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Mark L. Dindal (born 1960) is an American film director, effects animator, screenwriter, character designer, storyboard artist and voice actor, who is famous for having directed popular films like Cats Don't Dance (1997), The Emperor's New Groove (2000), and Chicken Little (2005). He worked in many Disney projects as an effects animator, and also led the special effects for several films, such as The Little Mermaid (1989) and The Rescuers Down Under (1990).
Mark Louis Dindal
1960 (age 59–60)
|Occupation||Film director, screenwriter, effects animator, character designer, storyboard artist, voice actor|
Early Years/Effects Animator at Disney (1960-1988)Edit
Growing up, Dindal was influenced by Disney films and Warner Bros. Saturday cartoons. One of his earliest influence was Disney's The Sword in the Stone, which he saw with his grandmother at the age of three. It also helped him to go to a career in animation with help from his dad who took art as a hobby and taught Dindal to draw while growing up in Syracuse, New York.
As a high schooler, Dindal went to Jamesville-DeWitt High School, in which he attended most of the art classes that the school had offer. Dindal learned animation at CalArts. He began working at Disney in 1980. His work included The Fox & the Hound (1981), The Black Cauldron (1985), Mickey's Christmas Carol (1983), The Great Mouse Detective (1986), and Oliver & Company (1988), each following a very similar animation style in all the films. This style consisted of similar backgrounds with delicate animation and complex character effects, and was well received.
Leaving and Returning to Disney (1986-1992)Edit
After these projects, Dindal left Disney around 1986 to briefly work on outside projects with Filmation and worked on projects like BraveStarr and The Brave Little Toaster. He returned to the studio in 1987 and got his first head role as a visual effects supervisor for The Little Mermaid (1989). He later worked as head animator for the film The Rescuers Down Under (1990). He directed the animated segment for the live-action film The Rocketeer (1991), and worked as an effects animator on the animated film Aladdin (1992).
Dindal as the Director (1997-2000)Edit
Dindal's directorial debut was Cats Don't Dance, which was released in 1997, three years before The Emperor's New Groove was released in 2000. In Cats Don't Dance Dindal voiced Max. The film won the Annie Award for Best Animated Film and Dindal was nominated for directing. The Emperor's New Groove was initially expected to be a Disney musical feature called Kingdom of the Sun. However, the idea didn't work out, and Dindal, along with Chris Williams and David Reynolds, changed the script to a comedy. During the six-year production, he started to work on Cats Don't Dance, a Turner Broadcasting (since merged into Warner Bros.) animated musical production.
Chicken Little (2005)Edit
Dindal worked on Chicken Little (2005), another Disney production, which needed a large animation team. Dindal voiced Morkubine Porcupine and Coach in the film. The film was nominated to several Annies, though Dindal was not nominated as a director. During the film's production, DisneyToon Studios produced Kronk's New Groove as a direct-to-video feature. As Dindal was working on Chicken Little at the time, he did not have a position on the staff. Later, Dindal created the TV series The Emperor's New School (2006–2008).
Post-Disney era (2006-present)Edit
In March 2006, a day after the DVD release of Chicken Little, Dindal and producer Randy Fullmer left the company because they were reportedly tired of dealing with then-WDFA head David Stainton. In the next few years, Dindal was attached as a director to several live-action films, including Sherlock's Secretary and Housebroken, both of which for Walden Media, and a film adaptation of the book Kringle for Paramount Pictures. In December of 2010, Dindal was directing at DreamWorks Animation an animated feature film titled Me and My Shadow, which would've combine both computer and traditional animation. By January 2012, he was no longer directing the film and was replaced by story artist Alessandro Carloni as director, and the film has been in development limbo since 2013. In July 2014, he was credited as the illustrator for a documentary film Restrung, centering on a Disney and Filmation collaborator Randy Fullmer on his career at Wyn Guitars from 2006. On November 12, 2018, it was announced that Dindal will direct an animated Garfield feature for Alcon Entertainment, with pre-production beginning the following month in Los Angeles. In March 2019, Dindal received story artist credit for the Nickelodeon film, Wonder Park. That same year, it was announced that Dindal will direct a film based on the Funko pop figures for Warner Animation Group. He is attached to the project alongside Pixar veteran Teddy Newton.
- Original version of Cats Don't Dance - long before Dindal was attached as director, Cats Don't Dance was initially a live-action/CG-animated hybrid film that would've involved Michael Jackson as producer, star, and musical consultant. By 1994, Jackson left the project entirely (for Turner Feature Animation; 1993).
- Kingdom of the Sun - an epic retelling of The Prince and the Pauper in the vein of The Lion King. The story was rewritten by 1998 as a screwball comedy titled The Emperor's New Groove (for Walt Disney Feature Animation; 1994).
- Original version of Chicken Little - the original version of Chicken Little would've followed an overreacting, doom and gloomy female chicken, that went to summer camp to build confidence so she wouldn't overreact, as well as to repair her relationship with her father. At the summer camp, she would uncover a nefarious plot that her camp counselor was planning against her hometown. The plot was completely reworked due to studio meddling and David Stainton becoming the new head of Walt Disney Feature Animation in 2003 (for Walt Disney Feature Animation; 2001).
- Sherlock's Secretary - a live-action film about a man who resides at the infamous home of Sherlock Holmes receives a letter requesting the help of Holmes. The man's life changes when he decides to take on this case (for Walden Media; 2006).
