4 expert film animation directors share when they knew they wanted to work in animation [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW]

Animated films are primarily targeted towards kids, so it makes sense that our Meet the Experts: Film Animation panelists — Tomm Moore (“Wolfwalkers”), Dan Scanlon (“Onward”), Kris Pearn (“The Willoughbys”) and Walt Dohrn (“Trolls World Tour”) — were first drawn (no pun intended) to the animation when they were young. Click on each name above to view individual panel interviews with each person.

“Just growing up, drawing all the time, watching ‘The Muppets’ — which aren’t animated, but they’re such great designs — watching Chuck Jones films, Warner Bros. shorts — all of that I think made me think, ‘I want to be someone who can put on a show and yet I never wanna be onstage,’” Scanlon shares. “So how is that possible?”

SEE 2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Animated Feature

Moore recalls his parents waking him up when he was a kid to watch Don Bluth draw the dogs from “All Dogs Go to Heaven” on the Irish late-night show “The Late Late Show.” “And my little naive eyes went, ‘What?! This is a thing you can do? And they’re doing it in Dublin?” he remembers. Pearn, too, was the “art kid,” but always “thought drawing was that something you’d grow out of and have to get a real job” until he got to college and realized he could “learn to draw for a living.”

Meanwhile, Dohrn knew he wanted to be in animation “very early on,” having grown up watching Disney movies in a town that had one theater, where he learned of someone with whom he has a lot in common. “[The theater would] reissue Disney movies and I fell in love very early on and then I learned as a kid, there’s this person Walt Disney, we have the same name and he also has the same birthday as me,” he says. “I was like, ‘Oh, Dec. 5. This is a sign! I must follow this path!’ Same initials, birthday, there it is. So soon I will have my theme park!”

Watch the full panel to find out their favorite animated films and more.

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