Michael "Mike" Disa is an American film director, screenwriter, and animator. He began working as an animator at Disney in the mid-1990s, where he was involved with several films. He also worked on animated films for other studios during this time, including Looney Tunes: Back in Action, and Barnyard. He made his directorial debut with The Origin of Stitch, Disney's 2005 direct-to-DVD short sequel to Lilo & Stitch. At one point he was attached to direct a computer-animated prequel to Disney's 1937 film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, but he dropped out due to creative differences, and the project was cancelled. After growing disillusioned with Disney, Disa left the studio to become an independent filmmaker. His first feature film, Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil was released in 2011. Disa followed this with Postman Pat: The Movie, which was released in 2014.
|Education||St. Joseph High School|
|Alma mater||Northern Illinois University|
|Occupation||Film director, screenwriter, animator|
Disa was raised in the southern side of Chicago, Illinois, near Marquette Park. His parents, Mike and Judy, were both graduates of Northern Illinois University, and his father worked as an art teacher for forty-two years at Curie Metropolitan High School and Harper High School. He grew up in a large Irish Catholic family and served as an altar boy at St. Francis of Assisi Parish, where his uncle was a pastor.
Disa moved to Los Angeles, California in 1990, where he was homeless for six months until he found a job doing digital cleanup of individual animation frames on educational CDs for $1.50 a frame. He went on to do effects works on films, video game design, freelance work on the animated television series Tiny Toons Adventures, and animation for Hanna-Barbera Productions. He eventually joined as an animator at the Walt Disney Company, where he worked on Pocahontas (1995), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996), Hercules (1997), Mulan (1998), Tarzan (1999), Fantasia 2000 (2000), The Tigger Movie (2000), Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001), Treasure Planet (2002), Home on the Range (2004), and Pooh's Heffalump Movie (2005). He also worked on Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003), before spending a year developing a film called Wings with Warner Bros. that ultimately was not produced. He then directed and co-wrote The Origin of Stitch (2005), a direct-to-DVD short sequel to Disney's 2002 Oscar-nominated film Lilo & Stitch. The Origin of Stitch earned a DVDX award nomination for best additional original material.
Disa worked as a storyboard artist on Nickelodeon's computer-animated film Barnyard (2006) and Disney's direct-to-DVD, computer-animated film Tinker Bell (2008). He left Disney for a time, but was asked to return to the studio to develop The Seven Dwarfs, a computer-animated prequel to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which would have been produced by DisneyToon Studios. He left over creative differences when executives wanted Dopey to talk, a decision that he felt disrespected the original film in which the character is silent. The film was cancelled by 2007, and growing frustrated with the creative restraints of working on studio produced films, Disa left to become an independent filmmaker. He spent a year working on Rob Zombie's animated film The Haunted World of El Superbeasto (2009), and was then asked to direct a sequel to the 2005 independent, computer-animated film Hoodwinked! Although he had not previously seen the film, he was impressed with the script and was announced as the film's director in March 2007. The film finished production in 2009 and was originally scheduled for release in January 2010, but its release was delayed by its distributor, The Weinstein Company. The film's production company, Kanbar Entertainment, claimed that this breached an agreement and sued The Weinstein Company in March 2010. This gave Disa six months to direct the direct-to-DVD animated films Dante's Inferno: An Animated Epic and Dead Space: Aftermath, both adaptations of video games by EA. Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil was released in April 2011.
Disa also voiced several characters in Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil such as Helmut, Spider, Rhino and HEA Agents 1 and 2.
In September 2011, Disa was announced as the director of Postman Pat: The Movie — You Know You're the One, a computer-animated, feature film adaptation of the British stop motion, children's television series Postman Pat. The film's release date was originally scheduled for May 2013, but was moved until May of the following year.
