DNEG is getting serious about character animation. The vfx titan has expanded its feature animation unit’s senior creative team with two new hires, as it builds up its slate of projects in development and production.
Ted Ty (image at top, left) joins DNEG Feature Animation as global head of character animation, based in Montreal. An alumnus of both Disney and Dreamworks Animation, Ty comes with 25 years’ experience in 2d and 3d animation. His credits include Mulan, Lilo & Stitch, Rise of the Guardians, and How to Train Your Dragon 2. He was most recently co-director and head of animation of the upcoming Fireheart from Montreal’s L’Atelier Animation.
Archie Donato (right) joins the division’s London hub as vfx supervisor on an unidentified “major animated event release.” Based until now in L.A., Donato worked for leading vfx companies including Rhythm & Hues, Industrial Light & Magic, and Technicolor. He also did a 16-year stint at Dreamworks, where he served as cg lead on Kung Fu Panda, lighting supervisor on Rise of the Guardians, and cg supervisor on Mr. Peabody & Sherman, among other roles. He was most recently vfx supervisor on series including Apple TV+’s Home Before Dark and Netflix’s Messiah.
DNEG Feature Animation is led by managing director Tom Jacomb, a former Dreamworks producer. David Prescott left Skydance last year to join the team as svp of creative production.
The unit’s first release will be Ron’s Gone Wrong, a cg family feature it is producing with London’s Locksmith Animation. Disney is set to release the film on October 22. DNEG is the production partner of (and a shareholder in) Locksmith, which has billed itself as “the first high-end cg feature animation studio” in the U.K.
Aside from Ron’s Gone Wrong, the division has three projects in production, including the animated musical feature Under the Boardwalk for Paramount Animation, which is set for July 22, 2022. It has several more films in development, including a recently announced adaptation of The Great Gatsby, to be directed by William Joyce.