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Rob Minkoff

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Also Known As: Robert R Minkoff, Robert Minkoff Died:
Born: August 11, 1962 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Palo Alto, California, USA Profession: animator, director, animation director, producer, animation character designer, writer, actor, singer, animation in-betweener, songwriter

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Animation whiz kid known both for his wildly comic sensibilities and his meteoric rise at Walt Disney Studios. A multi-talented cartoon maven, Minkoff swiftly amassed a background in animation, design, story development and direction before co-directing the ambitious feature, "The Lion King" (1994), with the more seasoned Roger Allers. Prior to that commercial and artistic triumph, Minkoff was best known for directing the first two Roger Rabbit cartoon shorts, "Tummy Trouble" (1989) and "Roller Coaster Rabbit" (1990). He also co-executive produced and provided the story for the third R.R. outing, "Trail Mix-Up" (1993). Though Minkoff had dreamed of working for Disney since childhood, these antic shorts also reveal the loony influence of legendary Warner Bros. animator Chuck Jones, his mentor since his first year in the animation program at CalArts. Minkoff was involved in theater since age ten and appeared in numerous productions for the Palo Alto Children's Theater and Theater Works. He decided to work for Disney after encountering art historian Christopher Finch's landmark study, "The Art of Walt Disney", while babysitting as a teen. Coincidentally the children he was minding were Finch's nieces...

Animation whiz kid known both for his wildly comic sensibilities and his meteoric rise at Walt Disney Studios. A multi-talented cartoon maven, Minkoff swiftly amassed a background in animation, design, story development and direction before co-directing the ambitious feature, "The Lion King" (1994), with the more seasoned Roger Allers. Prior to that commercial and artistic triumph, Minkoff was best known for directing the first two Roger Rabbit cartoon shorts, "Tummy Trouble" (1989) and "Roller Coaster Rabbit" (1990). He also co-executive produced and provided the story for the third R.R. outing, "Trail Mix-Up" (1993). Though Minkoff had dreamed of working for Disney since childhood, these antic shorts also reveal the loony influence of legendary Warner Bros. animator Chuck Jones, his mentor since his first year in the animation program at CalArts.

Minkoff was involved in theater since age ten and appeared in numerous productions for the Palo Alto Children's Theater and Theater Works. He decided to work for Disney after encountering art historian Christopher Finch's landmark study, "The Art of Walt Disney", while babysitting as a teen. Coincidentally the children he was minding were Finch's nieces and were mentioned in the book's dedication. (Minkoff would finally meet and work with Finch on the author's later book, "The Art of The Lion King"). Minkoff began his formal training as a student at CalArts majoring in character animation. He served a fateful summer internship at Disney in 1982 which allowed him to work with one of the company's revered "Nine Old Men", veteran animator Eric Larson, who helped him prepare a personal animation test. This led to Minkoff being hired by the feature animation department in 1983, making his feature debut as an in-betweener on the animated flop, "The Black Cauldron" (1985).

Minkoff proved to be a fast learner. He designed several characters for "The Great Mouse Detective" (1986) including the hero, the Sherlockian Basil of Baker Street. By the time the production was over, Minkoff had advanced to supervising animator. Subsequent credits include co-writing a song for "Oliver & Company" (1988), character animation for "The Little Mermaid" (1989), and script development for "Beauty and the Beast". In addition to his duties on Roger Rabbit cartoons, Minkoff has helmed several projects for the Disney MGM Studio attraction in Florida.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

2.
  Flypaper (2011)
4.
  Haunted Mansion, The (2003) Director
5.
  Stuart Little 2 (2002) Director
6.
  Stuart Little (1999) Director
7.
  Lion King, The (1994) Director
8.
  Rollercoaster Rabbit (1990) Director (Animation)
9.
  Tummy Trouble (1989) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Became involved in theater at age 10
:
Appeared in productions for the Palo Alto Children's Theater and Theater Works
1978:
With his high school's singing group, sang back-up for Joan Baez at the candlelight vigil for the slain San Francisco Mayor Moscone and City Supervisor Harvey Milk
:
Began his association with Warner Bros. Animation legend Chuck Jones during his first year of college
1982:
Interned at the Disney Studio and worked with Eric Larson, one of the original nine Disney feature animators
1983:
Hired by the feature animation division of Disney
1985:
Feature debut as an in-between artist on "The Black Cauldron"
1986:
Designed several characters for Disney's "The Great Mouse Detective"
1988:
Co-wrote (with Ron Rocha) the song "Good Company" for the animated feature "Oliver & Company"
1989:
Made directing debut with the Disney theatrical short, "Tummy Trouble" featuring Roger Rabbit
1990:
Directed another Roger Rabbit cartoon short, "Roller Coaster Rabbit"
:
Made live-action directing debut with "Mickey's Audition"; a five-minute film for The Disney-MGM Studios combining live-action and animation and featuring cameos by Mel Brooks and Angela Lansbury
1993:
Served as co-executive producer and story writer for his third Roger Rabbit short, "Trail Mix-Up"
:
Assigned to direct the feature-length sequel to "Who Framed Roger Rabbit"; project delayed
1994:
Feature directing debut (with Roger Allers), "The Lion King"
1999:
First solo directing debut, "Stuart Little"; combined live-action and animation
2002:
Directed the sequel, "Stuart Little 2"
2003:
Directed the live-action, "The Haunted Mansion"
2008:
Directed the martial arts-adventure, "The Forbidden Kingdom" starring Jackie Chan and Jet Li
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Education

California Institute of the Arts: Valencia , California -

Notes

"According to Minkoff, 'When I first came onto the project, it occurred to me that the film ("The Lion King") had a lot of the same themes and imagery of classic American western paintings and films. We had the epic landscapes, the evocative lighting and the protagonist's internal struggle responsiblity. Studying the dramatic styles of such classic painters as Frederic Remington and Charles Marion Russell and seeing how they depicted tremendous scope and beautiful lighting was a tremendous inspiration. Watching some of the epic western films of John Ford and other great directors also had an impact on our final approach and design.'"

--From the press kit for "The Lion King".

Bibliography close complete biography

"The Art of the Lion King" Hyperion

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