Michael Dante DiMartino

Birth: July 18, 1974

Occupation/Title: Head writer Co-producer and executive

Bio Summary: At his freshman year of Baltimore Maryland Institute college of the art, Michael started with painting and illustration. He later went to the animation program there after he transferred into the animation department out of curiosity. He later then moved out to LA after college and went into storyboarding for “King of the Hill” at Film Roman. Then Michael went over to Fox animation to work on “Family Guy.” Michael also produced an independent film for Sundance Festival in 2003 before he headed off with Bryan to develop “Avatar: the Last Airbender” and “Avatar: the Legend of Korra” for Nickelodeon Animation Studios.

Early Life/Family: Michael stats that he grew up in Vermont with very supportive parents and he was always drawing. Michael also had a fascination with war things (such as the technology, the history of events leading up to the course events, and the politics of the time) and robots. During his early life in high school, Michael emphasized that he loved music and art so much that he nearly lived and breathed it. An example of this would be that he used to draw posters for the school plays for his high school; in addition, Michael drew comics on the side for hobbies. Michael reports too that he attended a few summer camps dedicated to art and how growing up he always dreamt of going to an art school.

Education/Training: Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Providence Rhode island (BFA in Film-Video/Animation).

Career Outline: Michael reports that his first job was for MTV for a show called, “The Head.” By working on that show, he got to have first hand experience with the storyboarding and learning the process on the job. Then later, he worked on Mike Judge’s “King of the Hill” (and he emphasized how it was easier than working on “The Head” since of all the training and experience he had gained). After, Michael worked on Family Guy for storyboarding which then later transitioned with him working with Bryan to work on their own project for Nickelodeon, “Avatar: the Last Airbender,” and presently, “Avatar: the Legend of Korra.”

Comments On Style:
Influences: Michael states that his influences on his art style were inspired by Hayo Miyazaki, some Japanese animation, Disney movies (but they were never type of movies or project he ever wanted to work on or that his work to become like), realistic styles of animation art styles, historical fiction novels (mostly), non-fiction, history books, and abstract inspirations such as Norman Rockwell and several other illustrations of the abstract genre. Michael the finally adds that he was heavily influenced by the epic saga of “Star Wars” and the comedic style of “Looney Tunes.”

Personality: During the interview, I noticed how polite Michael was too. However, he was not as talkative as his partner, Bryan, though when he did pitch in his opinion or views, he was more down to earth. In addition, he was slightly more stern and stoic.

Anecdotes:

Miscellaneous:

