Tony Bancroft

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Tony Bancroft
Born (1967-07-31) July 31, 1967 (age 53)
Alma materCalArts
OccupationDirector, animator
Notable work
Spouse(s)Rene Bancroft
RelativesTom Bancroft
AwardsAnnie Award, 1998
VES Award, 2003
Uzeta Award, 2019

Tony Bancroft (born July 31, 1967) is an American animator and film director who frequently collaborates with Disney. He is founder and owner of the faith-driven animation company Toonacious Family Entertainment. Tony currently serves as the Executive VP Creative Development and Production for DivideNine Animation Studios.

Life and career[edit]

A native Californian, Bancroft grew up in Orange County. After a two-year stint at Cypress College, he enrolled in the character animation program at CalArts. This led to a summer job as a production assistant with filmmaker Ralph Bakshi and ultimately to an internship in California with Disney Feature Animation followed by a full-time position at the new Florida animation facility. Bancroft (along with his twin brother Tom) was selected to be among the first group of animators to work at the Disney-MGM Studios. During his one-year stay in Florida, he had his first official assignment as an assistant clean-up animator on Roger Rabbit in Roller Coaster Rabbit (1990). This was followed by a credit as animating assistant on The Rescuers Down Under (1990) working on the character of "Frank the frill-necked lizard".

In 1990, he returned to California and worked as a character animator on Beauty and the Beast (1991) and Aladdin (1992) before being promoted to supervising animator role on The Lion King (1994). After working on the character design and some preliminary animation for the gargoyle characters in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996), he was tapped to join Barry Cook as a director on Mulan (1998).[1]

He was animation supervisor on Stuart Little 2 at Sony Pictures Imageworks during 2002, and founded Toonacious that same year. Bancroft also served as English voice director on Hayao Miyazaki's Porco Rosso in 2003.

In 2012 Bancroft authored the book: Directing for Animation : Everything You Didn't Learn in Art School ISBN 978-0240818023 published by Focal Press. The book explores the directing process, with insights from noted directors including Dean DeBlois, Pete Docter, Eric Goldberg, Tim Miller, John Musker, Jennifer Yuh Nelson, Nick Park and Chris Wedge.[2][3]

In 2014, Bancroft and his brother Tom, began The Bancroft Brothers Animation Podcast, which focuses on the animation industry, featuring interviews with creators and those involved.[4] The podcast celebrated its 100th episode with guest Mark Henn in July 2018 live show presented via Skype, for animation classes at Azusa Pacific University in California and Lipscomb University in Tennessee, where each brother teaches.[5][6]

For some time, Bancroft was working on pre-production and directing an animated film, titled Bunyan and Babe, which was to be released in 2017.[7]

In March of 2018, it was announced the Bancroft would join Azusa Pacific University as the head of the school's new Animation and Visual Effects degree program beginning in the fall of that year.[8][9][10]

In 2018, Bancroft also was an animator on Mary Poppins Returns.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Bancroft and his wife, Rene, have three daughters, Caitlin, Savannah, and Sierra. They returned to Los Angeles after living in Florida during the production of Mulan. He has a twin brother named Tom who is also an animator.[12]

He is a Christian, and he highly credits God for his talents as an animator and director.[13]


Year Title Notes Characters
1988 Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures (TV Series) Production Coordinator - 6 Episodes
1990 Roller Coaster Rabbit (Short) Assistant Animator
The Rescuers Down Under Animating Assistant
1991 Beauty and the Beast Animator Cogsworth
1992 Off His Rockers (Short) Visual Development Artist
Aladdin Animator Iago
1993 Bonkers (TV Series) Character Animation - 1 Episode
1994 The Lion King Supervising Animator Pumbaa
Disney's Animated Storybook: The Lion King (Video Game) Animator
1996 The Hunchback of Notre Dame Additional Animator
1998 Mulan Director with Barry Cook
2000 The Emperor's New Groove Supervising Animator Kronk
2002 Stuart Little 2 Animation Supervisor
2003 Lenny & Sid Creator / Director / Character Design
2004 One by One (Video Short) Animator
2005 The Origin of Stitch (Video Short)
2008 Wild About Safety: Timon and Pumbaa Safety Smart at Home! (Short)
2009 Wild About Safety: Timon and Pumbaa Safety Smart Goes Green! (Video Short)
Wild About Safety: Timon and Pumbaa Safety Smart In the Water! (Video Short)
2011 The Smurfs: A Christmas Carol (Short)
Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Masters Animator: Duncan Studio Production
2016 Norm of the North Additional Storyboard Artist
2017 Bunyan and Babe Storyboard Artist / Additional Voices
Animal Crackers Director
Beast of Burden Executive Producer
2018 Mary Poppins Returns Animator
2019 Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs Voice Director
2021 Space Jam: A New Legacy Animator



  1. ^ Chik, Kalai (October 23, 2018). "Gallery Nucleus Celebrates Mulan's 20th Anniversary". asia pacific arts. Los Angeles, CA. Retrieved June 14, 2019.
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  7. ^ Failes, Ian (December 21, 2016). "Google To Premiere Animated Feature 'Bunyan & Babe' For Free". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
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  12. ^ L. Carpente, Edwin (March 19, 2013). "The Bancroft Brothers, Former Disney Animators, Talk With Dove". The Dove Foundation. Archived from the original on November 7, 2014. Retrieved November 7, 2014.
  13. ^ Martin, Sami K. (March 12, 2013). "Tony Bancroft on 'Mulan': 'I Want to Bring Christian-Based Values to All My Work'". The Christian Post. The Christian Post, Inc. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
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