Don Bluth Biography

Don Bluth photo

Born: September 13, 1938

Don Bluth

Date of Birth: September 13, 1938

Born in a family of seven children in El Paso, Texas, Bluth grew up in a highly creative environment. After watching Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Bluth found his calling. From the age of six on, he could always be found drawing.

It soon became a dream his dream to work for Disney and bring his drawings to life. His family moved to Santa Moncia, California, and upon graduating from high school, he took a portfolio of his drawings to the Disney studio in Burbank.

In 1955 he was accepted and began working as an "in-between" (create drawings in between the animator's key drawings to complete movement). Before he left to continue his education at Brigham Young University, he had helped complete the classic motion picture, Sleeping Beauty. While he studied English Literature at University, Bluth returned to work at Disney in the summer.

After completing his education, Bluth and his brother Fredrick started a live theater where they would produce and direct popular musical comedies. Althought the venture went well, Bluth abandoned it and returned to animating after three years.

He was hired as a layout artist (drawing the stage or set design and character poses) by a television animation company in L.A. Bluth was extremely adept at this and was promoted to head of the department after three years.

Bluth returned to Disney in 1971 where he quickly moved from animator to Director of Animation, to Producer/Director. From 1971 to 1979 Bluth worked on many projects including Robin Hood (1973), Winnie the Pooh and Tigger, Too (1974), The Rescuers (1977), Pete's Dragon (1977) and The Small One (1978).

Longing to restore the quality of classic Disney, Bluth began a short project with fellow animators, Gary Goldman and John Pomeroy. They worked on a short film, Banjo, the Woodpile Cat, during evening hours while working at Disney during the day.

Early in 1979, the trio were approached by film industry businessmen who offered them funds to complete a feature film. On Bluth's birthday, the three left Disney to start their own production company. For their first feature film they completed a revolutionary film in animation, The Secret of NIMH (1982).

Bluth took advantage of the new laser disk technology that was coming out at the time and created the interactive laser disc games like Dragon's Lair and Space Ace. In December 1984 they began to work on a new project with Steven Spielberg, An American Tail (1986).

In 1986, they moved their studio to Dublin, Ireland, and their company has grown to be the largest in Europe. In past years Bluth has continued to bring animation to the screen with films like The Land Before Time (1988), All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989), Anastasia (1997) and Titan A.E. (2000).


Titan A.E. (2000)
Bartok the Magnificent (1999)
Anastasia (1997)
The Pebble and the Penguin (1995)
Thumbelina (1994)
A Troll in Central Park (1993)
Rock-A-Doodle (1991)
All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989)
The Land Before Time (1988)
An American Tail (1986)
The Secret of NIMH (1982)
Banjo the Woodpile Cat (1979)
The Small One (1978)

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