Mike Gabriel

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Mike Gabriel
Born (1954-11-05) November 5, 1954 (age 69)
Alma materGolden West College
Occupation(s)Film director, animator, storyboard artist, visual development artist
Years active1979–present
Known forThe Rescuers Down Under, Pocahontas, Lorenzo
SpouseTammy Gabriel

Mike Gabriel (born November 5, 1954)[1] is an American animator and film director, best known for his work at Walt Disney Animation Studios and as co-director of the Disney animated films The Rescuers Down Under (1990) and Pocahontas (1995).[2] He was born in Long Beach, California, although he grew up in various small towns like Salina, Kansas while moving around due to his father's Air Force job.[3]

Gabriel was inspired with animation after watching Sleeping Beauty (1959) at the age of five. Soon after, he started drawing and practicing it for six hours every day to meet his goal as an Animation Director. It was in 1979 when he got his first chance to make his debut.[4] Gabriel originally began his career as an assistant on The Fox and the Hound (1981). He later was assigned as a Disney animator on the animated short Fun with Mr. Future (1982). He was mentored under Eric Larson's training program,[5] and went to work on The Black Cauldron (1985). He also served as an animator on The Great Mouse Detective (1986), Technological Threat and Oliver & Company (1988). Hendel Butoy joined Gabriel to direct The Rescuers Down Under, a sequel to the 1977 Disney animated film The Rescuers, while Eric Goldberg and Gabriel collaborated on Pocahontas.

In 2004, Gabriel directed an animated short for Disney entitled Lorenzo, a hybrid of traditional and computer animation about a lazy cat who has a spell cast on his tail that forces it to tango with him.[6][7] Lorenzo was nominated for the 2005 Academy Award for Best Animated Short.[8] It was also included in the Animation Show of Shows in 2004. He was hired to re-design the Walt Disney cinematic logo which played before every Walt Disney picture from 2006 to 2023.


Year Title Director Writer Animator Actor Role Notes
1981 The Fox and the Hound Yes Assistant Animator (Uncredited)
1982 Luau Yes Bob
Fun with Mr. Future Yes
1985 The Black Cauldron Yes Character Animator
1986 The Great Mouse Detective Yes Character Animator
1988 Oliver & Company Yes Yes Writer: Story
Character Designer
Supervising Animator
Technological Threat Yes Character Designer
1990 The Rescuers Down Under Yes With Hendel Butoy
1994 The Lion King Yes Animator: Special Edition
1995 Pocahontas Yes Yes Yes With Eric Goldberg
Writer: Based On An Idea
Visual Development Artist
Character Designer
1996 Quack Pack Yes One episode
Character Designer
Supervising Animator
1999 Fantasia 2000 Yes Yo-yo Tricks
2000 Dinosaur Yes Additional Visual Development
2004 Lorenzo Yes Yes Yes Production Designer
Home on the Range Yes Visual Development Artist
The Cat That Looked at a King Yes Character Designer
Supervising Animator
2008 Bolt Yes Additional Story Artist
2009 The Princess and the Frog Yes Additional Art Director
2011 Winnie the Pooh Yes Visual Development Artist
2012 Brave Yes Development Artist
Frankenweenie Yes Art Department Illustrator: Los Angeles
Wreck-It Ralph Yes Production Designer
2014 Big Hero 6 Yes Departmental Leadership: Walt Disney Animation Studios
2016 Zootopia Yes Departmental Leadership: Walt Disney Animation Studios
2019 Frozen II Yes Creative Legacy: Walt Disney Animation Studios
2020 Elephant in the Room Yes Thought Painter
Visual Development
2021 Raya and the Last Dragon Yes Creative Legacy: Walt Disney Animation Studios


  1. ^ Stahl, Scarlett (October 14, 2010). "A Profile of Mike Gabriel". The Laughing Place. Retrieved January 28, 2016.
  2. ^ "Sometimes the very best gift you can give someone is to show that you believe in their dreams".
  3. ^ https://movies.yahoo.com/person/mike-gabriel/biography.html;_ylt=Ap0rUmOgVjgAH.xi87lhdF33TssF;_ylu=X3oDMTI2ajBnaDlrBG1pdANQZXJzb24gRW50aXR5IEFib3V0BHBvcwMxBHNlYwNNZWRpYUVudGl0eUFib3V0TGlua3NQYWNrYWdlQXNzZW1ibHk-;_ylg=X3oDMTE2Z2ppM3RwBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdAMEcHQD;_ylv=3[dead link]
  4. ^ https://movies.yahoo.com/person/mike-gabriel/biography.html;_ylt=Ap0rUmOgVjgAH.xi87lhdF33TssF;_ylu=X3oDMTI2ajBnaDlrBG1pdANQZXJzb24gRW50aXR5IEFib3V0BHBvcwMxBHNlYwNNZWRpYUVudGl0eUFib3V0TGlua3NQYWNrYWdlQXNzZW1ibHk-;_ylg=X3oDMTE2Z2ppM3RwBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdAMEcHQD;_ylv=3[dead link]
  5. ^ "Suspended Animation Gallery". Archived from the original on 2010-02-10. Retrieved 2010-04-28.
  6. ^ "Animation Art Conservation | LORENZO". Archived from the original on 2011-07-07. Retrieved 2011-07-07.
  7. ^ "'Lorenzo': A 'Moving Painting' with a Wild Tail".
  8. ^ "Best Movie Lists".

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