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Gary Wayne Goldman (born November 17, 1944) is an American film producer, director, animator, writer and voice actor, he is well known for working on films with Don Bluth such as All Dogs Go to Heaven for his directorial debut, Anastasia, An American Tail, and The Land Before Time. He was an animator at Disney before working at Sullivan Bluth Studios with Bluth.

Early life

Goldman was born in Oakland, California and raised in Watsonville, California. As a youth, Goldman was active in sports, an infielder in baseball and quarterback in high school football, he studied piano and enjoyed model-making and drawing. Before devoting himself entirely to the arts, he served as an electronics technician in the United States Air Force from 1962 to 1967, assigned duties in Japan and Germany. He received his Associate of Arts Degree in 1969 from Cabrillo College, and he graduated in December 1971 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Life Drawing and Art History from the University of Hawaii.



Goldman began his career in animation when he joined Walt Disney Productions in February 1972. His first assignment was as an in-betweener to legendary Disney animator Frank Thomas on the film Robin Hood. He then worked alongside Don Bluth, as an animator, on Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too! and The Rescuers before serving as Directing Animator on Pete's Dragon and The Small One.

In an effort to accelerate their skills in preparation for leadership assignments within the Disney organization, Goldman and Bluth began to purchase used animation equipment and probe every aspect of animated production, at Don Bluth's home. United by the common goal of restoring the lost techniques of classical animation, Goldman and Bluth, along with animator John Pomeroy, produced, directed and animated the classically animated 27-minute, filmed-featurette Banjo the Woodpile Cat. Their enthusiasm attracted many other artists at Disney, who came by the garage to contribute their time and artistry to the project. It took four years, working nights and weekends in Bluth's garage. In December 1979, the film was shown at the Egyptian theater in Hollywood and the Peppertree theater in Northridge. It received the National Film Advisory Board Award for Excellence, and the Golden Scroll Award from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films. Using what they learned on their project, they attempted to implement their techniques on projects at Disney. Banjo the Woodpile Cat was later shown on ABC Television (June 1982), as a prime time special.


Divided by disagreements over story and production values, Goldman, along with Bluth and Pomeroy, resigned from Walt Disney Productions to establish their independent animation studio, Don Bluth Productions, in 1979. The departure was highly publicized and the trio was dubbed "Disney Defectors" by news reporters.

Since leaving Disney, the team produced several feature films, starting with The Secret of NIMH, which won the Saturn Award for "Best Animated Feature" from the Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Film Academy. In late 1982, composer Jerry Goldsmith introduced them to director Steven Spielberg. Their first collaboration with Spielberg, which began production in January 1985, An American Tail, was released in November 1986 and ushered in a new era of success for the full-length animated feature, becoming the highest-grossing animated film up to that time.

Goldman was a producer on the highly successful animated laser disc interactive video games Dragon's Lair, Space Ace and Dragon's Lair II: Time Warp. Dragon's Lair received the Inkpot Award for the "First Interactive Laser Disc Arcade Game" and an Arkie Award for the "Best Arcade Audio/Visuals". Financial difficulties with their distributor cut them off from financing and forced them to seek protection from bankruptcy in 1984. It was at this time that they met mergers and acquisitions expert, Morris Sullivan, who set up a corporation, Sullivan Studios to allow the trio to continue while the bankruptcy courts slowly settled their company's case against its distributor.

In 1986, Sullivan moved Goldman, Bluth & Pomeroy, and the entire operation, including 87 employees and their families to Dublin, Ireland, at the invitation of IDA Ireland. Their third feature film, The Land Before Time, was their first production created primarily in Ireland. Sullivan transferred much of the ownership of the Dublin studio to the three animators and renamed the company Sullivan Bluth Studios. The company produced six feature films from 1986 until 1994. Sullivan retired in 1991 and the company was renamed Don Bluth Entertainment, Ireland, Ltd.

