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Brian Menz

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Brian Menz is an animator at Walt Disney Animation Studios. Brian was born and raised in Rochester, New York, the land of Kodak and birth place of film. He went to St. Ambrose (elementary school), Northeastern Catholic Jr. High, Bishop Kearney High School and then left his hometown to attend Edinboro University of Pennsylvania to learn hand drawn animation. Brian's first animation job was an internship at Animatus Studio in Rochester, NY. And his first big break into the industry was at DNA Productions in Dallas, TX working on The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius. After graduating from Edinboro, all the hand drawn animation jobs dried up, so he taught himself computer animation in his sister's attic. Then a group of friends from college that had been hired onto the Jimmy Neutron T.V. series invited me to come stay with them while they taught me how to use the animation software Maya. DNA was looking for animators at the time and his friends believed that with some guidance he could be in the running.

He would find lines of dialog from movies online and animate a robot character performing the line. Brian did several of these robot animations and eventually met their supervisors and got feedback from them. It came time to fly home, and his friends told me, he should miss his flight and stay a bit longer and animate some more. Not something he wanted to do with a dwindling bank account. But Brian took a leap of faith, tossed out his valuable return flight ticket, and stayed. Brian did one more robot animation and one of his friends showed it to his supervisor, then he told me, they are getting real close to hiring someone, you should do a shot with two characters in it. So Brian stayed up until 6 in the morning trying to find the perfect line of dialog with two characters in it only to receive a call a few hours later getting offered the job. To which he said, "yes!" To this day he doesn't know who built that robot character, but he's extremely grateful they did. And yes, his friend knew he was going to get the job when he sent me frantically working on the two characters' animation! After Jimmy Neutron, Brian worked on his first feature film, The Ant Bully at DNA. Then he moved to Portland, OR to make the replacement faces for the stop motion film Coraline at Laika. My third film fulfilled his childhood dream, getting to work here at Disney animating on Bolt. Then Brian moved to New York, animating for Blue Sky Studios on Ice Age 3, Rio, and Ice Age 4 before returning back to Disney to work on Wreck-It Ralph, Frozen, Big Hero 6, and now Zootopia. My first four movies were at four different studios in four different cities.


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In the Past

Disney's Nine Old Men: Milt Kahl | Frank Thomas | Ollie Johnston | Les Clark | John Lounsbery | Marc Davis | Ward Kimball | Eric Larson | Wolfgang Reitherman

Animators: Bill Tytla | Art Babbitt | Preston Blair | Ed Love | Fred Moore | Shamus Culhane | Cy Young | Don Lusk | Norman Ferguson | Hal King | Jack Hannah | Jack Kinney | Cliff Nordberg | Bob Carlson | Hal Ambro | Ken O'Brien | Judge Whitaker | Eric Cleworth | Harvey Toombs | Marvin Woodward | Bill Justice | Jerry Hathcock | Hugh Fraser | Clair Weeks | Don Bluth | Gary Goldman | Berny Wolf | Don Towsley | Norman Tate | John Bradbury | Lynn Karp | Charles A. Nichols | Art Palmer | Joshua Meador | Don Tobin | Robert Martsch | George Rowley | John McManus | Don Patterson | John Elliotte | Phil Duncan | George Kreisel | John Freeman | Jack Campbell | Ed Aardal | Blaine Gibson | Ken Hultgren | Fred Kopietz | George Nicholas | Bob Youngquist | John Kennedy | Henry Tanous | Dick Lucas | John Sibley | John Ewing | Walt Stanchfield | Fred Hellmich | Blaine Gibson | Julius Svendsen | Bill Keil | Andy Paliwoda
Visual Development, Layout, Background Artists and Character Designers: Gustaf Tenggren | Mary Blair | David Hall | Joe Grant | Campbell Grant | Mel Shaw | Claude Coats | Don DaGradi | John Hench | Art Riley | Eyvind Earle | Thelma Witmer | Al Dempster | Dick Anthony | Don Griffith | Ralph Hulett | Ray Huffine | Art Landy | Brice Mack | Al Zinnen | Ken O'Connor | Charles Philippi | McLaren Stewart | Tom Codrick | Hugh Hennesy | Lance Nolley | Thor Putnam | Albert Hurter | John Miller | Martin Provensen | John Walbridge | Dick Kelsey | Kay Nielsen | Terrell Stapp | John Hubley | Merle Cox | Ray Huffine | Mac Stewart | Jimi Trout | Basil Davidovich | Jack Hubler | Erni Nordli | Victor Haboush | Homer Jonas | Ray Aragon | Frank Artimage | Walt Peregoy | Bill Layne | Fil Mottola | Richard H. Thomas | Dale Barnhart | Anthony Rizzo | Sylvia Roemer
Storyboard Artists and Writers: Ted Sears | Bill Peet | Ralph Wright | Erdman Penner | Winston Hibler | Joe Rinaldi | Milt Banta | Bill Cottrell | Webb Smith | Aurelius Battaglia | Otto Englander | Joseph Sabo | Dick Huemer | Tom Oreb | Del Connell | Floyd Norman
Directors: Clyde Geronimi | Hamilton Luske | Wilfred Jackson | Bill Roberts | Jack Kinney | Ben Sharpsteen | Art Stevens | Ted Berman | Richard Rich
Producers: Walt Disney | Winston Hibler | Ron Miller | Joe Hale | Ken Anderson

In the Renaissance, the Present and the Revival

Renaissance Directors: Rob Minkoff | Roger Allers | Gary Trousdale | Kirk Wise | Chris Sanders | Mark Dindal
Story Trust Directors: Ron Clements | John Musker | Chris Buck | Byron Howard | Don Hall | Chris Williams | Rich Moore | Stephen J. Anderson | Nathan Greno | Jennifer Lee
Producers: Peter Del Vecho | Clark Spencer | Roy Conli | Dorothy McKim | Don Hahn
Executive Producers: John Lasseter
Associated Figures: Bob Iger | Roy Edward Disney | Michael Eisner | Ed Catmull | Jeffrey Katzenberg
Signature Voice Actors: Jim Cummings | Alan Tudyk | Katie Lowes | Maurice LaMarche | David Ogden Stiers | Jesse Corti | Paul Briggs | Raymond S. Persi | Phil Johnston | Frank Welker | Bill Farmer
Signature Musicians: Sherman Brothers | Robert B. Sherman | Richard Sherman | Alan Menken | Kristen Anderson-Lopez | Robert Lopez | Lin-Manuel Miranda | Howard Ashman | Tim Rice | Stephen Schwartz
Supervising Animators: Glen Keane | Andreas Deja | Randy Haycock | Alex Kupershmidt | Anthony DeRosa | Eric Goldberg | Mark Henn | John Pomeroy | T. Daniel Hofstedt | Tony Bancroft | Tom Bancroft | Tony Fucile | Russ Edmonds | Duncan Marjoribanks | Ruben Aquino | Nik Ranieri | Ron Husband | Rick Farmiloe
Visual Development & Storyboard Artists: Paul Felix | Andy Gaskill | Dean DeBlois | Lorna Cook | Bill Schwab | Lisa Keene | Claire Keane | Chen Yi-Chang | Vance Gerry | Brittney Lee | Jin Kim | Shiyoon Kim | Cory Loftis | Leo Matsuda

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