Disa met his wife, Laura Hogan, while at Northern Illinois University. He is a Catholic and his patron saint is St. Michael, the patron saint of police officers. Many of his family members were police officers, including his grandfather, and St. Michael was his father's patron saint as well.
|1991||Taz-Mania (TV Series)||Animation Posing Artist - 1 Episode|
|Yo Yogi! (TV Series)||Storyboard Artist - 19 Episodes" / Assistant Storyboard Artist - 4 Episodes|
|1992||Cool World||Effects Animator|
|Bébé's Kids||Effects Animator|
|1995||Casper||Digital Reference Technician|
|Pocahontas||Breakdown Artist||Native Americans|
|1996||The Hunchback of Notre Dame||Breakdown Animator||Phoebus|
|1998||Mulan||Additional Rough In-between Artist|
|1999||Tarzan||Additional Rough Inbetweener|
|2000||Fantasia 2000||Animating Assistant|
|The Tigger Movie||Additional Animator|
|2001||Atlantis: The Lost Empire||Animator||Mrs. Wilhelmina Bertha Packard and Mister Fenton Q. Harcourt|
|2002||Treasure Planet||Animator||Long John Silver's Pirate Crew|
|2003||Captain Sturdy: The Originals (TV Short)||Additional Animator|
|Looney Tunes: Back in Action||Animator|
|2004||Home on the Range||Animator||Alameda Slim and Junior the Buffalo|
|Cartoon Monsoon (TV Series)||Writer / Director - 1 Episode|
|Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers (Video)||Character Animator|
|2005||Pooh's Heffalump Movie||Key Animator|
|The Origin of Stitch (Video short)||Director|
|2008||Tinker Bell (Video)||Storyboards|
|2009||The Haunted World of El Superbeasto (Video)||Co-Director / Sequence Director|
|2010||Dante's Inferno: An Animated Epic (Video)||Co-Director|
|2011||Dead Space: Aftermath (Video)||Supervising Director / Story / Sequence Director / Voice Director / CG Storyboard Artist|
|Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil||Director / Screenplay / voiceover actor / Storyboard Artist||Helmut (voice) / Spider (voice) / Rhino (voice) / Agent 1 & 2 (voice)|
|2014||Space Dogs: Adventure to the Moon||English Version Director / Writer / Additional Voice|
|Postman Pat: The Movie||Director||Jess / UMD 300 (voice)|
|2017||Space Dogs Family (TV Series)||Producer / Writer|
|Wacky Races (TV Series)||Director - 2 Episodes / Producer / Story by - 2 Episodes / Written by - 1 Episode|
- Mark McGowan (Fall 2011). "Movie Mentor". myniu.com. Retrieved January 17, 2013.
- Jessica Sabbah (April 28, 2011). "Hollywood quite a draw for Southwest Side native". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved January 17, 2013.
- Peggy Bowers (April 28, 2011). "An Interview with Catholic Hollywood Director Mike Disa". integratedcatholiclife.org. Retrieved January 17, 2013.
- "2012 Alumni Awards". myniu.com. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
- Sarah Baisley (April 2, 2007). "Mike Disa to Helm Hoodwinked 2: Hood Vs Evil". Animation World Magazine. Retrieved January 19, 2013.
- Jim Hill (June 20, 2007). "Say "So Long !" to direct-to-video sequels : DisneyToon Studios tunes out Sharon Morrill". jimhillmedia.com. Retrieved January 19, 2013.
- Mercedes Milligan (April 25, 2011). "Animated People: Mike Disa, Director of 'Hoodwinked Too!'". Animation Magazine. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
- Cory Edwards (March 25, 2007). "Hoodwinked 2: Director Hired". coryedwards.com. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
- Joe Flint (December 16, 2009). "Weinstein Co. delaying 'Hoodwinked' sequel". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
- Johnson, Ted (March 31, 2010). "Kanbar Entertainment files suit against Weinstein". Variety. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
- "The Trailer for Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil". ComingSoon.net. February 10, 2011. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
- Tom Fordy (September 16, 2011). "Postman Pat To Finally Deliver On The Silver Screen?". thehollywoodnews.com. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
- Mercedes Milligan (April 16, 2012). "'Postman Pat' Film Gets Release Date". Animation Magazine. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
- "Postman Pat". filmdates.co.uk. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
- Chris Douvalas (February 21, 2004). "Animator Mike Disa The state of animation". animatedbuzz.com. Retrieved January 18, 2013.