Barry Kooser

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Barry R. Kooser
Barry Kooser.png
BornDecember 23, 1968
Alma materKansas City Art Institute
Background artist, Disney
Painter, Kooser Gallery
Many Hoops Productions, Inc.

Barry R. Kooser is an American artist, painter, and educator who worked at Walt Disney Feature Animation Studios between 1992 and 2003 as a background artist on films such as The Lion King, Pocahontas, Mulan, Lilo & Stitch, and as background supervisor on Brother Bear. After leaving Disney, he worked independently as a painter exhibiting and selling fine art in galleries around the US. While teaching animation and story-boarding at Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design, he met Worker Studio founder Michael "Ffish" Hemschoot, and became a partner at the Colorado animation studio. Barry has since left Worker Studio. He is the Founder, Executive Producer and Director at Many Hoops Productions.[1][2]

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, Kooser grew up in the neighboring city of Arvada, where he graduated from Arvada West High School in 1987. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration from Kansas City Art Institute in 1991. After a summer internship at Walt Disney Feature Animation Studios in Orlando, Florida, Kooser was hired at the studio as a background artist.[citation needed]


Early artistic influences include: Illustrators Howard Pyle, N.C. Wyeth, Dean Cornwell and Mark English. Fine Art Painting influences include: Edgar Payne, Joaquin Sorolla, John Singer Sargent and Richard Diebenkorn. Noting his film influences in an article, Kooser selected 5 production designs that continue to inspire him creatively. The selections include Disney's Lady and the Tramp, Tyrus Wong's work on Bambi, Dennis Gassner and Richard L. Johnson's work on Road to Perdition, Ralph McQuarrie's work on Star Wars, and Dean Mitzner's work on Tron.[3]

Disney years[edit]

Kooser's first film at Disney Animation Studios was as an in between artist on the Roger Rabbit animated short, Trail Mix-Up in 1993. He continued to work as a background artist on projects at Disney's Orland, Florida Studio, including the features The Lion King, Pocahontas, Mulan, and Lilo & Stitch.

In 2001, as background supervisor on Brother Bear, Kooser and his team traveled to Jackson Hole, Wyoming and studied with Western landscape painter Scott Christensen, where they learned to: "simplify objects by getting the spatial dimensions to work first and working in the detail later."[4]


Year Film Credit Notes
1993 Trail Mix-Up In-between artist Short film
1994 The Lion King Background artist
1994 Disney's Animated Storybook: The Lion King Background artist Video game
1995 Pocahontas Background artist
1998 Mulan Background artist
2002 Lilo & Stitch Background journeyman
2003 Brother Bear Background supervisor
2010 Princess and the Frog Background artist

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gangelhoff, Bonnie. "Emerging Artists | Barry Kooser". F+W Media, Inc. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
  2. ^ Porter, Steve. "Worker Studio makes moving messages to help companies tell their stories". InnovatioNews. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
  3. ^ Cangialosi, Jason. "Worker Studio's Barry Kooser: Top 5 Production Designs". Yahoo!. Archived from the original on February 3, 2014. Retrieved January 20, 2014.
  4. ^ Dercksen, Daniel E. "nature calls: creating a naturalistic look". Daniel E. Dercksen/ The Writing Studio/ The Write Agency. Archived from the original on November 8, 2007. Retrieved June 20, 2013.

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