Karen Disher

Karen Beth Disher (born August 7, 1972) is an American film director and storyboard artist in films, TV, cartoons and video games. She was an artist at Blue Sky Studios, an in-house studio at 20th Century Fox Animation (now 20th Century Animation).

Karen Disher
Karen Disher.jpg
Disher in 2015
Karen Beth Disher[1]

(1972-08-07) August 7, 1972 (age 49)
Alma materTisch School of the Arts[2]
OccupationFilm director, storyboard artist
Years active1993–present
EmployerBlue Sky Studios (2002–2021)
20th Century Animation (2021–present)
Spouse(s)Robert Partington (m. 2001–present)

Life and careerEdit

Disher studied traditional 2D animation at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. After graduation, she joined MTV Animation as a layout artist on Beavis and Butt-head. She then designed the main characters and was the supervising director on the hit series Daria.[1] Meanwhile, she directed two TV feature-length installments in the series, Is It Fall Yet? in 2000 and the follow-up Is It College Yet? in 2002. She then joined Blue Sky Studios, where she worked as a story artist on many animated films, including Robots, Ice Age: The Meltdown, Horton Hears a Who!, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, The Peanuts Movie, and Ferdinand. She was also the head of story on Rio,[3] and directed a short animated film Surviving Sid[3] and a television special Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas, both part of the Ice Age franchise. In addition to storyboarding and directing, she lent her voice to some minor characters in the films she worked on, most notably to Scratte in Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs.[4]

In 2018, Disher was tapped to co-direct Blue Sky's first feature-length musical, "Foster",[5] based on an original story written by Disher, co-director Steve Martino, and Tim Federle, with songs to be written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.

Personal lifeEdit

In 2001, Disher married Robert Todd Partington, then a supervisor of computer graphics and animation technologies for MTV Networks.[1]



Year Title Role Notes
1996 Beavis and Butt-head Do America key pose artist
1999 Life presenter, animator
2000 Is It Fall Yet? director/original character development/supervising director
2002 Is It College Yet? director/original character development/animation director
2005 Robots storyboard artist
2006 Ice Age: The Meltdown
2008 Horton Hears a Who! Who Kid
Surviving Sid (short film) S'more director
2009 Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs Scratte storyboard artist
2011 Rio Mother Bird head of story
2012 Ice Age: Continental Drift Scratte storyboard artist
2013 Epic
2014 Rio 2
2015 The Peanuts Movie[6]
2016 Ice Age: Collision Course
2017 Ferdinand
2019 Spies in Disguise additional story artist, Blue Sky senior creative team


Year Title Role Notes
1994–1997 Beavis and Butt-head layout artist
1997–2002 Daria Sally supervising director/original character designer
2011 Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas Molehog director

Video gamesEdit

Year Title Notes
2000 Daria's Inferno creative consultant


  1. ^ a b c "WEDDINGS; Karen Disher, Robert Partington". The New York Times. May 13, 2001. Retrieved October 29, 2013.
  2. ^ Tisch Special Programs (January 21, 2011). "Master Class with Karen Disher". YouTube. Retrieved October 29, 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Karen Disher in Tisch Asia: Metamorphosis of a Film". Tisch Asia Blog. November 26, 2010. Retrieved October 29, 2013.
  4. ^ "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs - Production Notes" (PDF). Visual Hollywood. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 1, 2014. Retrieved October 29, 2013. Karen Disher, who heads the film’s story department, voices Scratte. But Disher’s responsibilities extended beyond her vocal work. Unlike the film’s main story, scripted by Michael Berg & Peter Ackerman and Mike Reiss and Yoni Brenner, from a story by Jason Carter Eaton, the story department, working closely with Saldanha, created the Scrat-Scratte scenes. Disher and her team embraced the task of inventing new challenges for the beloved Scrat. “Working on the Scrat-Scratte scenes is the purest form of animation,” she notes.
  5. ^ "Blue Sky Studios Hires First Female Director For Its First Animated Musical". February 14, 2018.
  6. ^ Beck, Jerry (October 5, 2015). "Behind the Scenes: The Making of The Peanuts Movie at the Schulz Museum". Animation Scoop. Retrieved November 20, 2015.

External linksEdit