. Throughout his career, Howard has also worked with UNICEF and their Cartoons for Children’s Rights, and is currently producing films for Exodus Film Group along with working as a consultant and lecturer.
Howard grew up in a town near Brighton, England where his father worked in a production theater. He was well involved with theater because of this and wanted to earn an Actor’s Equity card, so he could be a part of an actor’s union and gain better jobs in the theater industry. By the time Howard was 15, he had started working in the stage management side of theater and toured Kenya with a theater company.
Doctor of Arts degree—Teesside University in UK
1971: Played Jim Hawkins in Treasure Island at the Mermaid Theater, was the stage manager until 1973
1974: Joined the Chichester Theater, toured with them to Hong Kong and Australia as a co-manager
1979: Back in London Howard was a co-and-general-manager for plays including The Rocky Horror Show
1980: Howard met Patrick Schneider
1983: Howard and Schneider formed the company, Howard & Patrick, and produced “Snoopy – The Musical”
1986: Hired by Disney to run the London animation studio for “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”
1988: Moved to Orlando, Florida to be a director of operations for Disney Animation – Florida. Continued to work for Disney Feature Animation for 7 years until 1995
1995: Worked for Warner Bros. Feature Animation for 3 years as a president
1998: Worked for DreamWorks Animation for 3 years as an Executive Producer until 2001
2000: Worked as a President and CEO for Melwood Pictures, is still employed by this company
2005: Worked as a consultant for Animation Lab for one year until 2006
2006: Worked as a Producer for Exodus Film Group, is still employed by this company
2009: Created the Max Howard Consulting Group and still maintains this company today
2010: Works as a partner for the International Animation Consulting Group to current day
2012: Works as a Consultant for Moody Street Pictures to current day
Comments on Style:
Howard notes that, “My education has been firsthand experiences of learning from great writers - from Noel Coward, John Osborne and Harold Pinter to great actors and directors from film, television and theatre. Animation, for me, is a unique method of telling a story and I draw on my life experiences in the entertainment industry, believing I learn something new every day and, hopefully, I will remember to apply it when the time comes.”
From the information I have gathered from interviews during my research, it appears that Howard is a truly enthusiastic individual and loves his job as an animation consultant and lecturer. He seems to have an infallible creativity and passion for production. I hope to gain more insight about his personality after finishing my correspondences with Rosemary “Ro” Healy, his co-worker.
In his interview for Animation Career Review’s Interview Series, Howard told the interviewer that his best story about working in the industry was, “Coming face-to-face with a lion during one of the drawing classes we had set up. It was an early morning in Florida. A real live lion had been booked, had arrived the day before, and we had arranged the requested food - chickens, preferably with their feathers intact.
Being conscientious, I decided to get in early and go into the soundstage where the drawing sessions were to be held. I turned a corner into a small area off the main soundstage, to my horror, the lion’s cage was open and he was laying on the floor in front of it........ I had come face-to-face with our star attraction, there was no handler in sight. It was just me and the lion. With a pounding heart, and hoping those chickens had fulfilled his appetite, I made a slow and measured retreat!” (animationcareerreview.com).
In his interview for Animation Career Review’s Interview Series, Howard told the interviewer that the best and worst aspects about working in the animation field are, “The possibility of leaving a legacy, working on films that have already proven they can transcend time, going on to entertain generation-after-generation. That’s a heady feeling, knowing that you have worked on a film that might go on entertaining generations to come – wow!
Worst things - I’m not sure there are any. They can take a long time to make – keeping motivated and keeping everyone around you motivated can be challenging but worst, that’s not really a worst!” ( animationcareerreview.com).
The Hero of Color City ……… Exodus Film Group – release date: October 2014
Saving Santa ……… Gateway Films
Igor…….. Exodus Film Group
Spirit, Stallion of the Cimarron ……… DreamWorks Animation
Space Jam ……… Warner Bros. Feature Animation
Quest for Camelot ……… Warner Bros. Feature Animation
The Iron Giant ……… Warner Bros. Feature Animation
Pocahontas …….. Walt Disney Feature Animation
The Lion King ……… Walt Disney Feature Animation
Aladdin ……… Walt Disney Feature Animation
Beauty and the Beast ……… Walt Disney Feature Animation
The Rescuers Down Under ……… Walt Disney Feature Animation
The Little Mermaid ……… Walt Disney Feature Animation
Who Framed Roger Rabbit ……… Walt Disney Feature Animation / Amblin
Prince and the Pauper ……… Walt Disney Feature Animation
Roller Coaster Rabbit ……… Walt Disney Feature Animation
Trail Mix Up ……… Walt Disney Feature Animation
Off His Rockers ……… Walt Disney Feature Animation
Johnny Sad Boy ……… UNICEF
Alone we are Nothing ……… UNICEF
Maximo ……… UNICEF
Certificate of Merit – given by Animated Film Society, ASIFA Hollywood for services to the art, craft and industry of animation.
Guest of Honor - "Be Our Guest" Disney Legend dinner.
Honorary Doctor of the Arts – Teesside University – UK – in recognition for services to the animation industry.
International Co-Production Film Market Award - for services to animation film production in Florida.
United National Children Fund Award - for services in acknowledgement and recognition for the UNICEF animated film program.
UNICEF award for benefiting children through the use of animation to communicate health and social issues in developing third world countries.
Animex Award – for services to the animation industry.
Contributors to This Listing:
Noelle Lene Thomas
Rosemary “Ro” Healy—firstname.lastname@example.org
Animators Hall of Fame