In August 1994, Goldman and Bluth returned from Ireland to head up the Fox Animation Studio located in Phoenix, Arizona where they shared creative leadership as producers and directors. The first production completed by the studio was the award-winning Anastasia in 1997. Also produced there was Bartok the Magnificent in 1999, and the animated science fiction film Titan A.E. in 2000. A fourth feature film, Africa, was in production when 20th Century Fox shut down its animation facility.

Goldman and Bluth have reestablished their independence with their production company Don Bluth Films, Inc., developing feature-length properties. The company established a website where they communicate with their audience on a personal level and provide animation information online.

In August 2007, Goldman was named an artist in residence at the Savannah College of Art and Design for the college's 10-week winter quarter starting in January 2008. Goldman lectured on animation, as well as taught undergraduate and graduate level classes in traditional 2-D animation production.


Goldman has been a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences since 1978.

Personal life

While in college he married elementary teacher Janith Eileen Brand in April 1968. They separated in 1983 and divorced in 1987. They have two children, Kip and Andrew. In 2001 Goldman & Bluth received Lifetime Achievement Awards for their dedication and contribution to the art of animation from Animation Magazine, and in 2005, at the Savannah Film Festival, Lifetime Achievement Awards for animation, from the Savannah College of Art & Design, to which they gave their animation art archive. Goldman remarried in late 1988 to film cutter Cathy (Bassett) Carr. She and her three children John Carr, Jason Carr and Joanna Carr moved with him to Dublin, Ireland in 1986. Together they have nine grandchildren.


Title Year Functioned as Notes
Director Producer Writer Animation
The Mini-Munsters (direct-to-TV) 1973 No No No Yes animator
Robin Hood 1973 No No No Yes assistant animator
Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too (short) 1974 No No Yes Yes story / animator
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh 1977 No No No Yes animator
The Rescuers 1977 No No No Yes character animator
Pete's Dragon 1977 No No No Yes character animator
The Small One (short) 1978 Yes No No Yes directing animator
Banjo the Woodpile Cat (direct-to-TV short) 1979 No Yes No Yes animator
Xanadu 1980 No No No Yes camera planning: animation sequence unit
The Fox and the Hound 1981 No No No Yes animator
The Secret of NIMH 1982 Yes Yes Yes Yes story adaptation / directing animator
An American Tail 1986 No Yes No No
The Land Before Time 1988 No Yes No No
All Dogs Go to Heaven 1989 Yes Yes Yes No co-director / story
Rock-a-Doodle 1991 Yes Yes Yes No co-director / story
Thumbelina 1994 Yes Yes No No co-director
A Troll in Central Park 1994 Yes Yes Yes No co-director / story
The Pebble and the Penguin 1995 Yes Yes No No co-director
Anastasia 1997 Yes Yes No No co-director
Bartok the Magnificent (direct-to-DVD) 1999 Yes Yes No No co-director
Titan A.E. 2000 Yes Yes No No co-director
Gift of the Hoopoe (short) 2009 Yes No No No co-drecting credit only
Dragon's Lair: The Movie 2020 Yes Yes Yes No co-director / story

Video games

Title Year Functioned as Voice role Notes
Producer Animator
Dragon's Lair 1983 Yes Yes
Space Ace 1983 Yes No
Dragon's Lair II: Time Warp 1991 Yes No
Dragon's Lair 3D: Return to the Lair 2002 Yes No Mordroc
I-Ninja 2003 Yes No producer: cinematics

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Film Result
1998 Annie Award Outstanding Individual Achievement for Directing in an Animated Feature Production
Shared with Don Bluth
Anastasia Nominated
Outstanding Individual Achievement for Producing in an Animated Feature Production
Shared with Don Bluth
Online Film & Television Association Award Best Animated Picture
Shared with Don Bluth
Satellite Awards Best Motion Picture, Animated or Mixed Media
Shared with Don Bluth