Bruce W. Smith

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Bruce W. Smith
Born
Bruce Wayne Smith

(1961-09-06) September 6, 1961 (age 61)
Occupation(s)Animator, character designer
Years active1984–present
EmployerWalt Disney Animation Studios (1996–present)
Notable workBebe's Kids
The Proud Family
Hair Love

Bruce Wayne Smith (born September 6, 1961) is an American animator, character designer, film director and television producer. He is best known as the creator of Disney Channel's The Proud Family and The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder, as well as the supervising animator of Kerchak and Baboons & Baby Baboon in Tarzan, Pacha in The Emperor's New Groove, Dr. Facilier in The Princess and the Frog and Piglet, Kanga and Roo in Winnie the Pooh.

Biography[edit]

Smith grew up in Los Angeles, California. At age 10, he made his first animated film based on designs of One Hundred and One Dalmatians.[1]

Smith studied animation in the Character Animation program at the California Institute of the Arts.[2][3] He later stated that while at CalArts he became aware of the lack of Black characters in animated films which motivated him to create his own animated series.[1][4] In 1984, he was the key assistant animator on a TV short of Garfield in the Rough.[5] In the years that followed he would be a writer on episodes of the TV series ThunderCats.[6] In 1987, he would be an animator for Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night.[7][8]

He joined the Walt Disney Studios as an animator on Who Framed Roger Rabbit[9][10] He also worked on various other Roger Rabbit shorts that the studio produced.[3][5] In 2022, Smith said that the "big old tree Afro" with lips is a caricature of himself that he drew while working on the show.[11]

He would also be an animator for the Back to Neverland short,[12] Michael & Mickey,[2] and Rock-A-Doodle.[13] Additionally, he would work on Rover Dangerfield as a storyboarder, character designer, character animator, and sequence director.[5] In 1997, Smith was a scenic artist for the film, The Peacemaker[14] and was an animator for The Indescribable Nth and Garfield in the Rough.[1] He also worked as a character designer for C-Bear and Jamal.[1]

Some years later, Smith was handpicked by producer/director Reginald Hudlin (House Party, Boomerang) to direct the Paramount Pictures animated film Bébé's Kids.[15] In years that followed, he would be a character designer for the A Cool Like That Christmas.[16] and A Goofy Movie television movies,[6][17] supervising animator of The Pagemaster[18] He would also work on the Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child TV Series in various roles.[6][19][20]

Smith also served as co-director on the Warner Bros. live action/animated film Space Jam[21] [22] before returning to Disney as supervising animator on such films as Tarzan (Kerchak and Baboons)[15][23] and The Emperor's New Groove (Pacha).[24][25]

Later works[edit]

While working animation on the feature film side, Smith started feeding into his love of television animation and created The Proud Family for Disney Channel. He co-founded Jambalaya Studios, with Hyperion Pictures for the production of the series and crafted over 50 episodes of the series along with The Proud Family Movie.[26][15][27] The name of the series, the first venture for Jambalaya Studio, came from something he told his co-founder, Tom Wilhite when he showed him the show's main characters drawn as though they were in a family portrait.[1]

In 2004, he would be the supervising animator for Home on the Range,[28][29] The same year, he be the executive producer and co-creator of the series Da Boom Crew.[30] Smith later described the series as mixing concepts of Star Wars and Boyz-N-The Hood, and argued that the series tries to recreate the "black experience in animated form."[31]

In 2009, Smith rejoined the Walt Disney Studios and Duncan Studio Production to supervise animation on The Princess and the Frog (Dr. Facilier),[6][3] the 2011 Winnie the Pooh movie (Piglet, Kanga and Roo),[32] and as the lead animator on the short Tangled Ever After.[6][33] Smith's knack for unique character design led him into the visual development of other projects at the studio such as Wreck-It Ralph and Frozen.[6][34]

In 2015, he would be part of the senior creative team of Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast in 2015.[35] In 2018, he would be an animator for Teen Titans Go! To the Movies[36] In 2019, he directed the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film winner Hair Love.[3][37]

