Owen Klatte was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1954.
Character Animator, Animation Director, Animation Supervisor
Owen Klatte grew up with an influential artistic mother.
She painted throughout her life until her death at ninety-two this year.
Owen’s artistic interest was notable in his childhood. He spent time
reading and drawing some of his favorite comics, such as “Spy vs. Spy.” He
began experimenting with stop motion while in high school. A friend of his
invited him to make Super-8 films with another group of friends. They
worked from a basement.
After high school, he went to the University of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. There
he got a B.S. degree in Architecture. Owen felt at the end that it wasn’t
something he truly wanted, and, unsatisfied with not knowing where life
would lead him, he realized much later that his passion lied elsewhere. His
attendance at the Tournees of Animation, strengthened his love for
animation. The Tournees was an annual event that showed animation from
across the globe. The variation of elements in the shorts had a deep impact
on him, because he saw just how beautiful animation could be He has drawn
inspiration from many artists across the globe. Amongst his influences were
Disney and Warner Bros Cartoons.
Owen got into film at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
The school offered very little in animation, so he managed by
taking an independent study course. He was mainly self-taught.
Most of his training came while on the job.
In 1987 he got hired to work on the TV stop motion series, “Gumby.”
It was surprising to him when he was, right from the start, put to
do full shots. He and his fellow animators inspired and learned
from each other. Owen spent ten years being a stop motion animator
in San Francisco then later moved towards LA to work in Disney’s CG studio
on a movie called, “Dinosaur.” Other artists who had previously worked on
“The Nightmare Before Christmas,” had been called to work on this film.
Amongst them were Angie Glocka, Joel Fletcher, and Owen Klatte. There, Owen
and other animators received over a year’s worth of training in computer
graphics, before the beginning of production.
*Comments on Style:*
Owen Klatte has worked in a wide spectrum, from highly realistic
to cartoony styles. Cartoony animation is his preferred style
whereas realistic can be a bit more lengthy. According to him, cartoony
allows one to be “less constrained by the dictates of reality.”
“Illustrate the mind of the animator,” are the words from Owen
as he described how when working on a project for a long time, one can
suddenly become deeply immersed in one’s own work.
Stop motion animation is more limited than CG and can bemore difficult
since it is requires a straight ahead approach. For Owen,
stop motion is more fun, because there is more collaboration and
interaction amongst peers.
· 1987- “Gumby Adventures” (animator)
· 1991-“Slow Bob in the Lower Dimensions” (animator)
· 1991- “The Danger Team”
· 1992-“Claymates” (Video game)(animator)
· 1993-“The Nightmare Before Christmas” (animator)
· 1994- 1995-“Bump in the Night” (animation director)
· 1996-“James and the Giant Peach” (Cut out animator)
· 1996- “The Wayneheads”
· 2000- “Dinosaur” (animator)
· 2001- “Monkeybone” (animator)
· 2002- “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron” (CG character animator)
· 2004- “Kingdom Under Fire: The Crusaders” (Video game)(animation director)
· 2006-“Charlotte’s Web” (animator)
· 2010- “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1” (animation supervisor)
· 2013-“Hell and Back” (lead animator) (post production)
· “Anomalisa” (In production)
Owen has also worked on commercials for Pillsbury Doughboy, Ritz Bitz
crackers, Levis, Burger King, Cap’n Crunch, and Walmart,. In Games and
Cinematics: “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers,” “Guild Wars,” and
Contributors to this Listing:
Animators Hall of Fame