Former Walt Disney animator Aaron Blaise has confessed he is a “HUGE animal lover.” And in fact, he, like the rest of the world, was saddened by the untimely death of the much beloved Cecil the lion. And for Blaise, who was one of the animators behind the hit animated film “The Lion King,” there was only one way to honor the fallen lion: to animate him.
Since getting his certificate in Illustration from the Ringling College of Art back in 1989, Blaise had spent 21 years as one of the animators for Walt Disney Feature Animation. Here, he worked on various hit animated films including “Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin,” “Mulan,” “Pocahontas” and “The Rescuers Down Under.”
After some time, Blaise left Walt Disney to open a new animation studio called Tradition Studios. And although the studio went bankrupt and closed after a short time, Blaise got to work on a film about a little African Elephant called “The Legend of Tembo.” This last project with his former animation studio may have been what drew him closer to animals and wildlife.
As Blaise explained, “I’ve decided to get personally involved and hopefully our efforts can help educate people and prevent these horrible things from happening in the future.” Hence, Blaise created a tribute image and even posted the time lapse video that showed everyone how the image was carefully created. You can watch the Blaise’s time lapse video here.
After being a longtime animator, Blaise has gone back to painting while also providing lessons on animation, painting and videos on his very own website.