DiscoverBuild Your Network663: Tom Bancroft | From Hobby to Veteran Disney Animator
663: Tom Bancroft | From Hobby to Veteran Disney Animator

663: Tom Bancroft | From Hobby to Veteran Disney Animator

Update: 2021-07-27


When you have a motivation beyond career building, what you do becomes a mission. Veteran Disney animator Tom Bancroft (“Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin,” “The Lion King,” “Pocahontas,” “Mulan,” “Mary Poppins Returns”) is the founder of Pencilish Animation Studios, the world’s first, brand new crowd-owned animation studio - where fans become the owners.

Its vision is to create high-quality animated projects that connect with audiences of all ages. Tom, having animated on a number of top box office hits, has created characters in some of the most popular and profitable animated features of all time. To this day he continues to freelance with Disney’s theatrical division.

Dive right into the episode and hear from the master, the journey that led him from a passionate hobby to a veteran Disney Animator.

Things you will learn in this episode: 

[00:01 - 07:16 ] Opening Segment  

  • I introduce today’s guest, Tom Bancroft
  • Tom gives us some background on his story
  • The start of the love for animation
  • Growing up in competition with his twin
  • Tom talks about the decision to turn this into a career

[07:18 - 20:19 ] From Hobby to Veteran Disney Animator 

  • Tom shares the influences on his style 
  • A student of animation and illustration
  • Living through the ‘hey-day’ of comic books
  • The influence of Mad Magazine
  • Tom talks about getting work with Charlie Brown
  • The connections that led to it 
  • Getting taken seriously as an animator 
  • Getting an internship at Disney
  • The feeling of making the jump to big time animation 
  • Going into the second renaissance of Disney

[20:20 - 37:49 ] Movie Making from an Animator’s Perspective 

  • The importance of good communication in complex animation 
  • The key is storyboards
  • Communicating intention in each frame
  • Leaving room for artist interpretation 
  • The example of Mulan
  • When things don’t work when put together 
  • Catching things early on 
  • From Disney to Big Idea
  • Feeling a calling 
  • The opportunities that came
  • The new dynamics
  • A word from our sponsor

[37:50 - 54:39 ] Tom Bancroft on Future Projects and Building Your Network

  • Tom talks about his project Pencilish 
  • The vehicle of launch
  • Animated IP 
  • The testing element 
  • The distribution model 
  • How to get involved?
  • Links below
  • Who you know or what you know?
  • They go hand in hand 
  • Tom’s thoughts on CGI vs. cartoon animation
  • 2D is not dead

[54:40 - 59:47 ] Closing Segment

  • ThE RaNDoM RoUnD
  • How to engage with Tom
  • Links below 
  • Final words 

Tweetable Quotes: 

“I felt a calling… and because of that I think I had a motivation that was beyond just career building or ladder climbing. I was going for a different reason, it was almost a mission to me.” - Tom Bancroft

Resources Mentioned: 

Connect and engage with Tom on Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Feeling inspired? Be sure to visit and get involved with everything happening. 

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663: Tom Bancroft | From Hobby to Veteran Disney Animator

663: Tom Bancroft | From Hobby to Veteran Disney Animator

Travis Chappell