He returned to The Proud Family with The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder, which began airing on Disney+ starting on February 28, 2022.[38][39] This was spurred by the fact that on January 1, 2020, the original The Proud Family series began streaming on Disney+, and shortly thereafter Disney executives approached Smith and Ralph Farquhar about reviving the series[40] On February 27, 2020, the show was formally ordered on Disney+.[41][42] Smith concurred with Farquhar, saying that the "show never really went away" and called it the "perfect time to bring back this show."[43] Smith also argued that the series is "blazing a path...[in] this animated sphere," saying it has parts of the horror, sci-fi, and Western genres. The show is rated TV-PG making this the first Disney animated series to carry this rating.[44]

In December 2020, he signed an overall deal with Disney with Farquhar.[34]

On April 18, 2022, Disney+ renewed The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder for a second season.[45]

Smith is an animator and member of the production time for an upcoming hand-drawn indie animated steampunk film entitled Hullabaloo.[46][5]

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Credits Characters
1984 Garfield in the Rough (TV Short) Key assistant animator
1985 ThunderCats (TV Series) Writer - 2 Episodes
1986 SilverHawks (TV Series) Writer - 5 Episodes
1987 Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night Animator
1988 Who Framed Roger Rabbit Animator: Additional Animation
1989 Back to Neverland (Short) Key animator
Tummy Trouble (Short) Animator
Vytor: The Starfire Champion (TV Movie)
Happily Ever After
1991 Michael & Mickey
Rover Dangerfield Storyboard Artist / Character Designer / Character Animator / Sequence Director
Rock-A-Doodle Character Animator
1992 Bébé's Kids Director / Principal Character Designer
1993 A Cool Like That Christmas (TV Movie) Character Designer
1994 The Pagemaster Supervising Animator
1995 Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child (TV Series) Director - 12 Episodes / Character Designs - 2 Episodes/ Character Designer - 12 Episodes
A Goofy Movie Character Designer
1996 C Bear and Jamal (TV Series) Creative Consultant - 3 Episodes / Character Designer
Quack Pack (TV Series) Animation Director / Supervising Animator - 1 Episode
Space Jam Animation Director
1997 Cats Don't Dance Character Designer / Supervising Animator Sawyer and Max
1999 Tarzan Supervising Animator Kerchak, Baboons & Baby Baboon
2000 The Indescribable Nit (Short) Animator
John Henry Character Designer & Visual Development Artist
The Emperor's New Groove Supervising Animator Pacha
2001–2005 The Proud Family (TV Series) Director - 1 Episode / Executive Producer / Writer / Creator - 52 Episodes / Developer - 2 Episodes
2004 Home on the Range Supervising Animator Pearl Gesner
One by One (Video short) Visual Development Artist
Da Boom Crew (TV Series) Co-Creator / Executive Producer
2005 The Proud Family Movie Director / Executive Producer
The Picnic (TV Movie) Director
The Beach (TV Movie)
2009 The Princess and the Frog (Video Game) Voice
The Princess and the Frog Supervising Animator / Party Guest, Jeremy (voice) Dr. Facilier
2011 Winnie the Pooh Supervising Animator Piglet, Kanga and Roo
Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Masters (Video short) Animator: Duncan Studio Production
2012 Tangled Ever After (Short) Lead Animator
Wreck-It Ralph Additional Visual Development Artist
2013 Frozen
2014 The Pirate Fairy (Video) Senior Creative Team
Planes: Fire & Rescue
2016 Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life Animator: animation sequences
2018 Teen Titans Go! To the Movies Animator: additional animator
The Late Batsby Storyboard artist
2019 Hair Love Director
2022–present The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder Director / Executive Producer / Writer / Creator
TBA Hullabaloo Animator

Internet[edit]

