Disney’s Oscar-winning animated film ‘Encanto’ had a Jamaican production designer

Jamaican Ian Gooding, born in St. Andrew and inspired by a childhood visit to Walt Disney World that featured behind-the-scenes entertainment about ‘The Wonderful World of Disney’ and ‘Star Wars’ films, won the 2022 Oscar for “Best Animated Feature” for his work on “Encanto,” Disney’s celebration of Colombian culture. The film tells the story of a magical family that has a dark secret.

Besides the prestigious Academy Award for “Encanto”, Gooding and Lorelay Bové’s work also won the “Animated Feature Film” award at the 26th Art Directors Guild (ADG) awards ceremony on March 5, 2022.

Gooding was responsible for a team of artists and technicians who design the overall look of the animation, from its detailed environments to all of its characters. The work involves extensive research to create designs that meet the demands of the director’s vision. One of the biggest challenges in “Encanto” was getting the look right for the waves crashing on shore, Gooding said. He added that the waves in Colombia are very different from those in California due to the coral reefs located in the lagoons. Precipitation, volcanoes, and rock type also presented unique challenges for the designers.

Inspired by the animations he had seen at Walt Disney World, Gooding attended CalArts in pursuit of his dream of creating visual effects for film. He completed the four-year program in Motion Graphics and Character Animation in 1992. While still at CalArts, Gooding went to work for Sandcastle Software, the company that created effects and graphics for video games. ‘Electronic Arts. He also painted backgrounds for animated commercials produced by Renegade and West Indigo. He served as effects supervisor on “Family Dog”, an animated television series.

Gooding began working for Walt Disney Animation Studios in 1990 when the studio’s effects manager saw a student short, “The Housekeeper,” which he had co-directed and produced. He was then offered the position of effects animator on Disney’s animated short “The Prince and the Pauper”.

While at Disney, Gooding worked on the films “Aladdin”, “The Lion King”, “Hercules”, “Mulan”, “Tarzan” and “Dinosaur”. He served as Associate Art Director on “Treasure Planet” and made his debut as Art Director in 1995 on the Mickey Mouse short film “Runaway Brain.” In 2005, Gooding received his first art director credit on a feature film with “Chicken Little.” He served as art director on “The Princess and the Frog” in 2009 and on Oscar-nominated “Wreck-It Ralph” in 2012.

Photo – Encanto See the conference

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