Creator / Glen Keane

"I never drew for the sake of drawing. I drew to make the paper go away."

Glen Keane is perhaps one of the most famous modern animators.

The son of Bil Keane, the creator of the famous comic strip The Family Circus, Keane applied to the art school at the California Institute of the Arts, but in a lucky twist of fate, his application was accidentally sent to the Film Graphics school, where he was mentored under UPA veteran Jules Engel.

Keane graduated from CalArts in 1974 and became an animator at Walt Disney Productions. The studio's animated feature The Rescuers would be his first assignment, working on the characters of Bernard and Penny alongside famed veteran Ollie Johnston. Afterward, he animated the animated character Elliot for the otherwise live-action film Pete's Dragon before being promoted to supervising animator on The Fox and the Hound, where he animated the climactic showdown with a ferocious bear.

Throughout his career, Keane designed and animated many of the leading characters for Disney's films during the studio's "renaissance" era, from slender and charming characters like Ariel and Aladdin to unkempt, bulky brutes like the Beast and John Silver. Afterward, he was to be a director of the studio's CGI feature film Tangled, but due to "non-life threatening health issues", he stepped down and became an executive producer.

On March 23, 2012, Keane resigned from Walt Disney Animation Studios after 38 years of service. He has since started his own animation studio, Glen Keane Productions, to persue more personal projects, and joined Motorola's "Advanced Technology and Projects Group" to create interactive hand-drawn animation. In 2014, Keane premiered a new short film Duet at that year's Google I/O conference as the latest in the company's "Spotlight Stories" of interactive shorts made exclusively for mobile devices.

He's also insanely good at doing impressions of his mentors Disney's Nine Old Men.


Tropes associated with him:

  • Doing It for the Art: Is very famous for this. At one point during production of Beauty and the Beast, he was animating the famous scene where the Beast turns back into his human form and production. At first he wanted to get through the scene quickly as the film was fast reaching its deadline, but Disney allowed him to take all the time he needed. What we got was one of the most beautiful scenes in Disney animation.
    • Keane has also taken the time to host classes on character animation to students and aspiring animators.