Walt Disney Feature Animation has been in the business of producing quality animated films for over seventy years. It’s responsible for creating some of the most memorable characters in film history, starting from their very first animated feature, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1934.
Today, Disney has put more traditional animation aside, choosing to work completely in computer animation. 2005′s Chicken Little marks the studio’s first all computer-animated feature. At the helm is 3D grad, and Chicken Little Animator, Lino DiSalvo.
Animation as Performance
Lino has loved performing since he was putting on puppet shows for friends and family as a five year old. When he was older, he still sought to connect with an audience. The versatility of character animation provided the perfect platform.
“I’ve always appreciated good acting, and feature animation is a great avenue for that,” Lino says. “Not many actors can say they’ve been a dog or a dragon or a kangaroo or a chicken. That’s what’s so great about animation – there are zero limits.”
A Call from Disney
Lino was still a student in the 3D program at VFS when he got a very special call. “I’ll never forget the day I came back to my apartment from school and there was a message from Disney on the phone.” Lino says. “They loved my reel and wanted to set up an interview.” Lino got the job, and has been going strong ever since.
Lino’s first job for Disney was as a visual effects animator on Inspector Gadget. Since then, he’s worked on Kangaroo Jack, Reign of Fire, and 102 Dalmatians before working as a character animator on Chicken Little’s title character and acquiring the position of Supervising Animator on an upcoming CG project, American Dog.
Just Happy to be Here
Despite such an impressive resume after only seven years in the industry, Lino still feels lucky every day just to be working at the famous animation studio. “I’m proud to be a part of Disney Feature Animation,” he says. “I know its sounds corny but to be animating here at Disney is like being a professional baseball player playing in Yankee stadium.”
To Lino, continuing to learn and hone his craft is important – and he’s in the right place to do it: working with some of the industry’s finest animators. “There’s so much history and talent here at Disney to learn from,” he says. “I love it when people I respect look at my work and laugh when they’re supposed to laugh. It shows the scene is really working.”