Timothy Bjorklund


Occupation/Title: Art Director, Director, Animator

Bio SummaryTimothy Björklund, also known as Timothy Berglund,[1] is an artist, story writer, art director, and director of animated film and television from the United States .[2] His sole movie to date, Teacher's Pet , was nominated for a Golden Satellite Award in 2005.

Early Life/Family: “I’m from San Francisco and there are a hell of a lot of good animators around the Bay Area. After I left CalArts, I got my first job as an assistant animator at Colossal Pictures (where I learned how to flip five drawings, a skill I somehow never learned at CalArts). I worked my way up to animator and eventually director. I also animated some FX at ILM over the years (on paper – computers weren’t around back then – why yes, I am an old, old man)” (Animation Insider, interview).”

“Well, my mother died when I was 10 years old, that was kind of tough. And my wife had lymphoma when our daughter was only 8 months old and I was busy directing a feature for Disney. Thankfully she and the rest of us survived (Animation Insider, interview).”

Education/Training: Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film Graphics/Experimental Animation in 1982 and a Master of Fine Arts degree in 1984

Career Outline:Björklund's film career began in 1993 when he wrote and directed dozens of episodes of the Nickelodeon animated series Rocko's Modern Life . In 2000, Björklund directed some episodes of the Disney animated children's television series Teacher's Pet before directing the 2004 spin-off movie. Between 2004 and 2006, he directed all 40 episodes the Disney animated series Brandy & Mr. Whiskers , of which he was executive producer .

Comments On Style:

Influences: ”The Fleischer's Betty Boop cartoons are what inspired me to get into animation. My High School art teacher showed a Betty Boop cartoon one day and I thought it was amazing. I wondered why no one was making animated films like that anymore (all of the surrealism and inanimate beings coming to life, trees and salt shakers and all) and I decided that I would try to do so. I have had limited success so far in doing so” (Bjorklund, email interview).

“I would add early Warner Bros. cartoons as a huge inspiration. Bob Clampett is still my favorite animation director. And Rod Scribner is the Best Animator of All Time” (Bjorklund, email interview).

Personality:Through his emails he jokes around a lot with his colleagues and with any person who comes in contact with him.


Miscellaneous:Here is the rest of the email interview that I had with Timothy Bjorklund that wasn’t a part of the influences section of the report.

I saw you worked as a director for Disney's TV series Brandy and Mr Whiskers and on Teacher's Pet. How was your experience working with them?

Both were very rewarding. We had extremely talented writers on both series. We also had an incredible cast on both shows who gave us more than we could have hoped for. It makes it much easier to storyboard and animate the scenes if the dialog you listen to is far beyond what normal human beings can achieve. And having said that, in an animated show, the shows' success is due to the storyboardists' and animators' interpretation of the writers' words and actors' performances, which for the most part, sadly, goes unnoticed. Their credits should be much more magnified so that the viewers can see who is responsible for all the amazing art or crap they're looking at.

Which project did you enjoy the most working on?

I have always said that Brandy was the funniest show I worked on but The Twisted Tales of Felix offered the most freedom to go insane on a major television network (CBS). Rocko's Modern Life and Olivia were also great fun. Hell, I've been extremely fortunate to have directed all very fun shows. Some shows out there I would rather shoot myself than work on them.

Why did you choose to be a director for animation?

I chose to be a director after I chose to be an animator after I chose to be an assistant animator - you have to work your way up the ladder. As far as why animation, it's the only thing I'm even halfway good at. I couldn't make you a pizza or build you a treehouse or perform brain surgery on you. Drawing cartoons is the only thing I know how to do. Well, I also know how to tie my shoes but there's no money in that.

Have you ever worked on anything outside of animation as a director?

Of course! One does not start out as a director. We've all had horribly demeaning jobs before we hit our apex and god-like status as director: For example, I was once a brain surgeon. I also had a job as a driver while I was at CalArts and once made a delivery to Cal State Fullerton.

Do you like directing more or animating?

I love them both...directing is very rewarding as you get your hands on everything from writing, drawing, music, sound effects - you get so many chances to screw it all up. But animating a character just doing something as simple as walking and seeing it work is magic. In 8 or 16 drawings, you can bring life to what was otherwise just a stupid frog or prostitute or refrigerator. So I guess animating is the best. But being King (as a director) is also good.

*Honors: *
1998 Annie Award, Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Interstitial (Creative Director at Ink Biscuits)

2000 Emmy Award, Best Daytime Animated Series (Director)

2001 Emmy Award, Best Daytime Animated Series (Director)Animated the Big Beast Quintet ID for Nickelodeon

Storyboard work for Kung Fu Magoo (2010)
Writer and storyboard work for Phineas and Ferb (2008)
Model/prop designer for Baby Blues (2000–02)
Executive Producer, Writer, Director for The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat (1996-7)
Storyboard director and writer for Rocko's Modern Life
in the show as Timothy Berglund, referred to on Joe Murray
's website as Timothy Björklund)
Visual effects for The Meteor Man (1993)
Art director/layout artist for "Betty Boop's Hollywood Mystery " (1989)
Animator for Cocoon: The Return (1988)
Animator for Willow (1988)
Animator for Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
Animator for *batteries not included (1987)
Animator for One Crazy Summer (1986)

1998 Annie Award, Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Interstitial (Creative Director at Ink Biscuits)
2000 Emmy Award, Best Daytime Animated Series (Director)
2001 Emmy Award, Best Daytime Animated Series (Director)

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Contributors To This Listing:
Angela Zhang

Animators Hall of Fame