Bob Stanton Bob Stanton

Robert “Bob” Stanton, a background artist and art director who worked at Disney throughout the 1990s, died on August 13. His death was announced on Facebook by Waysun, the video game company where he was working.

Hailing from L.A., Stanton graduated from California’s Orange Coast College with a degree in illustration and animation in 1983. He did stints at a number of studios including Filmation, where he drew backgrounds for Ghostbusters and She-Ra: Princess of Power, before joining Walt Disney Feature Animation in 1988.

Stanton arrived the studio just in time for its second golden age. He went on to produce backgrounds and color scripts for its greatest films of the period, such as The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, The Lion King, Mulan, and Lilo & Stitch (by which point he was serving as background supervisor). He was also art director on the 2000 short John Henry.

Bob Stanton, The Lion King Bob Stanton, Pocahontas
"Mulan" colorscript by Stanton.
“Mulan” colorscript by Stanton.

When the Florida studio where he was based was wound down in 2003, Stanton left Disney, and joined other alumni of the unit at the newly formed Project Firefly Animation Studios. He spent three years there as an art director, background lead, and staff artist. Other animation roles followed, including creating color keys at Blue Sky Studios and art-directing the 2014 home-release movie Henry & Me.

But the last 15 years of his career saw Stanton work chiefly in the video games industry. He did art direction, production design, and concept artwork for developers including Zeegee Games and Jam City, as well as Disney’s own Interactive Media Group unit, where his credits include the games Toy Story 3 and Tron: Evolution.

Bob Stanton, Toy Story 3 Bob Stanton, Tron: Evolution

Upon Stanton’s death, his Waysun colleague Hannah O’Brien shared the following memory on Facebook:

Bob Stanton was an intuitive creative and had such a big heart. At work, I remember a few weeks prior, he was showing me some art he was creating for a project we were working on.

I said “Wow, Bob, that’s so good!”

He said, “If you could see my progression over the years, it would give you hope.”

Stanton’s wife of 17 years, Mindy, died last year. The couple are survived by their two teenage sons, Jude and Everest. The family has set up a fundraiser to assist Stanton’s sons. Stanton is also survived by an adult son from an earlier marriage, Tyrus, as well as a step-daughter, Raina.

Stanton, who was background supervisor on "Mulan," posed for this series of photos with his background crew. He is standing in the middle of each photo, wearing a costume.
Stanton, who was background supervisor on “Mulan,” posed for this series of photos with his background crew. He is standing in the middle of each photo, wearing a costume.

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Alex Dudok de Wit

Alex Dudok de Wit

Alex Dudok de Wit is Associate Editor of Cartoon Brew.

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