David Feiss (born 1959) is an American animator, storyboard artist, screenwriter, and director.[3] Feiss began his career working for Hanna-Barbera in the late 1970s. He received his first credit for the 1981 adult animated film Heavy Metal. He gained notoriety throughout the late 1980s and 1990s as an animator for Jetsons: The Movie, Once Upon a Forest, The Town Santa Forgot, and The Ren & Stimpy Show, among others.

David Feiss
David Feiss at Chile Monos 2018 (cropped, 1).jpg
Feiss in 2018
Born1959 (age 63–64)
Occupation(s)Animator, storyboard artist, screenwriter, director
Years active1978–present
Pilar Menendez
(m. 1983; div. 2009)
Annmarie Ashkar Feiss
(m. 2009)
[citation needed]
RelativesSam Kieth (cousin)

In 1995, Cartoon Network, in search of aspiring creators of original programming, launched their animated series What a Cartoon!, which featured a showcase of animated shorts from up-and-coming animators, including Craig McCracken, Genndy Tartakovsky, and Van Partible. Feiss' pilot, "No Smoking", was among the first shorts broadcast on the network and follows the unconventional sibling rivalry between a young cow named Cow and her older brother, a chicken named Chicken, as well as their human parents. The pilot was approved by the network for a full series run, which premiered on July 15, 1997, and ran for four seasons. A spin-off series following the duo of I.M. Weasel and I.R. Baboon, two characters featured in intermediate segments of Cow and Chicken, premiered on June 10, 1999, as a standalone series and ran for one season.

Since Cow and Chicken and I Am Weasel, Feiss has continued to work in the animation industry on projects such as The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Dave the Barbarian, Open Season, Despicable Me 2, The Grinch, The Willoughbys, Hotel Transylvania: Transformania, and Minions: The Rise of Gru.


Feiss was born in Sacramento, California. He joined Hanna-Barbera around 1978 while still a teenager after graduating Casa Roble High School.[3][4]

He worked on the 1980s revival of The Jetsons, was a key animator on the Jetsons movie, co-animated the Ren and Stimpy pilot "Big House Blues", was an animation director on The Ren & Stimpy Show during its first season and created the Cartoon Network original series Cow and Chicken and its spin-off, I Am Weasel. Feiss stated that The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends was the primary influence for his work.[5] On his shows, David directed every episode and also worked as a writer, his writing credits usually collaborated with Michael Ryan.

Feiss co-directed the animated segments of The Adventures of Hyperman, a computer game released in 1995 by IBM.

In issues #5 and #30 of his cousin Sam Kieth's comic book The Maxx, David showcased his work with The Crappon (which looks like the Warner Bros. frog mascot Michigan J. Frog), Fred Flower and Uncle Italian Moose, which had a very similar style to Cow and Chicken (they are reprinted in WildStorm's The Maxx Volumes 1 and 5 trades). Feiss also collaborated with Kieth on a story featured in Parody Press's 1992 one-shot comic book Pummeler, spoofing Marvel Comics' famous character The Punisher.[6]

In 2006, he was the head of story for Sony's first CG animated film, Open Season.


