Born in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, Tony’s family moved to Columbus, Ohio when he was three years old. From an early age, he showed a talent for drawing and animation. When he was five, he began drawing on the corners of phone books and his grandmother’s desktop calendar to make cartoon flipbooks. After a family trip to Walt Disney World two years later, he knew what he wanted to be – a Disney animator. He took art all through grade school and high school and graduated from the Columbus College of Art and Design with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts Degree in 1989.
While in college, Tony was offered an animation internship at the Disney MGM Studios. It was a sixteen-week intensive program designed to train artists in the Disney method of animation. Tony discovered a home away from home and never left. He was the only one of his group that was asked to stay on.
Although he was trained in character animation, Tony became interested in visual effects because of the variety it offered. Tony’s first film credit was Rescuer’s Down Under, he also worked on such classics as Beauty and The Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King. Tony feels that his best effects work was on The Legend Of Mulan where he digitally modeled and animated dragons and rockets, and he had the most fun working on Lilo and Stitch where he modeled and animated all the ray guns in addition to other elements.
Unfortunately, the decision was made to close Disney’s Florida studio in the spring of 2004. “It was my dream job,” Tony said, “It was the job I always wanted as a kid. Now I would have to figure out what I wanted to do when I grew up.”
to produce his first independent film has helped in that decision. “Being
part of Dream On Silly Dreamer has been a great first step into the
next phase of my filmmaking career.”
Copyright © 2004 Dan Lund & Tony West . All Rights Reserved.