skip navigation
Mike Gabriel

Mike Gabriel

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (0)

Also Known As: Michael Gabriel, Michael Richard Gabriel Died:
Born: November 5, 1954 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Long Beach, California, USA Profession: animator, animation director, character designer, animation storyman

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Viewing the Disney animated classic "Sleeping Beauty" (1959) inspired the five-year-old Mike Gabriel to become an animator. To achieve this goal, the future animation director began drawing everyday. Opportunity knocked unexpectedly in 1979 when the most promising of the new generation of Disney animators--Don Bluth, Gary Goldman and John Pomeroy (the nucleus of what would become Don Bluth Studios)--quit in disillusionment with the current company product and 11 others followed suit the next day leaving the studio's next scheduled feature only partially completed. Gabriel was hired that year as an assistant on "The Fox and the Hound" (released 1981). Gabriel earned his first animator credit on a short, "Fun with Mr. Future" (1982), which utilized new animation and live-action stock footage to speculate on future family life. He received his first feature animator credit on the lavish but uneven "The Black Cauldron" (1985) and advanced to character animator on "The Great Mouse Detective" (1986). Gabriel designed the canine and feline supporting players in this charming feature that was hailed as a return to form for the Disney animation department. He wore many hats on the mildly diverting "Oliver &...

Viewing the Disney animated classic "Sleeping Beauty" (1959) inspired the five-year-old Mike Gabriel to become an animator. To achieve this goal, the future animation director began drawing everyday. Opportunity knocked unexpectedly in 1979 when the most promising of the new generation of Disney animators--Don Bluth, Gary Goldman and John Pomeroy (the nucleus of what would become Don Bluth Studios)--quit in disillusionment with the current company product and 11 others followed suit the next day leaving the studio's next scheduled feature only partially completed. Gabriel was hired that year as an assistant on "The Fox and the Hound" (released 1981).

Gabriel earned his first animator credit on a short, "Fun with Mr. Future" (1982), which utilized new animation and live-action stock footage to speculate on future family life. He received his first feature animator credit on the lavish but uneven "The Black Cauldron" (1985) and advanced to character animator on "The Great Mouse Detective" (1986). Gabriel designed the canine and feline supporting players in this charming feature that was hailed as a return to form for the Disney animation department. He wore many hats on the mildly diverting "Oliver & Co." (1988), a musical animal cartoon take on Dickens' "Oliver Twist," serving as one of the storymen, character designers and supervising animators.

Gabriel made his feature directing debut co-directing the cartoon sequel "The Rescuers Down Under" (1990). Though a commercial disappointment compared to the animated musical blockbusters that immediately preceded and followed it, the straightforward adventure tale was notable as the first Disney feature to use the digital post-production technology (known as CAPS). This process allowed for unusual camera positioning and a wider array of art direction options. Shortly after finishing this project, Gabriel pitched the idea that would become his most high profile directing assignment--"Pocahontas" (1995). Working with co-director Eric Goldberg, he managed to craft a distinctively Disney-styled entertainment that presented a complex historical situation while still serving up catchy tunes and cute critters.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Pocahontas (1994)

CAST: (feature film)

VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Born in Long Beach, CA
:
Grew up in small towns like Salina, KS while moving around due to his father's Air Force job
:
Inspired to become an animator after seeing Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" at age 5; began drawing regularly
:
Began regular correspondence with the Disney animation studio at age 18; they offered encouragement but no job
:
Drew for six hours each day
:
Had a summer job drawing airline safety cards for a Stanton, CA-based company
:
Applied for work at Disney again; rejected
1979:
Joined the Disney Studio as an employee after Don Bluth, Gary Goldman, John Pomeroy and 11 other animators quit within two days, leaving the feature "The Fox and the Hound" partially completed
:
First Disney assignment, assisted on "The Fox and the Hound" (released 1981)
1982:
First credit as an animator, "Fun with Mr. Future", a Disney special featuring new animated sequences and live-action stock footage
1985:
First feature animator credit, Disney's "The Black Cauldron"
1986:
First feature credit as a character animator, "The Great Mouse Detective"; designed Toby and Felicia (the supporting dog and cat players)
1988:
Provided story (with 12 other writers), character design (with two other artists) and served as a supervising animator (with five others) on the cartoon feature "Oliver & Company"
1990:
Feature directing debut (as Michael Gabriel with Hendel Butoy), "The Rescuers Down Under"
1990:
Pitched the idea for "Pocahontas"
:
Wrote an outline for "Pocahontas"; worked closely with storyman Joe Grant on preliminary visual experimentation and story ideas
1995:
Directed (with Eric Goldberg) the highly touted "Pocahontas", reputedly the first Disney animated feature inspired by an actual historical subject
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Golden West College: Huntington Beach , California -

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Tammy Gabriel.

Family close complete family listing

daughter:
Kelsea Gabriel.
son:
Henry Gabriel.

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute