Mike Cedeno - Artist, Animator, Character Designer, and Art Educator
Mike animated characters known to everyone, including Mickey Mouse, Belle, Aladdin, Prince Eric in Little Mermaid, Phoebus in Hunchback, Simba in Lion King, Young Herc in Hercules, and countless others during the 27 years he worked for Disney Feature Animation. His work appears in many of the “Making of” Art books from Disney. Mike continues to freelance as a character designer and he teaches animation, drawing, character design and art classes, primarily at OTIS College of Art and Design from 2013 to present. He is a prolific artist and paints and draws on a daily basis. His distinctive fine art painting is in a bold " California Expressionist " style of
plein aire ( onsite) painting which emphasizes strong colors, brilliant plays of light, value and contrast, and his passionate, emotional love of the artistic painting process. Mike is an active member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Shorts and Animation branch.
Kathleen Quaife - Animator and Art Educator
Kathleen Quaife has worked in the animation industry for over three decades and created effects animation on 25 feature films, and hundreds of commercials, direct to video projects and other special venu projects, including animation Disney Theme Park attractions. Kathleen worked for the Disney studio for seven years, and for many other studios including Don Bluth Productions, Turner Feature Animation, Universal Cartoons and Warner Brothers. Her credits include supervisor of animated effects on two animated feature films.
An early adapter of 2d digital drawing, Kathleen works with many 2d animation programs, completed her MFA in Computer Arts and New Media in 2013 and teaches as a adjunct lecturer, drawing and animation instructor at universities in California.
Nik Ranieri - Supervising Animator
Nik hails from Canada, having been born and raised in Toronto and trained in animation at Sheridan College at Oakville, Canada. Ranieri has always wanted to be an animator for as long as he can remember. After college, Nik worked in several commercial houses in Canada, later relocating to England, where he worked as a Journeyman Animator on a little film called Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. That experience propelled him into his impressive career at the Walt Disney Animation Studios, which he officially joined in 1988. Nik has traveled a long creative road since his journeyman days, with similar Supervising Animator positions on eight other Disney titles: The Princess and the Frog (Charlotte), Meet the Robinsons (Lewis), Chicken Little (Buck Cluck), The Emperor’s New Groove (Kuzko, Kuzko Llama), Hercules (Hades), Pocahontas (Meeko and Additional Story Writer), Beauty and the Beast (Lumiere) and The Rescuers Down Under (Wilbur). His animation skills have also been seen in Winnie The Pooh, Tangled, Treasure Planet, Fantasia/2000, Aladdin and The Little Mermaid. His animation of Hercules’ Hades garnered him a second Annie Award for Best Character Animation and National Cartoonist Society’s prize for feature animation. He won his first Annie for his animation of Meeko in Pocahontas. In 2013, Nik Left Disney animation and is currently working on a number of independent projects. The Ranieri currently lives in a full house in Canyon Country, along with his wife, Jenifer, and their five children: Jenna, Belle, Quinn, Emily and Lily.
Bruce Smith - Character Animator, Director and Producer
Bruce is best known as the creator and executive producer of the Disney Channel hit show The Proud Family and for supervising the animation of the evil villain Dr. Facilier in the Walt Disney animated film The Princess and the Frog. Smith studied animation in the Character Animation program at the California Institute of the Arts. He joined the Walt Disney Studios an animator on Who Framed Roger Rabbit and various other Roger Rabbit shorts that the studio produced. Soon after, Smith was handpicked by producer/director Reginald Hudlin (House Party,
Boomerang) to direct the Paramount Pictures animated film BeBe’s Kids. Smith also served as co-director on the Warner Bros. live action/animated film Space Jam before returning to Disney as supervising animator on such films as Tarzan (Kerchak and Baboons) and Emperors New Groove (Pacha). While animating on the feature films, Smith started feeding into his love of television animation by creating The Proud Family for the Disney Channel. He co-founded Jambalaya Studio for the production of the series and crafted over fifty episodes of the hit series along with a Proud Family TV movie. Smith then rejoined the Walt Disney Studios to supervise animation on The Princess and the Frog (Dr. Facilier) and the Winnie the Pooh Movie (Piglet, Kanga and Roo) and as the lead animator on the animated short Tangled Ever After. Smith's knack for unique character design led him into the visual development of other projects at the studio such as Wreck-it- Ralph and Frozen. In 2012, Smith transitioned back into the director’s chair at Disneytoon Studios. Smith created and directed hilarious 3D shorts for the Planes, Planes Fire and Rescue and Tinkerbell franchises. Most recently, Smith joined Warner Bros. Animation to develop and executive produce a yet-to-be-titled animated comedy series.
