John C. Hench Division of Animation + Digital Arts
Eric is best known for his work with Walt Disney Animation Studios. His first Disney assignment in 1990 was as Supervising Animator of the Genie in Aladdin. After that, he co-directed Pocahontas, and animated the satyr Phil in Hercules. This was followed by Fantasia/2000, for which he directed two critically-acclaimed sequences: “Carnival of the Animals” and “Rhapsody in Blue.” The latter was a labor of love inspired by both George Gershwin and the legendary caricaturist Al Hirschfeld, who served as artistic consultant.
In 2003, Eric served as animation director on Warner Bros.’ live-action/animation feature Looney Tunes: Back in Action, directed by Joe Dante. On this film, Eric handled the entire Warners stable, as well as providing the voices for Speedy Gonzales, Tweety, and Marvin the Martian.
At present, Eric is back at his alma mater, Walt Disney Animation Studios, where he served as Supervising Animator for “Louis” in The Princess and the Frog. In Winnie the Pooh, he supervised both “Rabbit” and the “Backson Song” sequence. Eric was also the Supervisor of Hand-Drawn Animation in the Oscar-nominated Mickey Mouse cartoon, Get a Horse. Recently, Eric supervised the hand-drawn animation for Disney’s Oscar-nominated Moana, animating the tattoo character, “Mini Maui.” He also directed a “couch gag” for The Simpsons, a loving parody of classic Disney films.
In February 2011, Eric was awarded the prestigious Winsor McCay award from ASIFA-Hollywood for lifetime achievement in animation. In 2008, Eric published Character Animation Crash Course! (Silman-James Press), which has become a widely-used animation text around the world.
Most recently, Eric created new animation for the Disney World Cirque Du Soleil show “Drawn to Life”, and directed three mini-shorts with Goofy for Disney +, under the banner “How to Stay at Home”.