Originally from Cambridge, England, Simon Wells (Director) studied audio visual design at Leicester Polytechnic. He directed a variety of animated commercials under the tutelage of famed British animator Richard Williams. With the closing of Williams' commercial studio, Wells went on to create storyboards for Who Framed Roger Rabbit, ultimately becoming a supervising animator on that film. He subsequently did storyboarding and design work on Back to the Future Part II and III. His most recent credits are that of co-director on An American Tail II: Feival Goes West, and We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story. He is currently working as co-director (with Steve Hickner and Brenda Chapman) on the upcoming DreamWorks project Prince of Egypt.
Steve Hickner (Producer) has spent his entire career in animation. Before joining Amblimation, he worked for Disney on The Black Cauldron, The Great Mouse Detective and The Little Mermaid. He also worked as special coordinator on Who Framed Roger Rabbit. He served as associate producer on An American Tail II: Feivel Goes West and was producer on We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story. He is currently working as co-director (with Simon Wells and Brenda Chapman) on the DreamWorks animated film Prince of Egypt.
Executive Producer Steven Spielberg is one of the world's most respected and successful filmmakers. He reached a new peak with Jurassic Park, which grossed over $913,000,000 worldwide to become the highest-grossing film of all time, and Schindler's List, which earned seven Academy Awards, including Best Director and Best Picture.
In March of 1995, Spielberg was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute.
In 1987, he received the prestigious Irving G. Thalberg Award at the Academy Award ceremonies in recognition of his consistent excellence in filmmaking. He was further honored in 1993 at the Venice Film Festival with the Golden Lion Award for Career Achievement, and in February of 1995, he received a special Cesar Award in Paris for his body of work.
He has been associated as director or producer on six of the top 20 grossing films of all time.
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial is still the highest grossing film in the U.S. and Canada.
His direction of The Color Purple in 1986 earned him his first Directors Guild Award. The DGA also nominated him for Empire of the Sun, Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Raiders of the Lost Ark and E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial in addition to Schindler's List. For the last four, he was nominated by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Spielberg will direct The Lost World, the sequel to Jurassic Park, for Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment.
Since forming his own production company, Amblin Entertainment, in 1984, Spielberg has served as producer or executive producer on more than a dozen films; including such successes as Gremlins, Goonies, Back To The Future I, II, and III, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, An American Tail, The Land Before Time, The Flintstones and Casper. Other recent Amblin films include To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar, The Bridges of Madison County (directed by Clint Eastwood) and How to Make An American Quilt. Twister is in post-production as is Trigger Effect.
Spielberg is one of the industry's foremost champions of animation in feature films as well as television. Two of the most successful animated television shows are from Amblin and Warner Bros. Animation: Emmy Award-winning Tiny Toons Adventures (now in it's sixth season) and Animaniacs, which won a coveted George Foster Peobody Award in it's initial season. Two other animated shows, presented by Steven Spielberg debuted this year - in conjunction with Warner Bros. Animation - Pinky & the Brain and Freakazoid.
In October 1994, Spielberg joined with Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen to form DreamWorks SKG.
Kathleen Kennedy (Executive Producer) has established a record of achievements that has made her one of the most successful producers and executives in the film industry today.
A founding partner with Steven Spielberg and Frank Marshall of Amblin Entertainment, she was president of the company and has been at the forefront of Amblin's wide-ranging productions. In 1993, she and Frank Marshall established their own production company, The Kennedy/Marshall Company, based at Paramount Pictures. Their first project, Alive, was produced by Kennedy and directed by Marshall.
In addition to producing the record-breaking E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, she served as executive producer of Schindler's List and Jurassic Park and was producer on The Color Purple, Empire of the Sun, Always, Hook and Arachnophobia.
Kennedy's recent credits include that of producer on Congo and Indian in The Cupboard.
Prior to her duties as head of animation for Amblin Entertainment, Executive Producer Bonne Radford served as the production accountant/controller for such films as E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, the Back To The Future trilogy, Hook, Always and An American Tail. In 1985, Radford was named vice president of production and finance, a position she held until 1991. She has supervised the production of all of Amblimation's films. Her association with Steven Spielberg dates back to 1979 and Raiders of the Lost Ark, when Radford served as production assistant.
Screenwriters Elana Lesser and Cliff Ruby have made a strong entrance into the field of family-oriented animated feature films with Balto. Long-time veterans of children's and family-oriented television programming, Lesser/Ruby projects slated to follow Balto include Cat's Don't Dance (Kirchner/Turner Pictures) and Jason And The Golden Fleece. Lesser and Ruby started writing together in 1977 while still in college, and to date have accounted for nearly 300 half-hours of television programming. As writer/producers and development executives, they have spearheaded projects at HBO, TNT, Disney Channel, ABC, CBS, NBC and The Family Channel.
Screenwriters David Steven Cohen and Roger S. H. Schulman are veterans of television programming currently serving as co-executive producers on the Fox series Living Single. Balto is the first feature film for Cohen and the second for Schulman, who wrote Puff The Magic Dragon for the Kennedy/Marshall Company and 20th Century Fox. Previous Cohen/Schulman television collaborations include Cool Like That, Parker Lewis Can't Lose, Pee-wee's Playhouse, Alf and Homeroom.
James Horner has composed music for a diverse range of films, most recently Apollo 13, Casper, Braveheart and Legends of the Fall (which received a Golden Globe nomination last year for Best Original Score.) Somewhere Out There, the theme song he composed with Barry Mann for An American Tail (lyrics by Cynthia Weil), earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Song and won Grammy Awards for Song of the Year and Best Song for Motion Picture. In addition, Horner has received Academy Award nominations for his musical scores for Aliens, Field Of Dreams and Glory. Other credits include Clear and Present Danger, Patriot Games, The Pelican Brief, Searching for Bobby Fisher, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Cocoon.
It would be impossible to imagine the last three decades of pop music without the melodies of Barry Mann and the lyrics of Cynthia Weil (co-writers of Reach For The Light). Perhaps the most successful pure songwriting team in history, Mann and Weil have created a body of work so significant it has often been described as a soundtrack to our lives.
Together, this husband and wife team have written such classics as You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling (with Phil Spector), On Broadway (with Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller), Kicks, Uptown, Soul and Inspiration, We Gotta Get Outta This Place, Here You Come Again, Never Gonna Let You Go, Just Once, Don't Know Much (with Tom Snow) and Somewhere Out There (with James Horner), to name just a few.
In addition to countless appearances of their classics on screen, Mann and Weil have created songs for such films as About Last Night, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, Oliver & Co., The Pagemaster, and An American Tail, for which they wrote Somewhere Out There. Christmas 1995 and early 1996 will see the release of their song scores for The Muppet Treasure Island and the animated All Dogs Go To Heaven II.