Lee Crowe - Animator and Art Educator,
Lee has been in the animation business since the early 1980’s, having worked in various capacities for such studios as Disney (The Little Mermaid,), Dreamworks (Spirit Stallion of the Cimarron), Warner Brothers (Space Jam), and Fox (“Family Guy” and “The Simpsons”). She has most recently worked as a Timing Director for Nickelodeon on the “Rocko’s Modern Life” and “Hey Arnold!” reboots, and for Warner Brothers on “The New Looney Tunes”. She received her MFA from Savannah College of Art and Design in 2005 and has been teaching college since 2004. She is currently an adjunct professor of animation at California State University Northridge and at Glendale Community College.
Marlon West - Head of Effects Animation
Marlon has worked on Paperman, and served as Head of Effects Animation on for Feast, both shorts won Academy Awards. He also was Head of Effects Animation for Frozen, which won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. He started his career producing educational films for Encyclopedia Britannica, after graduating from Columbia College in 1985. In 1989, he moved to Los Angeles and started freelancing, working on special effects for music videos, television commercials, and motion pictures. Marlon joined Walt Disney Animation Studios in 1993 as an effects animator on The Lion King. Continuing in his role as effects animator, Marlon went on to work on Pocahontas, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Mulan, Tarzan, Fantasia/2000 and The Emperor’s New Groove. Marlon worked as Head of Effects on Atlantis: The Lost Empire and Home on the Range. Marlon’s first assignment at Disney was to add the dust cloud effects to the wildebeest stampede scene in The Lion King. On Pocahontas, he was part of the team responsible for the storm sequence at the beginning of the film. He also designed and animated the effects for Grandmother Willow, Pocahontas’ aged adviser. Marlon also added the molten lead effects to The Hunchback of Notre Dame’s dramatic climax. For Hercules, he used his artistic skills to bring life to the hot-headed Hades and the destructive Titans. Marlon animated the fire on the shipwreck in Tarzan, as well as much of the lightning in the showdown between Tarzan and Clayton. He served as Assistant Effects Supervisor on the “Rhapsody in Blue” sequence of Fantasia/2000. As Effects Lead on Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Marlon designed most of the effects for the film. He was also responsible for casting and keying all traditional and digital effects and worked closely with the Directors and Art Director to create the “comic book” look of the movie. After transitioning to CG animated films and working as a digital artist animating and designing special effects on Chicken Little and Meet the Robinsons. Marlon helped to usher the return of traditional, 2-D animation (as well as the cartoon short form) back to the studio with his work as Artistic Coordinator and Visual Effects Supervisor on How to Hook Up Your Home Theater. Marlon was the Head Of Effects Animation on The Princess and the Frog and Winnie The Pooh, and Moana. In 2010 Marlon several of his venerable peers African-American animators were honored by The Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center(BHERC). He is currently serving as Head of Effects Animation on Frozen 2, due Thanksgiving 2019. Always a music fan, he has worked as a DJ in various venues and styles. A native of St. Louis, Marlon resides with his daughter and thousands of CDs and records in Glendale, California.
Jane Baer - Animator
Jane Baer was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada as Jane Maureen Shattuck. She began as an inbetweener on Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty (1959) and is widely known for her work on Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), The Smurfs(1981) and The Black Cauldron (1985). She has been married to animator Dale Baer and Iwao Takamoto.