Year Title Role Notes
1979 C.H.O.M.P.S. assistant animator: title sequence
1981 Heavy Metal animator: segment "Taarna"
1982 Heidi's Song assistant animator
1985 The Body Electric director
1987 The Chipmunk Adventure animator
ALF: The Animated Series animator: opening title sequence
1988 ALF Tales director/producer
Kissyfur director/producer (Season 2, with Marek Buchwald)
The Chipmunks producer
Katy Meets the Aliens animator
1990 Jetsons: The Movie key animator
Rockin' Through the Decades animator
1991 The Ren & Stimpy Show animation director
1993 A Cool Like That Christmas director (with Swinton O. Scott III)/storyboard artist
Once Upon a Forest animator
Droopy, Master Detective storyboard artist
The Town Santa Forgot storyboard artist
A Flintstone Family Christmas storyboard artist
1993–1995 The Pink Panther storyboard artist
1994 Bobby's World storyboard artist: 3 episodes
1996 All Dogs Go to Heaven 2 storyboard artist/character designer/directing animator
1997–1999 Cow and Chicken creator/writer/story/storyboard artist/director[7]
1997–2000 I Am Weasel creator/story/storyboard artist/director/animation director
2000-2003 The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy animation layout/storyboard artist: segments "Meet the Reaper" & "Smarten Up!"
2000 Lost Cat writer/storyboard artist/director/character designer
2002 Poochini's Yard storyboard artist: segments "The Skunk" & "Queen Bee"
2002 No Prom for Cindy writer
2004–2005 Dave the Barbarian main title storyboard artist/storyboard artist: segment "The Way of the Dave"
2006 Open Season head of story
2007 The ChubbChubbs Save Xmas writer
2008 El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera storyboard artist: segment "The Return of Plata Peligrosa"
2009 Astro Boy Cowboy Robot storyboard artist
2011 Rango storyboard artist
Thriller Night writer
Gift of the Night Fury story artist
2012 YooHoo & Friends Santa Claus creator, director, executive producer, writer, character designer, storyboard artist
2013 Despicable Me 2 additional story artist
Free Birds storyboard artist
2014 Super Manny, Earl Scouts, Steve's First Bath, and Attack of the 50 Ft. Gummy Bear[8] director
The Boxtrolls additional story artist
Penguins of Madagascar storyboard artist
2015 Minions additional story artist
Hotel Transylvania 2 story artist
2015 Open Season: Scared Silly[9] director
2017 Smurfs: The Lost Village story artist
Despicable Me 3 additional story artist
The Emoji Movie story artist (uncredited)
2018 Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation storyboard artist
The Grinch additional story artist
2019 UglyDolls storyboard artist
The Secret Life of Pets 2 story artist
Santa's Little Helpers story
2020 The Willoughbys storyboard artist
2022 Hotel Transylvania: Transformania story artist, end credits animation director and designer
For Gunter's Eyes Only director (with David Pellé)
Minions: The Rise of Gru story artist
2023 Hitpig director (with Cinzia Angelini)


David Feiss has received an array of critical accolades since his entrance to the animation industry.

Year Award Category Program Shared with Result
1988 Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Achievement in Graphics and Title Design ALF Kevin Altieri and Richard Raynis Nominated
1994 Annie Awards Best Individual Achievement for Story Contribution in the Field of Animation A Flintstone Family Christmas Nominated
1996 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming One Hour or Less) Cow and Chicken
for "No Smoking"
Buzz Potamkin, Larry Huber, Pilar Menendez, Sam Kieth Nominated
1998 National Cartoonists Society NCS Division Award TV Animation Won
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming One Hour or Less) Cow and Chicken
for "Free Inside/Journey to the Center of Cow"
Davis Doi, Vincent Davis, Steve Marmel, Richard Pursel, Michael Ryan Nominated
2017 Annie Awards Outstanding Achievement in Directing in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production Open Season: Scared Silly Nominated


  1. ^ Fritz, Steve (November 13, 2000). "Meet Charlie Adler, The New King of Voice Actors". Mania.com. Archived from the original on December 12, 2013. Retrieved March 8, 2013. David got that idea from his wife, Pilar, who is Spanish.
  2. ^ "August Issue News Section". Animation World Network. August 1996. Retrieved December 31, 2016. ...Pilar Feiss, director,...
  3. ^ a b Lenburg, Jeff, Who's Who in Animated Cartoons: An International Guide to Film & Television (Applause Theater & Cinema Books, 2006), 80.
  4. ^ "Cow and Chicken and I Am Weasel by David Feiss - Creators". kurtwillmon.com. Retrieved 2020-09-14.
  5. ^ "From 'Cow & Chicken' to 'Open Season': Q&A with David Feiss". Cartoon Brew. November 2016. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  6. ^ "David Feiss". Comic Book Database. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
  7. ^ "Animator Profile - David Feiss". Cartoon Network. Archived from the original on May 16, 2006. Retrieved December 31, 2016.
  8. ^ "David Feiss". Sony Pictures Animation. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
  9. ^ Sony Pictures Animation (June 10, 2015). "OPEN SEASON is Back with a Brand New Comedy Adventure!" (Press release). PR Newswire. Retrieved June 10, 2015.

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