Mike Jones

Assistant Professor, Director of Animation

Can you provide some background on your career?
Mike Jones

I started my animation career at Don Bluth Studios, working on the animated feature films, “Troll in Central Park” and “Thumbelina.” Then I went to Walt Disney to animate on “The Lion King,” “Pocahontas,” “Hercules,” “Mulan,” “Tarzan,” “Meet the Robinsons” and many more. I also worked as associate producer for the documentary, “Dream on Silly Dreamer,” which won an Annie Award. After leaving Disney, I worked on “The Simpsons Movie” and, at DreamWorks, movies including, “How to Train Your Dragon,” “Kung Fu Panda 2,” and “Megamind.” For TV, I did storyboarding for Cartoon Network. Recently, I animated on the film “Mary Poppins Returns,” and last year I worked on the Netflix series, “Disenchantment.”

What do your students find most interesting about your work?

Usually, my experience working on the Disney animated feature films. We
were making those films for the children that are now today’s high school
and college students. It is exciting to hear which films they liked and what
has inspired them to pursue animation.

What attracted you to Daemen?

The openness of the Visual and Performing Arts Department faculty to
view animation as an art form equal to more traditional ones. Also, the
commitment and willingness of the college and animation faculty to create
a world class program.

What makes Daemen’s animation program unique?

Many things, but first and foremost, the faculty. We are all experienced in
the animation industry and come from different parts of it. We are also all
still creating. The animation program is designed to let students explore
the different aspects of animation and then excel in their interests.

What is the opportunity like in this field?

Animation is booming. All the streaming services popping up – Disney+,
Netflix, HBO Max, Hulu, Amazon Prime – want animated content. With
video games, virtual reality and live-action films, particularly the super hero movies, they need a lot of animation. As we become increasingly a visual society, animation becomes more popular. What you can do and create now is endless.