John Pomeroy is an American animator. He is best known for being a key figure of the Don Bluth-led exodus from Disney in the late 1970's that challenged the studio's dominance over the animation business by developing their own independent animated features. Pomeroy would return to Disney in the early 1990's. He served as the supervising animator of Milo Thatch in Atlantis: The Lost Empire.
Career[edit | edit source]
Early Career at Disney[edit | edit source]
John Pomeroy began his animation career working at Walt Disney Productions in 1973. He started out and intended to be a background artist due to his love for painting, but was convinced by mentor Eric Larson to try out character animation and instantly moved into becoming an animator a year later. He would serve as animator on the Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too segment of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, The Rescuers, and Pete's Dragon.
Pomeroy would form a bonding friendship with Don Bluth and Gary Goldman. When Bluth directed the animated short The Small One, he assigned Pomeroy to be a directing animator. Pomeroy was animating scenes in The Fox and the Hound when he joined Bluth, Goldman, and eight other members of the animation staff left Disney in 1979. He was apparently in line to have a major role in developing The Black Cauldron before leaving.
Don Bluth Productions[edit | edit source]
Four years before their departure, Pomeroy and the other animators who were planning on leaving worked on their free time in Bluth's garage on a project that became the animated short Banjo the Woodpile Cat, on which Pomeroy also served as producer. The short was completed following the exodus from Disney. As a key figure of the new animation group, he would serve as producer on all of the forthcoming films up to A Troll in Central Park and would be involved in the story development of The Secret of NIMH, All Dogs Go to Heaven, Rock-A-Doodle, and A Troll in Central Park.
While Bluth primarily served as film director and Goldman primarily served as film producer, Pomeroy was charged with supervising the actual animation process. Following the critical and commercial success of An American Tail, the studio was moved to Dublin, Ireland. Following work on their next feature The Land Before Time, Pomeroy and a group of animators returned to Burbank, California where they would head the studio responsible for the majority of the actual animation process on the latter films like All Dogs Go to Heaven and Thumbelina.
When Disney was experiencing their renaissance, Don Bluth Productions was experiencing a decline with films following All Dogs Go to Heaven that were critical and commercial failures. Pomeroy became disenchanted by his work hardly being seen and would leave after completing A Troll in Central Park, although he would direct animation on The Pebble and the Penguin on his way out.
Return to Disney[edit | edit source]
Upon returning to Disney, Pomeroy served as supervising animator on leading man John Smith in Pocahontas. He was then recruited to supervising the animation of the title character in The Firebird Suite segment of Fantasia 2000 as well as providing additional animation for The Tigger Movie. He then became supervising animator of Milo in Atlantis: The Lost Empire, commentating that the character was the closest in his then thirty years in the business to animating a self-portrait. After supervising the animation of the opening Captain Flint sequence in Treasure Planet, Pomeroy was released by Disney during its attempted transition into producing only CG animated features.
Freelance[edit | edit source]
Following a minor, uneventful stint with DreamWorks, which itself was going through a similar transition to only CG animated features, Pomeroy worked on Curious George as a supervising animator and then did animation on The Simpsons Movie. He would make a return trip to Disney animating two Wild About Safety shorts and then serving as story artist on the Tinker Bell movies Tiner Bell and the Lost Treasure and Tinker Bell and the Great Fair Rescue.
Pomeroy also reunited briefly with Bluth and Goldman to oversee the development of the Dragon's Lair 3D video game. He has since ventured into sculpting and returned to painting, with the latter he opened exhibitions in fine art galleries across the country. He currently serves on the elders board at a Village Christian School in Sun Valley, California.
Personal Life[edit | edit source]
Pomeroy was previously married to Lorna Cook from their first stay in Disney to before she returned to Disney following work on Rock-A-Doodle. Cook would be credited as Lorna Pomeroy beginning with the Disney short The Small One until All Dogs Go to Heaven, on which she was credited as Lorna Pomeroy-Cook. Upon her return to Disney as an animator on Beauty and the Beast, she was thereafter credited as Lorna Cook. Cook provided the voice of Officer Kimberly in the Space Ace video game animated by Don Bluth Productions and she would go on to co-direct Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron for DreamWorks.
Filmography[edit | edit source]
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977)
- Animator: Tigger - Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too
- The Rescuers (1977)
- Animator: Penny
- Pete's Dragon (1977)
- Animator: Elliot
- The Small One (1978)
- Directing Animator: The Donkey, Saint Joseph
- Banjo the Woodpile Cat (1979)
- Animator: Crazy-Legs, Cleo, Marina, Zazu
- The Fox and the Hound (1981)
- Animator: Amos Slade, (Uncredited)
- The Secret of NIMH (1982)
- Directing Animator: Mr. Ages, Jeremy, Dragon, The Great Owl, Nicodemus, Justin, Jenner
- Dragon's Lair (1983)
- Animator: Princess Daphne
- An American Tail (1986)
- Directing Animator: Fievel, Honest John, Tiger, Warren T. Rat,
- The Land Before Time (1988)
- Directing Animator: Cera, Rooter,
- Animator: Littlefoot (Uncredited)
- All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989)
- Directing Animator: Charlie, Itchy, King Gator
- Rock-A-Doodle (1992)
- Directing Animator: Chanticleer
- Thumbelina (1994)
- Supervising Directing Animator - Los Angeles
- A Troll in Central Park (1994)
- Supervising Directing Animator: Stanley
- The Pebble and the Penguin (1995)
- Directing Animator: Drake
- Pocahontas (1995)
- Supervising Animator: John Smith
- Fantasia 2000 (1999)
- Supervising Animator: The Firebird - The Firebird Suite
- The Tigger Movie (2000)
- Additional Animator
- Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)
- Supervising Animator: Milo James Thatch
- Treasure Planet (2002)
- Supervising Animator: Captain Flint and His Crew
- Curious George (2006)
- Supervising Animator: Maggie, Clovis
- Storyboard Artist
- The Simpsons Movie (2007)
- Wild About Safety: Timon and Pumbaa Safety Smart Goes Green! (2009)
- Wild About Safety: Timon and Pumbaa Safety Smart in the Water! (2009)
- Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure (2009)
- Storyboard Artist
- Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue (2010)
- Additional Storyboard Artist