Mark Dindal

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Mark L. Dindal
Born 1960 (age 54–55)
Columbus, Ohio[1]
Residence United States
Alma mater CalArts
Occupation Film director, voice acting, effects animator
Years active 1980–present?
Notable work

Mark L. Dindal (born in 1960)[1] is an American effects animator and director, who created The Emperor's New Groove[2] and Cats Don't Dance. He worked in many Disney projects as an effects animator, and also led the special effects for several classic movies such as The Little Mermaid and The Rescuers Down Under.


Growing up, Dindal was influenced by Disney films and Warner Bros. Saturday cartoons.[3] One of his earliest influence was Disney's The Sword in the Stone, which he saw with his grandmother at the age of three.[3] As a high schooler, Dindal went to Jamesville-DeWitt High School, in which he attended most of the art classes that the school had offer. Dindal learned animation at CalArts. He began working at Disney in 1980. He worked on The Fox and the Hound, The Black Cauldron, Mickey's Christmas Carol, and The Great Mouse Detective, following a very similar animation style in all movies. This style consisted of similar backgrounds with delicated animation and complex character effects, and was well received.

After these projects, Dindal left Disney briefly to work on outside projects. He returned to the studio in 1987 and got his first head role as an animator for Disney's The Little Mermaid. He later worked as head animator for the movie The Rescuers Down Under. He directed the animated effects for the live-action 1991 film The Rocketeer, and got a job in the 1992 animated film Aladdin.

Dindal's directorial debut was Cats Don't Dance, which was released in 1997, three years before The Emperor's New Groove was released in 2000. In Cats Don't Dance Dindal voiced a minor character. Although the film wasn't publicly successful, it won the Annie Award for Best Animated Film and Dindal was nominated for directing. The Emperor's New Groove was initially expected to be a classic Disney musical feature called Kingdom of the Sun. However, that idea didn't work out, and Dindal, along with Chris Williams and David Reynolds, drastically changed the script to a comedy. During the six-year production, he started to work on Cats Don't Dance, a Turner Broadcasting (since merged into Warner Bros.) animated musical production.

Dindal worked on Chicken Little, another Disney production, which needed a huge animation team. The movie was a moderate financial success, yet received negative reviews, and is currently the worst rated film of the Disney animated canon at Rotten Tomatoes with a score of 36%. Dindal had two small voice roles in the film. The movie was nominated to several Annies, but Dindal was not nominated as a director. During the movie's production, Disney produced Kronk's New Groove as a direct-to-video feature. Dindal was working on Chicken Little, so he didn't get a position on the staff. Later, Dindal created The Emperor's New School.

In March 2006, a day after the DVD release of Chicken Little, Dindal left Disney, reportedly because he was "tired of dealing with then-WDFA head, David Stainton."[4] In the next few years, he was attached as a director to several live-action films, including Sherlock's Secretary[5] and Housebroken.[6] In December 2010, DreamWorks Animation announced that Dindal was directing Me and My Shadow, a 3D feature film combining both computer and traditional animation.[7] In January 2012, it was reported that he was no longer directing the film, and that he was replaced by Alessandro Carloni, [8] who's currently co-directing Kung Fu Panda 3.


Title Year Role
The Fox and the Hound (uncredited) 1981 Effects animator
Mickey's Christmas Carol 1983 Effects animator
The Black Cauldron 1985 Effects animator
The Great Mouse Detective 1986 Effects animator
Sport Goofy in Soccermania 1987 Effects animator
The Brave Little Toaster 1987 Effects animator consultant
Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night 1987 Special effects animator
BraveStarr (1 episode) 1988 Special effects animator
BraveStarr: The Legend 1988 Special effects animator
Oliver & Company 1988 Effects animator
The Little Mermaid 1989 Visual effects supervisor
The Rescuers Down Under 1990 Head effects animator
The Rocketeer 1991 Director: Nazi Invasion segment
Tom and Jerry: The Movie 1992 Effects animator
The Little Mermaid (TV series) 1992 Effects consultant
Aladdin 1992 Effects animator
Happily Ever After 1993 Special effects animator
Cats Don't Dance 1997 Director, writer, character designer, storyboard supervisor, voice of Max
The Emperor's New Groove 2000 Director, screenplay, story
Chicken Little 2005 Director, story, character designer, voice of Morkubine Porcupine & Coach
The Emperor's New School 2006–2008 Creator, writer
Me and My Shadow TBA Story

Recurring collaborations[edit]


  1. ^ a b Hulett, Steve (June 13, 2011). "The Mark Dindal Interview -- Part I". TAG Blog. Retrieved November 27, 2011. 
  2. ^ Lanpher, Dorse A. (2010-10-19). Flyin' Chunks and Other Things to Duck: Memoirs of a Life Spent Doodling for Dollars. iUniverse. pp. 176–. ISBN 978-1-4502-6099-2. Retrieved 20 May 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Strike, Joe (November 1, 2000). "Mark Dindal's Place in the Sun". Animation World Network. Archived from the original on December 27, 2014. Retrieved December 27, 2014. 
  4. ^ Hill, Jim (October 5, 2006). "A special "No nudes is good news" edition of Why For". Jim Hill Media. Retrieved December 27, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Mark Dindal to Direct 'Sherlock's Secretary'". MovieWeb. August 11, 2006. Retrieved December 27, 2014. 
  6. ^ McNary, Dave (October 12, 2009). "Dindal draws ‘Housebroken’". Variety. Retrieved December 27, 2014. 
  7. ^ DreamWorks Animation (December 10, 2010). "DreamWorks Animation Pioneers Groundbreaking Combination of CG and Hand-Drawn Animation Techniques in Me and My Shadow for March 2013" (Press release). PR Newswire. Retrieved December 27, 2014. 
  8. ^ Kit, Borys (January 31, 2012). "DreamWorks Animation Sets Voice Cast for 'Me & My Shadow' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 1, 2012. 

External links[edit]