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Gabriel was very inspired with animation after watching Sleeping Beauty (1959) at the age of five. Soon after, he started drawing and practicing it for six hours every day to meet his goal as an Animation Director. It was in 1979 when he got his first chance to make his debut. Gabriel studied in the Character Animation program at the California Institute of the Arts. He originally began his career helping animate on The Fox and the Hound (1981) and later went on to animate on the 1982 animated short Fun with Mr. Future. He was mentored under Eric Larson's training program, and went on to work on the The Black Cauldron (1985). He also served as an animator on The Great Mouse Detective (1986) and Oliver and Company (1988). Hendel Butoy joined Gabriel to direct The Rescuers Down Under, a sequel to the successful 1977 Disney film The Rescuers, while Eric Goldberg and Gabriel collaborated on Pocahontas. Goldberg and Gabriel later reunited with each other in Wreck-It Ralph to work on animating Sour Bill.
In 2004, Gabriel directed an animated short for Disney entitled Lorenzo, a hybrid of traditional and computer animation about a lazy cat who has a spell cast on his tail that forces it to tango with him. Lorenzo was nominated for the 2005 Academy Award for Best Animated Short. It was also included in the Animation Show of Shows in 2004.
|1981||The Fox and the Hound||Animator (Uncredited)|
|1982||Fun with Mr. Future||Animator|
|1985||The Black Cauldron||Character Animator|
|1986||The Great Mouse Detective||Character Animator|
|1988||Oliver & Company||Story|
|1990||The Rescuers Down Under||Director|
Based on an Idea by
|1998||Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World||Characters (Uncredited)|
|1999||Fantasia 2000||Yo-yo Tricks|
|2004||The Cat That Looked at a King||Character Designer|
|2008||Bolt||Additional Story Artist|
|2009||The Princess and the Frog||Additional Art Director|
|2011||Winnie the Pooh||Visual Development Artist|
|2012||Wreck-It Ralph||Production Designer|
|2012||Frankenweenie||Art Department Illustrator: Los Angeles|
|2014||Big Hero 6||Departmental Leadership: Walt Disney Animation Studios|
|2016||Zootopia||Departmental Leadership: Walt Disney Animation Studios|