Gary Goldman (born November 17, 1944 in Oakland, California) is an American film producer, director, animator, writer and voice actor, he is well known for working on films with Don Bluth such as Anastasia, An American Tail, and The Land Before Time. He was an animator at Disney before working at Sullivan Bluth Studios with Bluth. He is currently working with Don Bluth for a fundraiser for Dragon's Lair.
Goldman began his career in animation when he joined Walt Disney Productions in February 1972. His first assignment was as an in-betweener to legendary Disney animator Frank Thomas on the film Robin Hood. He then worked alongside Don Bluth, as an animator, on Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too! and The Rescuers before serving as Directing Animator on Pete's Dragon and The Small One. In an effort to accelerate their skills in preparation for leadership assignments within the Disney organization, Goldman and Bluth began to purchase used animation equipment and probe every aspect of animated production, at Don Bluth's home. United by the common goal of restoring the lost techniques of classical animation, Goldman and Bluth, along with animator John Pomeroy, produced, directed and animated the classically animated 27 minute, filmed-featurette Banjo the Woodpile Cat. Their enthusiasm attracted many other artists at Disney, who came by the garage to contribute their time and artistry to the project. It took four years, working nights and weekends in Bluth's garage. In December 1979, the film was shown at the Egyptian theater in Hollywood and the Peppertree theater in Northridge. It received the National Film Advisory Board Award for Excellence, and the Golden Scroll Award from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films. Using what they learned on their project, they attempted to implement their techniques on projects at Disney. Banjo the Woodpile Cat was later shown on ABC Television (June 1982), as a prime time special. Divided by disagreements over story and production values, Goldman, along with Bluth and Pomeroy, resigned from Walt Disney Productions to establish their independent animation studio, Don Bluth Productions, in 1979. The departure was highly publicized and the trio were dubbed "Disney Defectors" by news reporters. Since leaving Disney, the team produced several feature films, starting with The Secret of NIMH, which won the Saturn Award for "Best Animated Feature" from the Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Film Academy. In late 1982, composer Jerry Goldsmith introduced them to director Steven Spielberg. Their first collaboration with Spielberg, which began production in January 1985, An American Tail, released in November, 1986, ushered in a new era of success for the full-length animated feature, becoming the highest-grossing animated film up to that time.