CEO / Executive Creative Director
Brain Zoo Studios
With more than 25 years of experience in the entertainment and animation industry, Mo is an Emmy award-winning and Academy Award Selected CEO and Executive Creative Director of Brain Zoo Studios. At Brain Zoo, he oversees the vision and creative standards of the company and is instrumental in the company's growth and IP creation. Mo manages the business development, client relations and the day to day operations, while maintaining working relationships with clients like Activision/Blizzard, Electronic Arts, Sony, Microsoft, Disney, and Marvel. Some of his key projects are Guardians of the Galaxy series, Ultimate Spiderman series, Call of Duty Black Ops 4, Game of Thrones Game, Lego Star Wars, Disney Infinity 3, Skylanders, Lord of the Rings and Star Wars franchises. Mo received a BS degree in Industrial Design from Art Center College of Design, MBA degree from Pepperdine University and is a member of Visual Effects Society.
Focusing on caricature and editorial Illustration, Richard Ewing has been illustrating professionally since 1987. His black & white work is done in ink using a range of tools from various quill pens to brush; his color art is Acrylic, or Acrylic and Brush & Ink and various other media. His clients include: The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Hollywood Reporter, Time Magazine, AARP, BBDO(LA)-(Blue Cross) • Ogilvy & Mather-(AmEx) • Wells Rich & Greene-(Ford Motor Co.) • Merkley, Newman, Harty-(National Thoroughbred Racing Association) The Orange County Register, LosAngeles Lawyer among others.
Richard's original artwork is kept in private collections of notables such as Kurt Vonnegut and Englebert Humperdink. Richard Ewing is a native of Southern California receiving his BFA and MFA in Illustration from C.S.U. Long Beach in 1987 and 1998 respectively, studying under Dick Oden. Richard is currently living with his family in Long Beach.
Rick Farmiloe has been animating childhoods for over 30 years, and is best known for breathing hilarity into iconic Disney sidekicks Scuttle, Lefou, and Abu in the beloved Academy Award winning films The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin.
During his 11 years at Disney, he animated on seven features and one short, which included The Black Cauldron, Mickey’s Christmas Carol, The Great Mouse Detective, Oliver and Company, and The Rescuers Down Under.
Beyond his work for Disney, Rick’s feature film credits include The Swan Princess, The Prince of Egypt, The Road to El Dorado, Shrek, Rugrats Go Wild, Curious George, The Simpsons Movie, Boxtrolls, The Iron Giant: Signature Edition, and four Tom and Jerry DVD features. He also animated on numerous Snoopy commercials for Bill Melendez.
In 2011, Rick was an animator on two Annie Award productions: Adam and Dog, and Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Furious Five. He animated on yet another Annie Award winning commercial, Coca Cola’s Man and Dog in 2015. Recently Rick has been working with director, Henry Selick on his new project, Wendell and Wild.
Digital Painting and Character Design
Bobby Hernandez, originally from Dallas, Tx, moved out to California to pursue a career in the entertainment industry doing what he loves. He has worked in various fields from Animation to Video Games, creating Heroes, Villains, Monsters and the worlds in which they live! As a graduate of LCAD, he has had the opportunity to work for places such as Cartoon Network and Obsidian Entertainment. As the world around him gets older, he hopes to continue to pursue a life in his personal Neverland of animation, video games and imaginary worlds.
Rick Hoppe is a 40 year professional artist and Disney character animator. Since starting in 1980 on the film "The Fox and the Hound", he has contributed his talents to most of the traditional Disney features up through "The Princess and the Frog" in 2009.
He majored in illustration at Art Center College of Design and later studied drawing and painting privately with Glen Vilppu. In his early years at Disney he trained with Disney veterans Eric Larson and Glen Keane. He has been known for his superb draftsmanship and acting ability, and has been much in demand by directors.
During Rick's tenure at Disney, he had the opportunity to develop a training curriculum and lecture and mentor new artists, "Much to my delight, I discovered that I am a natural teacher. Some of my fondest memories at Disney are mentoring assistants, fueling their enthusiasm and watching their talent flower." Many artists who Rick trained are now leaders in the industry.
Rick Hoppe is an excellent communicator. He is fully present to the needs of the student and is able to impart a clear understanding of the key skills of expressive drawing, fluid animation and eloquent acting. He inspires and empowers his students, "I'm committed to my students becoming top notch animators and leaving LCAD prepared to excel in the animation industry."
