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Thursday, December 15, 2005


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Birth: April 13, 1954 Abington, Pennsylvania


Animator, Director, Author, Illustrator

Bio Summary

Glen was born in Abington, PA just outside of Philadelphia. When he was five, his father, Bil Keane, the creator of the comic strip "Family Circus", moved the family to Phoenix, Arizona because of his hay fever. At the end of High School, he was torn between going to college for football or art. He decided he could not go through life without drawing and was accepted into the California Institute of Arts School of Film Graphics. After a few years, Glen applied for, and was given a job at Walt Disney Studios and the rest, as they say, is history.

Early Life/Family

Glen was the middle child of five, his father of Irish background and his mother, Welsh from Australia. Married to Linda Hesselroth in August of 1975 and has two children, Claire and Max.


Has been drawing ever since he was a child. Went to Cal Arts School of Film Graphics and has been animating and directing at Disney Studios since he graduated in 1974.

Career Outline

He began his career with Disney animating Penny for The Rescuers alongside one of the 'Nine Old Men', Ollie Johnston. From there he went on to animate Elliot the Dragon in Pete's Dragon and the climactic bear fight sequence in The Fox and the Hound. Glen left Disney for some time, working as a freelance artist animating Ratigan in The Great Mouse Detective. He eventually returned to Disney to animate Fagin, Sykes and Georgette in Oliver & Company. His next project, Ariel from The Little Mermaid, turned out to be the first in a long line of memorable characters he animated for Disney Studios. Those characters being: Beast from Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas, and Tarzan from the films from the same name, and finally Long John Silver from Treasure Planet. Currently (as of 2006) he is working on directing Disney's upcoming CG film, Rapunzel Unbraided. As well as working as an animator and director for Disney, he is the author and illustrator of a series of children's Bible parable books featuring Adam Raccoon and King Aren the Lion.

Comments On Style

Glen's art has always been very fluid, his animation capturing the essence of the characters he brings to life. Glen studied the Method Acting style to better understand the hearts of the characters he animates. He's most noted for his solid characterisation, outstanding observation, skill based on life drawing, and fast fluid style.


He was inspired to join the Disney team from a visit by legendary artists Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnson, as well as Andy Gaskill, John Pomeroy, Don Bluth, and others. He learned from the best while at the studio, being tutored and mentored by many of the Nine Old Men.


Friendly, confident with a flair for comedy. Very talented, but sincere about his work. He doesn't brag or show-off, but when he talks about his work or what he has done, the passion for the art can clearly be seen in his eyes.



Met the woman who would become his wife at the age of seventeen while standing in line for The GodFather. She was in town visiting with her family from Minnesota. They communicated off and on until he invited her down to Los Angeles. They went to his parents second home in Laguna Beach and talked and talked. Five days later he asked her to marry him.


Treasure Planet (2002) (supervising animator: "Silver")
Tarzan (1999) (supervising animator: "Tarzan")
Pocahontas (1995) (character designer) (supervising animator: "Pocahontas")
Aladdin (1992) (supervising animator: "Aladdin")
Beauty and the Beast (1991) (supervising animator: "Beast")
The Rescuers Down Under (1990) (supervising animator: "Marahute")
The Little Mermaid (1989) (character animator) (supervising animator: "Ariel")
Oliver & Company (1988) (character designer) (supervising animator: "Sykes")
The Chipmunk Adventure (1987) (animator)
The Great Mouse Detective (1986) (supervising animator: "Ratigan")
Mickey's Christmas Carol (1983) (animator: "Willie the Giant")
The Fox and the Hound (1981) (supervising animator: "The Bear")
Pete's Dragon (1977) (character animator)
The Rescuers (1977) (animator: "Penny" and "Bernard")
"Star Trek" (1973) TV Series (layout artist)


Related Links

A-HAA: Annies: 2007 Winsor McCay Award Winners
Laughing Place Profile

Bibliographic References

The Disney Artists: Glen Keane by Scarlett Stahl

Contributors To This Listing

Edan Bryant

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