Sheridan alumnus Mike Surrey visits Sheridan

Mike Surrey met and spoke to many Animation students’ helping them with their projects.

Disney and Dreamworks Animator Mike Surrey stopped by Sheridan to generously share and spent a whole day with Animation students. In the morning he spoke with third-year students and followed that by spending the afternoon with fourth-years. Surrey took the time to view students’ group work and gave them some helpful advice in the process.

He also spoke to students and faculty at an evening lecture where he humbly and generously shared his path from animation trainee to animation supervisor at Disney to his current role at Dreamworks.

His bit of advice was simple yet very inspiring:

“Work your tail off, figure out early how you can make your own path through the studio system and set your sights on good exemplars to study and never stop teaching yourself.”

Surrey, a 1987 graduate of Sheridan Classical Animation whose work includes the Lion King, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Tangled is listed as number 32 on the 50 most Influential Disney Animators in Studio History. He began his career at Nelvana and then worked at Disney for 18-years before making the switch to Dreamworks, where he works today. His animation has had a great impact on sidekick characters in films over the years and this has influenced the way many of those characters have been handled in films done since. Surrey is also valued as an honest and committed mentor to young students, who someday aspire to accomplish what he has during his impressive career.

Here is Surrey during a conference in 2009 detailing his drawing for the animated film The Princess and the Frog.


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