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Kirk Wise
Born August 24, 1963
San Francisco, California
Occupation Film Director, Animator, Screenwriter and Producer
Years active 1986 - Present

Kirk Wise (born August 24, 1963) is an American animator, director, screenwriter, storyboard artist and producer. He is best known for directing the animated features Beauty and the Beast, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Atlantis: The Lost Empire while employed at Walt Disney Animation Studios. He also co-directed Cranium Command, a short film for the Wonders of Life Pavilion at EPCOT.

Life and career

Wise was born in San Francisco, California. He earned his first paycheck for drawing at age seven after his mother submitted his sketch of a garbage man and his truck to the San Francisco Chronicle's "Junior Art Champion" Contest. Winning praise, a check and a commendation from the local sanitation department spurred his creativity. He experimented with cut-out and stop-motion animation throughout his childhood, and went on to attend the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, CA. After graduation, he worked as an animator on The Brave Little Toaster, and the Amazing Stories episode Family Dog. At Disney, he began as an assistant animator on The Great Mouse Detective and Oliver & Company before eventually landing in the story department, where he was reunited with former CalArts classmate Gary Trousdale. After working as storyboard artists on The Rescuers Down Under and The Prince and the Pauper, Wise and Trousdale were responsible for helming the celebrated "Beauty and the Beast" (1991), the first animated feature to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture.

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