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‘Inner Workings’ Director Leo Matsuda Sets His Sights On Directing Features

Leo Matsuda, the director of the offbeat Disney short Inner Workings, is looking to make his feature directorial debut.

Leo Matsuda.
Leo Matsuda.

Matsuda left Disney three months ago to pursue new opportunities as a director. He has signed on with both WME and Gotham Group for representation, and is taking meetings around town, looking for the right project.

In a statement to Cartoon Brew, Matsuda explained that leaving Disney was not an easy choice. “Disney was the most incredible studio to work for and will always remain close to my heart. I learned so much from John Lasseter and all my talented peers at Disney, and I can say without hesitance that I am what I am today as a professional due to the generosity and support of the entire Disney Team.”

In addition to directing Inner Workings, which opened last November in front of Moana and was shortlisted in the Academy Awards animated short category, Matsuda worked as a story artist at Disney. His credits include Zootopia, Big Hero 6, and Wreck-It Ralph, the latter of which earned him an Annie Award nomination for storyboarding.

Prior to Disney, Matsuda, a CalArts grad, had worked in the story department at Blue Sky Studios and character layout on The Simpsons Movie.

He was featured as an artist of the day on Cartoon Brew in 2014. To see more of his work, visit his Tumblr, Instagram, or Blogspot.

  • Cameron Ward

    I’m down. Any way we can bring in new talent in terms of directors with new ideas for animation, i’ll support.

  • Axolotl

    Woo, knock ’em dead, Leo!!!

  • Melissa Palmer

    INNER WORKINGS delivered a great message and was really fun to watch. I can not wait to see what he does next. I’m a fan!

  • Matt Norcross

    I’d love to see Disney do a feature film in the vein of Inner Workings some time. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of their current animated features are beautiful and have great stories, but I’d love to see them have fun once in a while.