Glen Keane quits Disney Animation after 38 years

260 Flares 260 Flares ×
Glen Keane

Glen Keane

Glen Keane, an ani­ma­tor with Walt Dis­ney Ani­ma­tion Stu­dios on such clas­sics as The Lit­tle Mer­maid (1989), Beauty And The Beast(1991) and Aladdin (1992), announced Fri­day that he’s leav­ing the com­pany after a 38-year gig.

After an incred­i­ble 38-year career as an ani­ma­tor, sto­ry­teller, and film­mak­ing pio­neer with Walt Dis­ney Ani­ma­tion Stu­dios, Glen Keane has decided that the time has come to take the next step in his per­sonal explo­ration of the art of ani­ma­tion,” said a Dis­ney spokesper­son. “As much as we are sad­dened by his depar­ture, we respect his desires and wish him the very best with all his future endeavors.”

Although the stu­dio has been his “artis­tic home,” Keane said in a let­ter sent to his co-workers, he had decided after “long and thought­ful con­sid­er­a­tion” that there are “end­less new ter­ri­to­ries to explore,” so he’s look­ing elsewhere.

Glen Keane is the son of the late car­toon­ist Bil Keane, cre­ator of The Fam­ily Cir­cus.

He was largely respon­si­ble for such char­ac­ters as Ariel in The Lit­tle Mer­maid, the Beast in Beauty and the Beast, and the title char­ac­ters in Aladdin, Poc­a­hon­tas (1995) and Tarzan (1999).

His last Dis­ney project was Tan­gled (2010), for which he was cred­ited as ani­ma­tion super­vi­sor and direct­ing ani­ma­tor for the char­ac­ter of Rapun­zel. Accord­ing to one insider, Keane has been devel­op­ing sev­eral ideas, but was not attached to any future project at Dis­ney at the time of his departure.

Many in the ani­ma­tion com­mu­nity were shocked that he was leav­ing the Mouse House. “He’s such a Dis­ney icon and an inspi­ra­tion to so many peo­ple,” remarked one source.

I owe so much to those great ani­ma­tors who men­tored me — Eric Lar­son, Frank Thomas and Ollie John­ston — as well as to the many other won­der­ful peo­ple at Dis­ney whom I have been for­tu­nate to work with in the past nearly 38 years,” Keane said in his let­ter, which was posted on ani­ma­tion site Car­toon Brew. “I am con­vinced that ani­ma­tion really is the ulti­mate form of our time with end­less new ter­ri­to­ries to explore. I can’t resist its siren call to step out and dis­cover them.”

Related Posts:

About Paul Anderson

Paul is an old-timer here at BCDB- his contributions go back to before the site! Paul is widely regarded as a Disney historian, and is also on staff at the Disney Museum in San Francisco. Paul is also a contributing historian for D23, the Disney Club. Paul has published several books and magazine articles on Disney history, too. You are welcome to drop Paul a line here.

News, ,

Leave a Reply