Karen Keller has a BA in Graphic Design from UCLA. She has over twenty-five years of experience creating key Layout and Visual Development art at Disney Feature Animation. For seven years she served as Co-Owner and Creative Director of a small animation production and services company that specialized in Production Design. She has been to Cannes and AFM as a participant in the film market, bringing original content packages to distribution agents. For the past ten years, her professional life has included teaching traditional Disney Layout at LCAD. Her specialty is cinematic style and design with an emphasis on professional development.
Fundamentals of Animation, Animation 1, Directing for Animators, Senior Film
After graduating from the USC School of Cinema-Television in 1991, Dave joined Warner Bros. Animation where he worked on "Animaniacs", "Taz-Mania" and "Carrotblanca." He was then hired by Walt Disney Studios as an animator on the feature films "Pocahontas", "Hercules" and "Fantasia 2000" and as a supervising animator on Disney's Television's "Mouseworks" and "The Tigger Movie." He trained as a computer animator for Rhythm & Hues and worked on the "Scooby Doo" feature before returning to traditional animation at Warner Bros. for "Looney Tunes: Back in Action." Dave also animated for Electronic Arts on the game series "Medal of Honor" before founding his own animation company CAAT Studios in 2004 with former Disney artists Shawn Keller and Toby Bluth. In additional to his duties as Chair of Animation at Laguna College of Art & Design he is creating a short cartoon called "Nina Hyena" featuring the voice talent of punk rock singer Nina Hagen.
I received my BFA from California State University Fullerton, graduating with Honors. My emphasis was in Drawing and Painting, but in my last year, I caught the animation bug and became involved in the first ACME program. I continued my studies in animation by becoming one of the founding students at the Animation Academy in Burbank. Shortly thereafter, I was hired as a Character Designer at Klasky Csupo studios, working on The Rugrats and Rocket Power. But becoming a mother changed my path in animation. Wanting to be home for my family, I left the Hollywood studio and began working from home as a children's book illustrator and muralist. Working with Nickelodeon, I have illustrated several books for Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing and Random House. Many of my murals grace the walls of businesses and homes in Orange and Los Angeles counties. I began a new direction as a gallery artist after becoming a finalist in a national competition to create Obama Art. After exhibiting my work with Manifest Hope during the Democratic National Convention, I was invited to create a new painting specifically for the Manifest Hope: DC Gallery during the week of the inauguration of Barack Obama. Since then, I have started my own company, OC ART STUDIOS, teaching art enrichment classes to elementary school aged children in the Orange Unified School District.
John Joseph Perez was captivated by storytelling from an early age. That drove him to pursue a career in the arts. He attended the Don Bosco Technical Institute, majoring in design. In 2004 Perez enrolled at the Laguna College of Art and Design majoring in Animation. While at LCAD, Perez was mentored by many brilliant instructors. They instilled in him the emphasis to put character and story above all else in his creations. After graduating in 2008, Perez decided to focus on Storyboard Art as a full-time profession.
During a six-year career working in the production of animation and video games Perez collaborated on projects with such organizations as D.A.R.E. and Lucky Kat World - companies committed to serving young people with anti-drug and anti-bullying endeavors. With a focus on storyboard art, Perez worked for various licensed properties, including South Park: The Stick of Truth, which was developed by Obsidian Entertainment. Perez attributes the skills he learned during his time at Laguna for his success while working professionally. He learned the value of an expedient work ethic invaluable skill of being able to improve based on peer feedback. While illustrating the scripts on projects such as this, Perez began exploring screenplay construction. That sparked new interests and a concentrated focus on screenwriting. He began to devote his energies to original writing projects. Along with illustrator Marco Maccagni and fellow LCAD alumni Bobby Hernandez, Perez created a comic book series "Archon", published by Action Lab Entertainment.
In 2015 he was admitted to the USC School of Cinematic Arts in the Writing for Screen and Television MFA program. In both in his writing in comics and for Screen Perez utilizes the foundation instilled upon him by his Fine Arts education. His eclectic career through animation, video games and writing has given Perez a unique perspective on the arts. He hopes to continue to share his distinct creative and cultural perspective throughout his artistic endeavors.
