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Jeffrey Katzenberg is an American businessman, film studio executive, film producer, and CEO of DreamWorks Animation. He was the former Studio Chairman of Disney in the late 1980s and early 1990s, playing a part in the Disney Renaissance which happened in spite of him.[1][2]

Katzenberg was born in New York City and attended the Ethical Culture Fieldston School, graduating in 1969. He began his career as an assistant at Paramount Pictures before working his way up to president of production under Michael Eisner. After Eisner transferred to Disney, Katzenberg was brought on board to take charge of the motion picture division. He focused the studio on the production of adult-oriented comedies through its Touchstone Pictures banner, including films, such as Down and Out in Beverly Hills, Three Men and a Baby, and Good Morning, Vietnam. Largely because of this, he also has several live action bombs under his belt, including Billy Bathgate, Dick Tracey, The Distinguished Gentleman, and The Rocketeer, with the live action failures being extensive enough that despite his claims they were profitable, a trial over his rights to profits of films he made due to a clause claiming 2% of revenue in perpetuity for all films and TV series he had involvement in revealed that they ended up having Disney losing nearly $231 million.[1]

Katzenberg was also charged with turning around the fortunes of Disney's ailing Feature Animation unit. Under his management, the animation department eventually began creating some of Disney's most critically acclaimed and highest grossing animated features. These films include Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King.

However, disputes with Michael Eisner and Roy Edward Disney[3][4][5][6] after the death of Frank Wells led to his forced resignation, and he would form DreamWorks in 1994. In one of his works there, he notably voiced Rico in the Madagascar franchise.

In 2016, after NBCUniversal bought DreamWorks Animation, Jeffrey Katzenberg moved to DreamWorks New Media. In 2020, he launched Quibi, a streaming mobile app that had its own original programming. The app was shut down after six months of operation due to lack of interest.

Executive Producer for Disney Animation[]

Year Film
1985 The Black Cauldron
1986 The Great Mouse Detective
1988 Who Framed Roger Rabbit
1988 Oliver & Company
1989 The Little Mermaid
1990 The Rescuers Down Under
1991 Beauty and the Beast
1992 Aladdin
1994 The Lion King
1995 Pocahontas

Trivia[]

  • He appeared in a 2006 segment of The Making of Little Mermaid, talking about the possibility of erasing "Part of Your World" from the movie but was talked into keeping it in the film by animator Glen Keane, to which he did and regretted that he almost took the song out of the film.
  • He didn't seem to really approve on the idea of having an "Applause" sign on Genie's back when Aladdin was in previews before its debut in theaters.
  • He was one of the inspirations for Hades in Hercules.

Notes and references[]

External links[]


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Walt Disney Animation Studios - Transparent Logo
1920s—1970s
Disney's Nine Old Men: Milt KahlFrank ThomasOllie JohnstonLes ClarkJohn LounsberyMarc DavisWard KimballEric LarsonWolfgang Reitherman

Animators: Bill TytlaArt BabbittLee BlairPreston BlairFred MooreShamus CulhaneCy YoungDon LuskNorman FergusonHal KingJack HannahDick KinneyHal AmbroKen O'BrienJudge WhitakerBill JusticeDon BluthGary GoldmanCharles A. NicholsBlaine GibsonJohn EwingWalt StanchfieldRolly CrumpFred HellmichAmby PaliwodaWilfred JacksonXavier AtencioBen SharpsteenEarl HurdDale OliverEric CleworthDavid HandFred SpencerJulius SvendsenJack BradburyKenneth MuseRudolf IsingHugh HarmanFriz FrelengWalt KellyLeo SalkinJohn DehnerRetta ScottDavid SwiftMel ShawJack CuttingGrant SimmonsArt StevensFrank TashlinWathel RogersTyrus WongJohnny CannonBernard WolfJohn W. Dunn
Visual Development, Layout, Background Artists and Character Designers: Gustaf TenggrenMary BlairMarjorie RalstonLillian BoundsJoe GrantMel ShawClaude CoatsDon DaGradiJohn HenchEyvind EarleKen O'ConnorThor PutnamAlbert HurterJohn HubleyHerbert RymanDon GriffithBasil DavidovichJack BoydPeter EllenshawRuthie TompsonEarl DuvallRetta DavidsonUb IwerksVance GerryHazel SewellJames BodreroLance NolleyGrace BaileyMaurice NobleDale BarnhartAndy EngmanEustace LycettJohn EmersonJoe HaleLeota ToombsFerdinand Horvath
Storyboard Artists and Writers: Bill PeetRalph WrightDick HuemerFloyd NormanYale GraceyTed SearsErdman PennerJoe RinaldiWinston HiblerOtto EnglanderWilliam CottrellBill BergAl BertinoT. HeeHomer BrightmanTed OsbourneLarry ClemmonsHarry ReevesJesse MarshChuck CouchWebb SmithDick Sebast
Directors: Clyde GeronimiHamilton LuskeJack KinneyTed BermanRichard RichGeorge ScribnerRiley ThomsonDick LundyJack KingBurt GillettJames AlgarBill RobertsLarry LansburghRichard Irvine
Producers: Walt DisneyRon MillerKen AndersonDon DuckwallPerce PearceMargaret J. Winkler

1980s—present
Renaissance Directors: Rob MinkoffRoger AllersGary TrousdaleKirk WiseChris SandersMark DindalJohn Musker

Story Trust Directors: Ron ClementsChris BuckByron HowardDon HallChris WilliamsRich MooreStephen J. AndersonNathan GrenoFawn Veerasunthorn
Producers: Peter Del VechoClark SpencerRoy ConliDorothy McKimDon HahnShane Morris
Chief Creative Officer: Jennifer Lee
Associated Figures: Bob IgerRoy Edward DisneyMichael EisnerJohn LasseterEd CatmullJeffrey KatzenbergBob Chapek
Signature Voice Actors: Jim CummingsAlan TudykKatie LowesJohn DiMaggioMaurice LaMarcheJodi BensonDavid Ogden StiersJesse CortiPaul BriggsRaymond S. PersiPhil JohnstonFrank WelkerBill FarmerBrian Cummings
Signature Musicians: Robert B. Sherman Richard M. Sherman Alan Menken Kristen Anderson-Lopez Robert LopezLin-Manuel MirandaHoward AshmanTim RicePhil CollinsStephen SchwartzMarc ShaimanDanny Troob
Supervising Animators: Glen KeaneAndreas DejaEric GoldbergMark HennJohn PomeroyRandy HaycockDale BaerTony BancroftTom BancroftTony FucileAnthony DeRosaRuss EdmondsRandy HaycockBruce W. SmithDuncan MarjoribanksRuben AquinoNik RanieriRon HusbandRick FarmiloeTom SitoTony AnselmoWill FinnKathy Zielinski
Visual Development & Storyboard Artists: Dean DeBloisClaire KeaneBrittney LeeJin KimShiyoon KimRyan Green

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