How do you create your characters?
You keep on designing and re-designing until you get the one you want, depending on what's happening in the story.
What are your tips for creating animated characters?
It's by far a visual concept so you have to get how they look right first and then what they do follows on from that, which always changes as the story develops - it's very much a development process.
What's more important - what a character looks like or what they do?
It's a combination of the two, like you can't have a small-mouthed character that has to yell a lot! So often what will change is what the character does, so you need to change what they look like to suit that - and the other way round. To create Woody in Toy Story took 200 designs.
How did you become an animator?
I used to draw on the sidewalk using a broken brick in place of chalk. I got really into art at school and then went onto art college in California.
What is your advice for any kids interested in becoming one?
Just do plenty of drawing, I used to do five sketches a week on top of the other artwork I had to do in class, to get plenty of practise.
Animation is very much a team effort so you must be a team player. There are many different roles involved before you get the end result.
How important do you think art lessons are in school?
It is very important to do art in school. I think it would be criminal if there was no art in school.
Has Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) made animation easier?
Well it's kind of made it harder as it's made the standard and expectation higher. The art drives the technology and the technology drives the art so it's like going round in a circle. The technology is a major part of it and there is always something new to develop such as the fur for Monsters Inc., the water for Finding Nemo and now humans for The Incredibles. Luckily once it's been designed we've got it to use again so we could use the water from Nemo for Boundin'.