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Sep 19

A career in animation? Montrealer Ted Ty shares his Hollywood story

Beaconsfield native Ted Ty has a lot to boast about when it comes to his 22-year career as an animator in Hollywood.

After graduating from Concordia University’s communications studies program, Ty went on to study animation at the California Institute of the Arts, a Disney-founded school.

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    Soon after, he landed a job as an animation drawer for Walt Disney Animation Studios, where he worked for 10 years before moving to DreamWorks as a CG (computer generated) animator.

    Over the course of his career, Ty has worked on many familiar animations, including Disney blockbusters The Lion King, Mulan and Kung Fu Panda.

    “It was called King of the Jungle...everyone was thinking it would be less of a hit than Aladdin,” he told Global’s Laura Casella on Global News Morning.

    “Things turned out a little differently.”

    Ty describes the field of animation as “being an actor with a pencil,” but with the changing times, now sees himself more as an actor with a computer.

    Most recently, the veteran animator moved back to Montreal to take a position as animation director at l’Atelier Animation.

    A much smaller production house compared to behemoths Disney and Dreamworks, Ty said he enjoys the synergy that comes from a more tight-knit team.

    “It’s different in the sense that we have a smaller budget,” Ty said.

    “But it’s much better in the sense that it’s very flexible and quick and we can react quickly to story changes or anything artistic. We have a really good team there.”

    L’Atelier Animation’s 3D feature, Ballerina (Leap in the U.S.), is slated to be released in North America later this year.

    The film tells the story of Félicie, a young orphan girl with a passion for dancing.

    With the help of her best friend, Victor, she manages to escape from an orphanage and travel to Paris, where many challenges and intriguing encounters await her.

    It has already earned more than $70 million in box-office sales since its release in Europe on Dec. 14.