- Kringle - a film adaption of the book under the same name that tells the untold story of Santa Claus (for Paramount Pictures; 2007).
- Housebroken - a live-action film about a newly married couple’s talking pets, who must adjust to living together under one roof (for Walden Media; 2009).
- Me and My Shadow - (for DreamWorks Animation; 2010)
|1981||The Fox and the Hound||No||No||Yes||No||Effects animator (uncredited)|
|1982||Fun with Mr. Future||No||No||Yes||No|
|1983||Mickey's Christmas Carol||No||No||Yes||No||Effects animator|
|1985||The Black Cauldron||No||No||Yes||No|
|1986||The Great Mouse Detective||No||No||Yes||No|
|1987||Sport Goofy in Soccermania||No||No||Yes||No|
|The Brave Little Toaster||No||No||No||Yes||Effects animation consultant|
|Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night||No||No||Yes||No||Special effects animator|
|BraveStarr: The Legend||No||No||Yes||No||Effects animator|
|Oliver & Company||No||No||Yes||No|
|1989||The Little Mermaid||No||No||Yes||No||Visual effects supervisor|
|1990||The Prince and the Pauper||No||No||Yes||No||Storyboard artist|
|The Rescuers Down Under||No||No||Yes||No||Head effects animator|
|1991||The Rocketeer||Yes||No||Yes||No||Director: Nazi Invasion segment|
|1992||Frozen Assets||No||No||No||Yes||Animation sequence producer|
|Tom and Jerry: The Movie||No||No||Yes||No||Effects animator|
|The Little Mermaid||No||No||Yes||Yes||Effects consultant (1 episode), effects animator (2 episodes), storyboard artist (1 episode)|
|1993||Happily Ever After||No||No||Yes||No||Special effects animator|
|1997||Cats Don't Dance||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Story, character designer, storyboard artist, storyboard supervisor, voice of Max|
|2000||The Emperor's New Groove||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Story, voice of Kitty Yzma|
|2005||Chicken Little||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Story, character designer, voice of Morkubine Porcupine & Coach|
|Kronk's New Groove||No||No||No||Yes||Based on characters (uncredited)|
|2006-2008||The Emperor's New School||No||Yes||No||No||Creator, writer|
|2019||Wonder Park||No||No||Yes||No||Story Artist|
|TBA||Untitled animated Garfield film||Yes||No||No||No|
|Untitled Funko film||Yes||No||No||No|
Awards and nominationsEdit
- Best Individual Achievement: Directing in a Feature Production for Cats Don't Dance (Annie) (1997)
- Outstanding Individual Achievement for Writing in an Animated Feature Production for The Emperor's New Groove (Annie) (2001)
- Outstanding Individual Achievement for Directing in an Animated Feature Production for The Emperor's New Groove (Annie) (2001)
- Best Animated Feature for The Emperor's New Groove (Annie) (2001)
- Best Animated or Mixed Media Feature for The Emperor's New Groove & Chicken Little (Satellite Award) (2000; 2005)
- Best Animated Feature for Chicken Little (Critics' Choice Movie Awards) (2005)
- Best Animated Feature for Cats Don't Dance (Annie) (1997)
|Cats Don't Dance||The Emperor's New Groove||Chicken Little||The Emperor's New School||Restrung|
|The Walt Disney Company|
- Hulett, Steve (June 13, 2011). "The Mark Dindal Interview -- Part I". TAG Blog. Retrieved November 27, 2011.
- Lanpher, Dorse A. (2010-10-19). Flyin' Chunks and Other Things to Duck: Memoirs of a Life Spent Doodling for Dollars. iUniverse. pp. 176–. ISBN 978-1-4502-6099-2. Retrieved 20 May 2011.
- "Chicken Little - Production Information". The Walt Disney Company Nordic. Archived from the original on May 29, 2016. Retrieved December 26, 2016.
- Strike, Joe (November 1, 2000). "Mark Dindal's Place in the Sun". Animation World Network. Retrieved December 27, 2014.
- "Mark Dindal biography". tribute.ca. Retrieved July 4, 2015.
- Hill, Jim (October 5, 2006). "A special "No nudes is good news" edition of Why For". Jim Hill Media. Retrieved December 27, 2014.
- "Mark Dindal to Direct 'Sherlock's Secretary'". MovieWeb. August 11, 2006. Retrieved December 27, 2014.
- McNary, Dave (October 12, 2009). "Dindal draws 'Housebroken'". Variety. Retrieved December 27, 2014.
- LaPorte, Nicole (February 27, 2007). "Paramount gets tough with Santa myth". Variety. Retrieved May 17, 2015.
- DreamWorks Animation (December 10, 2010). "DreamWorks Animation Pioneers Groundbreaking Combination of CG and Hand-Drawn Animation Techniques in Me and My Shadow for March 2013" (Press release). PR Newswire. Retrieved December 27, 2014.
- Kit, Borys (January 31, 2012). "DreamWorks Animation Sets Voice Cast for 'Me & My Shadow' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 1, 2012.
- "DreamWorks Animation Pushes Back Release for 'Mr. Peabody & Sherman'". The Hollywood Reporter. February 5, 2013. Retrieved December 26, 2016.
- "Mark Dindal To Direct All-Animated 'Garfield' Feature For Alcon". Cartoon Brew. November 12, 2018.
- Fleming, Mike (September 16, 2019). "Warner Bros Animation Plans Funko Film Based On Collectible Figures". Deadline.