Year Title Notes
2016 Cartoons vs. Cancer Himself

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Disney's The Proud Family Producer, Bruce Smith to present at Animae Caribe 2003". Animae Caribe. 2003. Archived from the original on February 2, 2004. Retrieved April 19, 2022.
  2. ^ a b "Cartoonist Bruce Smith on the art and technology of animation". The Black Engineer. USBE Information Technology. February 18, 2022. Archived from the original on April 19, 2022.
  3. ^ a b c d Reif, Alex (May 29, 2020). "10 Things We Learned from "Proud Family" Creator Bruce W. Smith During WDFM Happily Ever After Hours". The Laughing Place. Archived from the original on June 11, 2020. Retrieved April 19, 2022.
  4. ^ "Proud Family Creator to Talk About Animation". Animae Caribe 2003. 2003. Archived from the original on November 6, 2016. Retrieved April 19, 2022. The article is one of the selected images on this page.
  5. ^ a b c d Anderson, Ross (2019). Pulling a Rabbit Out of a Hat: The Making of Roger Rabbit. Jackson, Mississippi: University Press of Mississippi. p. 208. ISBN 978-1496822307.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Kennell, Tiana (June 22, 2016). "Winnie the Pooh,' 'Princess and the Frog' artist in Shreveport today". Shreveport Times. Archived from the original on October 23, 2020. Retrieved April 19, 2022.
  7. ^ "Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on October 26, 2020. Retrieved April 19, 2022.
  8. ^ Beck, Jerry (2005). The Animated Movie Guide. Chicago: Chicago Review Press. p. 200. ISBN 1569762228.
  9. ^ ""The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder" Creator/Executive Producer Bruce Smith Visits The Disneyland Resort". The Laughing Place. February 24, 2022. Archived from the original on February 24, 2022. Retrieved April 19, 2022.
  10. ^ Beck, Jerry (2005). The Animated Movie Guide. Chicago: Chicago Review Press. p. 311. ISBN 1569762228.
  11. ^ Ward, Carla (February 23, 2022). "The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder Creator-Executive Producer Bruce Smith Visits Disneyland Resort". Disney Parks Blog. Walt Disney Company. Archived from the original on April 10, 2022. Retrieved April 19, 2022.
  12. ^ Korkis, Jim (August 25, 2018). "A Forgotten Disney Short: "Back To Neverland" (1989)". Cartoon Research. Archived from the original on October 24, 2020. Retrieved April 19, 2022.
  13. ^ "Rock-a-Doodle Credits". Turner Classic Movies. Archived from the original on November 23, 2020. Retrieved April 19, 2022.
  14. ^ "The Peacemaker (1997)". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on January 5, 2022. Retrieved April 19, 2022.
  15. ^ a b c Adalian, Josef (October 5, 1999). "Jambalaya cooks up multi-ethnic toons". Variety. Archived from the original on January 1, 2022. Retrieved April 19, 2022.
  16. ^ "A Cook Like That Christmas Credits". Turner Classic Movies. Archived from the original on April 19, 2022. Retrieved April 19, 2022.
  17. ^ "A Goofy Movie". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on February 9, 2022. Retrieved April 19, 2022.
  18. ^ "The Pagemaster (1994)". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on October 20, 2021. Retrieved April 19, 2022.
  19. ^ Bierbaum, Tom (March 23, 1995). "Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child". Variety. Archived from the original on April 19, 2022. Retrieved April 19, 2022.
  20. ^ Sullivan, Leo (Fall 1997). "Diversity Programming and Distribution: Leo Sullivan, Animation Pioneer" (PDF). France by Frame. ASIFA. p. 3. Archived (PDF) from the original on May 11, 2021. Retrieved April 19, 2022.
  21. ^ Perlburg, Steve (February 20, 2020). "The Hidden Pro-Union Politics of 'Space Jam'". Mel Magazine. Archived from the original on March 25, 2021. Retrieved April 19, 2022.
  22. ^ Beck, Jerry (2005). The Animated Movie Guide. Chicago: Chicago Review Press. p. xviii. ISBN 1569762228.
  23. ^ Beck, Jerry (2005). The Animated Movie Guide. Chicago: Chicago Review Press. p. 276. ISBN 1569762228.
  24. ^ "The Emperor's New Groove – Animating The Characters". Cinema Review. Archived from the original on February 8, 2015. Retrieved February 14, 2015.
