- Creator of Dragon's Lair, Space Ace, Dragon's Lair II
When Gary Goldman met Don Bluth at Walt Disney Studios in 1972, they formed an instant and solid friendship. Soon realizing that they both shared the desire of restoring the heritage of classical animation to today's animated films, their friendship eventually turned into a creative partnership that has lasted over 26 years.
Goldman was born in Oakland, California in 1944 and grew up in Watsonville. As a youth, he studied piano and enjoyed model-making and drawing. Before devoting himself entirely to the arts, he served as an electronics technician in the United States Air Force. He received his Associated Arts Degree from Cabrillo College near Santa Cruz, California, and in December 1971, he graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Life Drawing from the University of Hawaii.
In early 1972 he began his animation career when he joined Walt Disney Productions. His first assignment was as an In-betweener to Frank Thomas on the film Robin Hood. He then worked alongside Don Bluth as an Animator on Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too and The Rescuers. He was a Directing Animator on Pete's Dragon, The Small One and The Fox and the Hound
Goldman and Bluth began to probe the possibility of creating their own animated projects. United by the same goal of restoring the lost techniques of classical animation, Goldman, Bluth and animator John Pomeroy produced (in Don's garage) the classically animated television special, Banjo the Woodpile Cat. This won the National Film Advisory Board Award of Excellence and the Golden Scroll Award from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films. It was completed in 1979. That same year Goldman, along with Bluth and Pomeroy, resigned from Walt Disney Productions to establish themselves independently.
Under their independent banner, they have produced several feature films starting with The Secret of NIMH (1982), which won the Saturn Award for Best Animated Feature from the Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Film Academy, and An American Tail (1986), which at that time earned the biggest box office gross for the first release of an animated film in motion picture history, as well as two Grammy awards for the song Somewhere Out There. They also created the animated laserdisc interactive video games Dragon's Lair (1983) and Space Ace (1984). Dragon's Lair received the Inkpot Award for the First Interactive Laserdisc Arcade Game and an Arkie Award for Best Arcade Audio/Visuals. Today these games remain popular among video enthusiasts.
In 1986 Goldman and Bluth moved their entire operation, including 87 employees and their families, to Dublin, Ireland at the invitation of the Irish Government. Their third feature film, The Land Before Time, was their first production finished entirely in Ireland. It was released by Universal Pictures during Thanksgiving, 1988. It celebrated a record breaking opening weekend gross for an animated film of $7.5 million. This was followed by All Dogs Go To Heaven. Some of their most recent projects under the Don Bluth name include, Rock-a-Doodle (1990), Thumbelina (1993), and A Troll In Central Park (1993).
Goldman is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, he is on the Board of Trustees of the Phoenix Art Museum and is a member of the United Way, Alexis de Tocqueville Society. He and creative partner Don Bluth most recently produced the feature film Anastasia, which was released in November of 1997 and Titan AE which was released in June of 2000.
Don and Gary are now working on a new Dragon's Lair movie which will be released in the next couple years.
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