Byron Howard

Byron P. Howard (born December 26, 1968)[1] is an American film director, producer, screenwriter, animator, story artist and occasional voice actor at Walt Disney Animation Studios. He is best known as the co-director of Bolt (2008), Tangled (2010), and Zootopia (2016), and a supervising animator on Lilo & Stitch (2002) and Brother Bear (2003). He was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Tangled[2] and won an Oscar for Zootopia.

Byron Howard
Byron Howard.jpg
Born (1968-12-26) December 26, 1968 (age 51)
Alma materEvergreen State College
OccupationDirector, screenwriter, producer, animator, voice actor
EmployerWalt Disney Animation Studios (1994–present)
Notable work
Byron Howard Signature.svg

Early life and education

Howard was born in Misawa, Japan, and raised in both the outskirts of Philadelphia[3] and Issaquah, Washington, United States, in a middle-class family. He attended Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington.[4]


Howard began his career at Disney in 1994,[4] working as an animator on films including Pocahontas, Mulan, Lilo & Stitch and Brother Bear.[5][6] He was nominated for a 2003 Annie Award for Character Animation for Brother Bear.[7]

The first film Howard directed was the animated Disney film Bolt, which was nominated for the 2008 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.[8] In his role as co-director of the film with Chris Williams, Howard focused on character design and animation.[8] Howard went on to direct the animated Disney films Tangled (2010, co-directed with Nathan Greno) and Zootopia (2016, co-directed with Rich Moore).[9][10][11] He and Greno also co-directed and wrote the animated short Tangled Ever After, which features supporting characters from Tangled and showed in theaters before the 2012 3D re-release of Beauty and the Beast.[12]

As of November 2016, Howard is working with Lin-Manuel Miranda on an original animated film.[13] Howard will co-direct the film, tentatively titled Encanto, alongside Zootopia co-director Jared Bush and Charise Castro Smith, while Miranda will write songs for the project, which will center on a girl from a magical Colombian family who lacks magic herself.[14][15][16]

In 2009, Howard became a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.[17]

Personal life

In the Fusion documentary Imagining Zootopia, Howard mentioned he is openly gay and has been married since 1988.[3]


Feature films

Year Film Credited as
Director Writer Animator Executive Producer Other Voice Role Notes
1995 Pocahontas No No No No Yes In-between-er
1998 Mulan No No Yes No No Animator: Yao and Fa Family Ancestors
2002 Lilo & Stitch No No Supervising No Yes Supervising Animator: Cobra Bubbles
Character Design
2003 Brother Bear No No Supervising No No Supervising Animator: Kenai - Bear
2005 Chicken Little No No No No Yes Additional Story Artist
2008 Bolt Yes No No No Yes Additional Screenplay Material
2010 Tangled Yes No No No Yes Guard 2/Thug 2
2012 Wreck-It Ralph No No No No Yes Additional Visual Development
2016 Zootopia Yes Story No No Yes Bucky Orynx-Antlerson/Travis Visual Development Artist
Creative Leadership
2019 Frozen II No No No Yes Yes Creative Leadership
2021 Encanto [18][19] Yes No No No Yes

Creative Leadership Only

Year Title Role
2009 The Princess and the Frog Disney Story Trust - uncredited
2011 Winnie the Pooh
2013 Frozen
2014 Big Hero 6 Creative Leadership
2016 Moana
2018 Ralph Breaks the Internet
2021 Raya and the Last Dragon

Short films

Year Title Director Writer Supervising Animator Executive Producer Other Voice Role
2000 John Henry No No Yes No No
2009 Super Rhino No No No Yes No
2012 Tangled Ever After Yes Yes No No Yes Lantern Wrangler/Chef


Golden Globe Award
Academy Award

See also


  1. ^ Byron Howard [@ByronPHoward] (26 December 2015). "#Zootopia birthday wishes <3 thank you, my talented friend @LePrinceKido Can't wait to see you in Paris soon!" (Tweet) – via Twitter. /photo/1
  2. ^ a b Justin Kroll and Rachel Abrams, "Golden Globe Nomination Reactions," Variety, December 14, 2010.
  3. ^ a b "Imagining Zootopia - Part 7: Zootopia and Us".
  4. ^ a b Ally Sikora, "A long, drawn-out process," St. Petersburg Times, September 15, 2003.
  5. ^ Ramin Zahed, "Byron Howard to Direct New Disney Feature," Animation Magazine, May 6, 2013.
  6. ^ Borys Kit, "Disney, 'Tangled' Director Plot New Animated Feature With Jason Bateman," The Hollywood Reporter, May 3, 2013.
  7. ^ "31st Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners,", 2003.
  8. ^ a b Ellen Wolff, "Animated Oscar noms took long road," Variety, February 5, 2009.
  9. ^ Peter Debruge, "Film Review: 'Zootopia'," Variety, February 12, 2016.
  10. ^ Dan Sarto, "Byron Howard and Rich Moore Talk 'Zootopia'," Animation World Network, December 4, 2015.
  11. ^ Christina Radish, "'Zootopia': Rich Moore, Byron Howard on Their Animated World, Frank Capra Influences," Collider, January 20, 2016.
  12. ^ Noelene Clark, "'Tangled Ever After': Disney lets its hair down," Los Angeles Times, January 15, 2012.
  13. ^ Buchanan, Kyle (November 15, 2016). "Lin-Manuel Miranda Reveals He's Making a Secret Disney Film". Vulture. Retrieved November 16, 2016.
  14. ^ "Report: 'Zootopia' Directors Byron Howard and Jared Bush To Helm Disney Animation's Newest Film Centered on A Latinx Family". The DisnInsider. January 29, 2020. Retrieved January 29, 2020.
  15. ^ "Exclusive: Byron Howard and Jared Bush to Direct 'Encanto' For Walt Disney Animation Studios". The DisnInsider. June 17, 2020. Retrieved June 18, 2020.
  16. ^ Evans, Greg (June 22, 2020). "Lin-Manuel Miranda Confirms New Disney Animated Movie Set In Colombia". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 22, 2020.
  17. ^ Andrew Stewart, "AMPAS invites 134 to join ranks," Variety, June 30, 2009.
  18. ^ "Disney's Teaming Lin Manuel Miranda with Zootopia Co-Director for Secret Animated Film". Cinemablend.
  19. ^ Shuler, Skyler (June 17, 2020). "Exclusive: Byron Howard and Jared Bush to Direct 'Encanto' For Walt Disney Animation Studios".
  20. ^ Donnelly, Jim. "ZOOTOPIA IS THE 2017 OSCAR WINNER FOR ANIMATED FEATURE FILM". The Oscars. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 27 February 2017.

External links