  25. ^ Beck, Jerry (2005). The Animated Movie Guide. Chicago: Chicago Review Press. p. 72. ISBN 1569762228.
  26. ^ Mallory, Michael (September 21, 2001). "A New Neighborhood for Animated Series". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on October 17, 2012. Retrieved April 19, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)Also see
  27. ^ "The Proud Family Movie". The Library of Congress. 2005. Archived from the original on January 21, 2022. Retrieved April 19, 2022.
  28. ^ "Home on the Range (2004)". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on January 27, 2021. Retrieved April 19, 2022.
  29. ^ Beck, Jerry (2005). The Animated Movie Guide. Chicago: Chicago Review Press. p. 115. ISBN 1569762228.
  30. ^ Gates, Anita (October 31, 2004). "For Young Viewers; Be Careful What Video Games You Wish For". New York Times. Archived from the original on August 23, 2019.
  31. ^ Scott, Angela (October 26, 2004). "Da Boom Crew Rockets into Space". Celebrating Children. Archived from the original on December 17, 2004.
  32. ^ Laman, Douglas (July 15, 2021). "How 'Winnie the Pooh' Provided a Gentle Send-Off to Hand-Drawn Animation at Disney". Collider. Archived from the original on July 23, 2021. Retrieved April 19, 2022.
  33. ^ "Happily Ever After Hours--Animator, Director, and Producer Bruce W. Smith". Walt Disney Family Museum. 2020. Archived from the original on November 24, 2021. Retrieved April 19, 2022.
  34. ^ a b Petski, Denise (December 15, 2020). "Bruce W. Smith & Ralph Farquhar Ink Overall Deal With Disney Branded Television". Deadline. Archived from the original on March 23, 2022. Retrieved April 19, 2022.
  35. ^ "Disney Tinker Bell and the Legend of the Neverbeast" (PDF). Chip & Company. December 20, 2014. Archived (PDF) from the original on April 20, 2022. Retrieved April 19, 2022. See page vi
  36. ^ "Teen Titans Go! To the Movies Credits". Turner Classic Movies. Archived from the original on April 19, 2022. Retrieved April 19, 2022.
  37. ^ "Animated Short 'Hair Love' Gets Theatrical Run with 'The Angry Birds Movie 2'". Animation World Network. August 5, 2019. Archived from the original on November 29, 2021. Retrieved April 19, 2022.
  38. ^ Swift, Andy (February 27, 2020). "The Proud Family Revival Ordered at Disney+ With Original Cast — First Look". TVLine. Archived from the original on March 21, 2022. Retrieved April 19, 2022.
  39. ^ Swift, Andy (January 14, 2022). "The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder Sets February Premiere Date — Watch New Trailer for Disney+ Revival". TVLine. Archived from the original on January 14, 2022. Retrieved January 14, 2022.
  40. ^ Jackson, Leigh Ann (February 23, 2022). "A Groundbreaking Cartoon Family Returns, 'Louder and Prouder'". New York Times. Archived from the original on March 10, 2022. Retrieved February 23, 2022.
  41. ^ Swift, Andy (February 27, 2020). "The Proud Family Revival Ordered at Disney+ With Original Cast — First Look". TVLine. Archived from the original on April 18, 2021. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
  42. ^ Otterson, Joe (February 27, 2020). "'Proud Family' Revival Ordered to Series at Disney Plus". Variety. Archived from the original on February 28, 2020. Retrieved February 28, 2020.
  43. ^ Alexander, Jared (May 13, 2021). "'Proud Family' reboot to star Billy Porter, Zachary Quinto as gay couple". The Grio. Archived from the original on May 13, 2021. Retrieved May 17, 2021.
  44. ^ Radulovic, Petrana (February 17, 2022). "The Proud Family creators: 'There's not just one view of Blackness or a Black family'". Polygon. Archived from the original on February 19, 2022. Retrieved February 18, 2022.
  45. ^ Disney+ [@disneyplus] (April 18, 2022). "Even louder 👏 Even prouder 👏 Season 2 of @TheProudFamily: #LouderAndProuder, is officially in production! #DisneyPlus" (Tweet). Archived from the original on April 18, 2022. Retrieved April 18, 2022 – via Twitter.
  46. ^ "The Production Team". Hullabaloo. Archived from the original on January 2, 2022. Retrieved April 19, 2022.

External links[edit]