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Gary A. Trousdale (born June 8, 1960) is the director of such movies as The Snow Queen (2013), Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996), Beauty and the Beast (1991) and Cranium Command (1989), the animated short, The Madagascar Penguins in a Christmas Caper and the ABC Christmas Special "Shrek the Halls". He started at The Walt Disney Company in 1985. He moved to DreamWorks Animation in 2003. He attended CalArtsmarker for three years studying character animation.

Life and career

Trousdale was born in La Crescenta, Californiamarker. An animation veteran while still relatively young, Trousdale took a slightly less direct route to glory in the Disney's animation department than some of his contemporaries. Nonetheless, he would go on to co-direct "Beauty and the Beast" (1991), a landmark in the history of the medium. A product of the innovative character animation program at the Disney-sponsored California Institute of the Artsmarker (CalArts), Trousdale found full-time work as an animator while in his third year. However, unlike such fellow alumni as John Lasseter ("Toy Story") and Henry Selick ("James and the Giant Peach"), he did not go directly to Disney. Instead, Trousdale spent a year at Carter/Mendez Productions where he animated, designed and storyboarded various TV projects including "Stanley, The Ugly Duckling" (ABC, 1982), a presentation of the "ABC Weekend Specials". Trousdale next worked for Grand American Fare, doing illustrations and paste-ups for restaurant menus, special event flyers and tee shirts. Trousdale's fortunes began to change when he was hired by Disney.

Trousdale debuted at Disney working in animated special effects. He was an "in-between effects artist" on the unsuccessful animated feature "The Black Cauldron" and an assistant and clean-up effects animator on the live-action teen film "My Science Project" (both 1985). Trousdale gained attention around the studio with a series of "bad attitude" gag cartoons. This led to him being transferred to the feature animation division's story development department. Trousdale received his first feature credit as a storyboard artist on the breakthrough musical animated hit "The Little Mermaid" (1989).

Not only did "Beauty and the Beast" gain new respect for animated features in Hollywoodmarker, but it also demonstrated that the musical could still be a viable commercial genre. (It even generated a hit Broadway musical spin-off.) That each of the six musical numbers either revealed character or advanced the plot certainly contributed to the film's success. Just as important were the vibrant, well-defined characters and the artful use of developing CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) technology. Trousdale and Wise displayed similar strengths in their next directing collaboration, "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" (1996), a kinder, gentler, musical take on Victor Hugo's oft-adapted 1831 novel. He is now working on another tranditional animated film for 2013 called The Snow Queen for Disney.


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