Cats Don't DanceThe Filmmakers
| Introduction | About the Story | About the Production | About the Voice Cast
Casting | Animation | Putting it All Together | Photos | Trailer

About the Filmmakers . . .

MARK DINDAL (Director) caught the animation bug at the age of six when his grandmother took him to see "The Sword in the Stone." Born in Columbus, Ohio, Dindal spent most of his childhood in Syracuse, New York. His father, who dabbled in art as a hobby, taught his young son how to draw.

In 1978, Dindal moved west to attend the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California, where he produced a student film on special effects animation. That project landed him a job at Disney in 1980 as an effects animation artist on "The Fox and the Hound." While at Disney, Dindal picked up additional credits as special effects animator on "The Black Cauldron," "Mickey's Christmas Carol," and "The Great Mouse Detective."

He left Disney in 1985 to freelance in television and commercial projects, but returned in 1987 as special effects animator for Disney's "Oliver and Company." The animated segments in "The Rocketeer" were directed by Dindal, and he served as visual effects supervisor on the blockbuster film, "The Little Mermaid."

Dindal's transition into the area of story development led to his work on this film project, which marks his debut as a feature director.

DAVID KIRSCHNER (Producer) is equally at home in the worlds of live action and animated film. He was the creator and executive producer (with Steven Spielberg) of the smash hit animated feature "An American Tail," as well as the creator, writer and producer of the three "Child's Play" horror movies, which became cult favorites. More recently, Kirschner created and produced the live-action comedy-thriller "Hocus-Pocus," starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy.

A native of Southern California, Kirschner began his career as an illustrator for Jim Henson's Muppet and Sesame Street characters. At age 23, Kirschner wrote and illustrated a series of children's books entitled Rose Petal Place. The series, which spawned a total of 16 books, two television specials and more than 1,100 different products, became a huge success.

Kirschner collaborated with Spielberg on "An American Tail" in 1986, followed by the "Child's Play" series. In 1989, he became CEO at Hanna-Barbera, the acclaimed animation studio responsible for the creation of such time-honored series as "The Flintstones" and "Yogi Bear." During his four years at Hanna-Barbera, Kirschner launched a full slate of animated programs, including the Emmy Award-winning series "The Addams Family" and the hit miniseries "The Pirates of Dark Water."

He also created and produced a number of innovative television specials, including the Emmy-winning "The Last Halloween" for CBS, which was the first television longform to combine computer-generated images and animation with live action; the NBC telefilm "The Dreamer of Oz," about the life of L. Frank Baum, the author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, which won both the Christopher Award and the Youth in Film Award; and "The Halloween Tree," written by Ray Bradbury, which won the Emmy Award for Best Animated Children's program.

Kirschner executive produced the box office hit feature "The Flintstones" and produced the animated musical film "Once Upon a Forest." He then co-wrote and produced the live-action/animated fantasy "The Pagemaster," which became the largest-selling non-Disney animated video title in history.

PAUL GERTZ is the president of David Kirschner Productions, overseeing the company's expanding slate of theatrical and television production, both animated and live-action.

A native of Los Angeles and graduate of the University of Southern California Law and Business Schools, Gertz began his career in business affairs at the animation house Ruby Spears. He then joined Lucasfilm in Marin County, where he was involved with all divisions of the company, including Industrial Light & Magic, Skywalker Sound and THX, as well as with the feature films "Willow," "Tucker: The Man and His Dream" and "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade."

When David Kirschner was named chairman of Hanna-Barbera, he brought Gertz back to Los Angeles to serve as Senior Vice President of Production for the studio. Gertz executive produced "Once Upon A Forest" and produced "The Pagemaster" with Kirschner.

BRIAN MC ENTEE (Art Director) grew up in the Silicon Valley town of Sunnyvale, where he showed an early affinity for art. His parents took him to art museums and showered him with stacks of drawing paper and art kits for Christmas.

In 1978, McEntee entered California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) where he set his sights on a fine arts major. Urged to try the school's impressive animation curriculum, he initially found the process "tedious, awful, boring and time-consuming." Nonetheless, after shooting his first animation project on video, McEntee began to see the potential of what he perceived as "an amazing art form."

After two years at CalArts, McEntee was hired at Disney, where he served as an in-betweener on "The Fox and the Hound" and worked on the layout for the seven-minute short, "Fun with Mr. Future." Afterwards, McEntee pursued commercials, television and other projects, including art direction, story development and layout for "The Brave Little Toaster."

McEntee's list of Disney credits includes a stint in layout design and story development for "The Great Mouse Detective" in 1986 and art direction for the Disney World Health Pavilion "Cranium Command" segment and for the enormously successful "Beauty and the Beast."

Executive producer DAVID STEINBERG drew his way into the animation industry as an artist on Don Bluth's 1982 feature, "The Secret of NIMH" before graduating to assistant director on Steven Spielberg's "An American Tail" and "The Land Before Time."

After helping to develop "All Dogs Go to Heaven" in Dublin with Bluth, Steinberg returned to Los Angeles to direct animation for several short projects, including the innovative theme-park attraction "The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera."

Steinberg served as production manager on the feature "Rover Dangerfield" before joining Turner Pictures in 1992 to co-produce the animation for "The Pagemaster."

Executive producer CHARLES L. RICHARDSON was, most recently, Vice President of Feature Animation for Turner Pictures. Prior to joining Turner Pictures, he was a production consultant on a number of animated projects, including "FernGully: The Last Rainforest" and "Pitfall Harry, Jr.," an interactive video game.

Previously, he was producer on the CBS series "Family Dog" and production supervisor on the animated feature "The Brave Little Toaster."