Filmography:
1998 “King of the Hill” (Storyboard Artist and Assistant Director)
2000 - 2003 “King of the Hill” (Director)
1999 - 2002 “Family Guy” (Director)
2002 “Mission Hill” (Director and Storyboard Artist)
2003 “Atomic Love” Short (Director)
2005 - 2008 “Avatar: The Last Airbender” (Creator, Executive Producer, Director, Writer, and Storyboard Artist)
2010 “Avatar Spirits” Documentary Short (Himself)
2010 “The Last Airbender: Siege of the North” Documentary Short(Himself)
2010 “Discovering ‘The Last Airbender’ ” Documentary Short (Himself)
2012 - Present “Legend of Korra” (Creator, Executive Producer, Writer, Storyboard Artist, and Story Editor)
2014 “The Legend of Korra: Book 2 - Spirits (Kindred Spirits: Tenzin’s Family)” Video Documentary Short (Himself)
2014 “The Legend of Korra: Book 2 - Spirits (Inside the Book of Spirits)” Video Documentary Short (Himself)
2014 “The Legend of Korra: Book 2 - Spirits (Feuding Spirits: Korra’s Family)” Video Documentary Short (Himself)
Honors:
2005 “Avatar: the Last Airbender” (Pulcinella Awards: Best Action Adventure TV Series/Won)
2005 “Avatar: the Last Airbender” (Pulcinella Awards: Best TV Series/Won)
2005 “Avatar: the Last Airbender” (33rd Annie Awards: Best Animated Television Production/Nominated)
2005 “Avatar: the Last Airbender” (33rd Annie Awards: Storyboarding in an Animated Television Production/Won)
2005 “Avatar: the Last Airbender” (33rd Annie Awards: Writing for an Animated Television Production/Nominated)
2006 “Avatar: the Last Airbender” (34th Annie Awards: Character Animation in a Television Production/Won)
2006 “Avatar: the Last Airbender” (34th Annie Awards: Directing in an Animated Television Production/Won)
2007 “Avatar: the Last Airbender” (36th Annie Awards: Best Animated Television Production for Children/Won)
2007 “Avatar: the Last Airbender” (36th Annie Awards: Directing in an Animated Television Production/Won)
2007 “Avatar: the Last Airbender” (Genesis Awards: Outstanding Children's Programming/Won)
2007 “Avatar: the Last Airbender” (59th Primetime Emmy Awards: Outstanding Animated Program/Nominated)
2007 “Avatar: the Last Airbender” (59th Primetime Emmy Awards: Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation/Won)
2008 “Avatar: the Last Airbender” (Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Awards: Favorite Cartoon/Won)
2008 “Avatar: the Last Airbender” (Annecy International Animated Film Festival: TV series/Nominated)
2008 “Avatar: the Last Airbender” (56th Golden Reel Awards: Best Sound Editing in a Television Animation/Nominated)
2008 “Avatar: the Last Airbender” (Peabody Awards/Won)
2009 “Avatar: the Last Airbender” (Kid’s Choice Awards Australia: Favorite Cartoon/Nominated)
2012 “Avatar: Legend of Korra” (IGN’s Best of 2012 Awards: Best TV Series/Nominated)
2012 “Avatar: Legend of Korra” (IGN’s Best of 2012 Awards: Best TV Animated Series/Won)
2012 “Avatar: Legend of Korra” (IGN’s Best of 2012 Awards: IGN People's Choice Award for Best TV Animated Series/Won)
2012 “Avatar: Legend of Korra” (IGN’s Best of 2012 Awards: Best TV Hero/Nominated)
2013 “Avatar: Legend of Korra” (Annie Awards: Best Animated Television Production for Children/Nominated)
2013 “Avatar: Legend of Korra” (Annie Awards: Best Character Design in an Animated Television Production/Nominated)
2013 “Avatar: Legend of Korra” (2nd Annual BTVA Awards: Best Vocal Ensemble in a New Television Series/Won)
2013 “Avatar: Legend of Korra” (2nd Annual BTVA Awards:BTVA People's Choice Award for Best Vocal Ensemble in a New Television Series/Won)
2013 “Avatar: Legend of Korra” (Daytime Emmy Awards: Outstanding Special Class Animated Program/Nominated)
2013 “Avatar: Legend of Korra” (NAACP Image Awards: Outstanding Children's Program/Nominated)
2014 “Avatar: Legend of Korra” (Annie Awards: Best Animated TV/Broadcast Production for Children's Audience/Nominated)
2014 “Avatar: Legend of Korra” (IGN’s Best of 2013 Awards: IGN People's Choice Award for Best TV Animated Series/Won)

Related Links:

Bibliographic References:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1665983/?ref_=nmbio_bio_nm
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0227204/?ref_=nv_sr_1
www.bryankonietzko.com
http://michaeldantedimartino.tumblr.com/
http://bryankonietzko.tumblr.com/
http://www.nerdist.com/pepisode/nerdist-writers-panel-154-legend-of-korraavatar-the-last-airbender/
http://www.toonzone.net/2012/04/toonzone-news-interviews-michael-dimartino-and-bryan-konietzko-creators-the-legend-korra/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdw6YmO8q_k (Avatar: The Last Airbender Documentary - Avatar Spirits)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkDQ66Q8Ra0 (2014 New York Comic Con: Legend of Korra Panel)
https://www.facebook.com/animationshow/info (Mike Judge’s facebook page he’s hosting)
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0431918/ (Mike Judge’s IMBD)

Contributors To This Listing:
Michael Dante DiMartino
Eythan Taneyhill

Animators Hall of Fame