Open main menu

Kirk Wise (born August 24, 1963) is an American film director, animator and screenwriter best known for his work at Walt Disney Animation Studios. Wise has directed such Disney animated films as Beauty and the Beast, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Atlantis: The Lost Empire. He also directed the English-language translation of Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away.

Kirk Wise
Born (1963-08-24) August 24, 1963 (age 56)
OccupationFilm director, animator, screenwriter, producer
Years active1985–present


Wise graduated from Palo Alto High School and went on to study character animation at California Institute of the Arts. Early in his career, Wise worked as an animator on Disney's Sport Goofy in Soccermania (1987), The Great Mouse Detective (1986) and The Brave Little Toaster (1987), as well as Steven Spielberg's Amazing Stories episode "Family Dog".

Returning to Walt Disney Feature Animation, he began work on The Great Mouse Detective (1986) as an assistant animator, but eventually joined the story department, where he was reunited with former CalArts classmate, Gary Trousdale.

After working as storyboard artists on The Rescuers Down Under and The Prince and the Pauper, Wise and Trousdale were responsible for helming the celebrated Beauty and the Beast (1991), the first animated feature to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture.


Title Year Role
The Great Mouse Detective 1986 Assistant animator
Amazing Stories 1987 Principal animator (1 episode)
Sport Goofy in Soccermania Animator
The Brave Little Toaster Animation director (development)
Oliver & Company 1988 Writer, animating assistant
Cranium Command 1989 Voice of Hypothalamus, opening sequence director
The Rescuers Down Under 1990 Storyboard artist
The Prince and the Pauper
Beauty and the Beast 1991 Director, creative consultant
Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey 1993 Executive producer
The Lion King 1994 Additional story material
The Hunchback of Notre Dame 1996 Director
Atlantis: The Lost Empire 2001 Director, story
Spirited Away 2002 Director, ADR Director (U.S. production)
Open Season 2006 Special thanks
Oceans 2009 Executive Producer: Disneynature
Waking Sleeping Beauty Himself, caricaturist
2012 Disney History Connections: Colonial America 2012 Director (short)
Chimpanzee Creative consultant
Aldabra: Once Upon an Island 2015
Beauty and the Beast 2017
Untitled Animated Project[1] TBA Director


Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise have cast certain actors in more than one of their films.

Beauty and
the Beast
The Hunchback
of Notre Dame
The Lost Empire
Jack Angel
Mary Kay Bergman
Corey Burton
Jim Cummings
Bill Farmer
Tony Jay
Patrick Pinney
Phil Proctor
Kath Soucie
David Ogden Stiers
Frank Welker


  1. ^ "Tab Murphy - Biography". IMDb. Retrieved February 11, 2017.

External linksEdit