For nearly 30 years, Mr. Pruiksma has worked in virtually every aspect of the production of character animation. Most notably, he is a member of a very small group of Walt Disney Feature Animation Supervising/Directing Animators mentored by Eric Larson and others of Walt Disney's renowned "Nine Old Men." As a result of this training and experience, he has been instrumental in bringing to life numerous Disney characters on over 18 of the studio's animated features and shorts, commencing with Mickey's Christmas Carol and continuing through nearly all studio productions including The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King and so forth. He has also done extensive lecturing, recruiting and publicity for many of the Disney animated features and created and administered several training and development programs for Walt Disney Feature Animation which has been instrumental in shaping the curriculum of LCAD's Animation program.
Storyboarding, Animation 2, Animation 3, Senior Film
Alex Topete is from the San Francisco Bay Area, and moved to Los Angeles in 1977 after graduating from San Jose State University (BA, Illustration). He worked at Animation House, Hanna Barbera Studios, Filmation, Richard Williams, Ralph Bakshi, Bill Melendez, Duck Studios, Nickelodeon, Kroyer Films and twenty years at Walt Disney Feature Animation as a lead key clean up animator from 1984 through 2004 (The Black Cauldron through Home On The Range).
He was Head of Clean Up Animation on Fantasia 2000. He has been teaching Animation Basics at the American Animation Institute in Burbank, CA since 1992.
Favorite animation assignments include The Horned King (The Black Cauldron), Ursula (The Little Mermaid), Tito (Oliver & Company), Hyenas (Lion King), Wolves & Beast (Beauty and the Beast), Joanna the Lizard (Rescuers Down Under), Guards and Rajah the Tiger (Aladdin) and the entire Fantasia 2000 project.
His mentors were “Golden Age” animators from Disney, MGM, Fleischer, Warner's and even silent cartoon artists. My “old school” approach to traditional animation may seem like an anachronism in this computer age, yet he believes that a pencil & paper approach fills a void and fulfills a need lacking in many of today’s technically focused schools and studios.
I was born in Orange County and have lived here all my life. As a teenager, I fell in love with drawing and started working as an illustrator right out of Junior College. My clients included MAD Magazine, Warner Brothers, Hanna-Barbera, Dark Horse Comics, Nickelodeon and over forty advertising agencies including dGWB and Chiat Day Mojo. I started teaching illustration part-time in 1984, and since then I've taught over 200 courses at colleges and universities. I've also taught anatomy, drawing, and composition courses at Interplay, Rockstar, Insomniac Games, Disneyland, Ingram Micro, LeapFrog Animation, and Blizzard Entertainment. I still love to draw, but teaching has become my profession. I see it as an artform and a privilege. I get to teach what I love to do!
Larry White has always had a passion for Art, Comics, Animation, Film and Illustration. He received a BS Degree in Graphic Design/Illustration at San Jose State University and later received a BA Degree in Character Animation/Film Graphics from the Disney Character Animation Program at California Institute of the Arts. While attending Cal Arts he was awarded a Disney mentorship with animator Eric Larson. He has worked at Filmation, Hanna-Barbera, Ralph Bakshi studios and later at Disney Feature Animation for 15 years. At Disney he worked on such Features as "Rescuers Down Under", "Beauty and the Beast" - (Supervising the Wolves), "Aladdin", "Pocahontas", "The Lion King", "Hunchback of Notre Dame", "Dinosaur" - (Supervising CG Animator of Suri - child Lemur), "Atlantis", "Treasure Planet" among other projects.
He has animated commercials at Duck Soup and Renegade Animation and also animated on the Paula Abdul "Opposites Attract" Music Video.
In 2001 he ventured to explore new computer animation opportunities and has worked at many of the major studios including Rhythm and Hues, Sony Feature Animation, Digital Domain VFX, Asylum VFX, ZOIC, ILM, The Third Floor and Tippet Studios. Some of the films are, "Scooby Doo", "The Lion Witch and Wardrobe", "Open Season", "Monster House", "Surfs Up", "The Transformers", "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen", "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor", "Speed Racer", "Sorcerer's Apprentice", "Cowboys and Aliens", "Premium Rush", "TED".
Most recently in the last four years, he has contributed animation to Electronic Arts Sports games, "NBA Live 15 to NBA Live 18".
He has taught Character Animation at California Institute of the Arts, Associate of the Arts and he is now pleased to be teaching at LCAD.