Executive producer SANDY RUSSELL GARTIN spent five years as Director of Children's programming at ABC-TV, where she was responsible for the ABC Afterschool Specials, the Sunday series "Kids Are People, Too," and other family primetime specials.

After leaving the network, Gartin wrote and produced the feature "No Big Deal," which aired on Showtime and HBO, followed by "A Billion for Boris," which starred Lee Grant and, later, she produced the telefilm "Bad Attitudes," which was written by Caleb Carr.

Co-producer JIM KATZ holds a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Fairleigh Dickinson University. He began his career as a production accountant for sports producer Don Ohlmeyer, rising to production manager for Ohlmeyer Communications Co., where he managed the broadcast logistics of such live sporting events as Masters Tennis, CART auto racing and golf's "Skins Game."

After working on the production teams of a variety of musical events, Katz joined NBC's broadcast team at the 1988 Olympics, earning an Emmy Award for his live coverage of the torch relay. Soon afterward, he joined Hanna-Barbera and quickly rose to the post of production manager before becoming co-producer on "Cats Don't Dance."

Co-producer BARRY WEISS is currently Vice President of Animation Production for Sony Pictures Imageworks, after having served as co-producer on both "Cats Don't Dance" and "The Pagemaster."

Weiss began his career at Hanna-Barbera Productions, where he managed production accounting on such shows as "Tom & Jerry Kids," "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventures," "The Addams Family," "Fish Police" and the feature film "Once Upon A Forest."

He received his undergraduate degree in television and film at Northwestern University and his master's degree in film from the University of Southern California. He is the recipient of a local Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Children's Programming as producer of "The Magic Door."

Screenwriter ROBERTS GANNAWAY is currently executive producing Disney TV's series "101 Dalmations."

He attended the University of Southern California's School of Cinema-Television, where he concentrated his studies within the film writing program. While there, Gannaway received the Nicholson Screenwriting Award and placed in the Vestron Screenwriting Competition.

Since graduation, he has written shorts for Hanna-Barbera's half-hour cartoon series "2 Stupid Dogs" and "Secret Squirrel," as well as an original short for Chuck Jones Productions.

Screenwriters CLIFF RUBY & ELANA LESSER began writing as a team while still in college and have now participated in nearly 300 half-hours of television. They have been recognized with the Humanitas Prize, an International Children's Television Commendation and an Emmy Award nomination.

Among their credits are "The All New Ewoks," which they executive produced, and "Maniac Mansion," which they developed for the Family Channel. They also produced "The Chipmunks Go To the Movies" and "Chipmunks: Rockin' Through the Decades."

In 1992 Ruby and Lesser sold the animated feature "Balto" to Amblin Entertainment. They also worked on the animated series "The Wild West Cowboys of Moo Mesa" and adapted Mozart's opera, "The Magic Flute," into a two-part animated special for ABC-TV. They wrote and produced the animated series "What a Mess" and the primetime animated Christmas special "Jingle Bell Rock," both for ABC and DIC Entertainment.

Screenwriter THERESA PETTENGILL is a graduate of the California Institute of the Arts film program. She has written and animated several short films for festivals and is currently working at Disney Studios on the video sequels to "The Lion King" and "Lady and the Tramp."

Composer/Songwriter RANDY NEWMAN is best known for his whimsical and usually ironic lyrics on songs like "Short People" and "I Love LA." that have earned him critical accolades for more than two decades.

Born into the quintessential musical family--both his uncles, Alfred and Lionel, were film composers--Newman himself was a writer for a Los Angeles music publishing company by the age of 17.

His motion picture compositions have earned praise for nearly every feature film project in which he has been involved. He has been nominated for eight Academy Awards for his songs and scores on "Ragtime" (Best Song and Best Score); "The Natural" (Best Score); "Parenthood" (Best Song); "Avalon" (Best Score); "The Paper" (Best Song); and "Toy Story" (Best Song and Best Score) He also earned a Grammy Award for his soundtrack recording to "The Natural," Grammy nominations for his scores to "Avalon" and "Awakenings," and a Golden Globe nomination and Chicago Film Critics Award for his "Toy Story" score.

His other feature scoring credits include "The Three Amigos" and "Overboard." Newman also wrote the theme and songs for the innovative television series "Cop Rock."

Among his recordings are "Twelve Songs," "Randy Newman Live," "Trouble in Paradise," "The Natural," "Sail Away," "Ragtime," "Good Ol' Boys," "Little Criminals" and "Born Again."

In September, 1995, Newman premiered his opera "Faust" in La Jolla to critical praise before moving it to Chicago's prestigious Goodman Theatre in the fall of 1996. A Broadway run is planned for "Faust" this year.

Composer STEVEN GOLDSTEIN recently served as the orchestral arranger on the comedy hit "The Birdcage." His music can also be heard in the films "The Breakfast Club" and "Joe vs. the Volcano," and in the Emmy Award-winning series "MGM: When the Lion Roars" and the telefilm "In Search of Dr. Seuss," which was nominated for a Cable ACE Award.

A graduate of California Institute of the Arts, Goldstein has worked with a variety of recording artists including Dolly Parton, Frank Zappa, Diana Ross, The Motels (with whom he wrote the Top Ten hit "Suddenly Last Summer"), Smokey Robinson, Leonard Cohen and Kim Carnes (for whom he arranged the smash hit "Bette Davis Eyes").

Goldstein was Music Director for the 1995 America's Cup festivities and led the orchestra for the Los Angeles Olympic Festival.

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| Introduction | About the Story | About the Production | About the Voice Cast
Casting | Animation | Putting it All Together | Photos | Trailer

©1997 Warner Bros.