An Inside Look at Disney Animators #Mulan #DisneyOzEvent

by Carrie with Children with 8 comments

I talk a lot about my Disney Bucket List – it’s a pretty big list and I recently crossed another item of my list – to meet a Disney animator.

On my recent trip to California, I had the opportunity to meet former Disney animators (and twin brothers) Tom and Tony Bancroft. Tony served as  the co-director of Mulan and Tom was the supervising animator of Mushu – Mulan’s dragon sidekick.

Disney Mulan Animators Tony and Tom Bancroft

It was fascinating to hear how they both started their careers at the California Institute of the Arts and made their way to Florida for a Walt Disney Feature Animation internship in 1988 – during the making of The Little Mermaid.  It’s cool enough to have that experience, but to share it with your twin brother?!  That’s just amazing!

Tom and Tony explained the process of creating Mushu, involving an enormous amount of time studying ancient Chinese dragons.  From their outward appearance, all the way to the coloring of the character – every single detail was studied in creating Mushu.  I thought it was interesting that once it was decided that Eddie Murphy would be the voice of Mushu, the character himself slowly molded into place.

Bancroft Brothers Disney Animation

The Bancroft brothers surprised all of us when they presented each of us with our very own sketch of Mushu and Mulan’s lucky cricket Cri-Kee.  I’ve got mine proudly displayed at my desk – with Mushu peering over from behind my computer.  It’s a fantastic memento that I’ll treasure forever.

There’s nothing better than learning about the steps it takes to make a movie than from Disney animators themselves.

Mulan and Mulan II Blu-ray

Mulan, a story of great power, family and honor is one my family’s favorite Disney films. This fantastic movie is available today – order the Mulan and Mulan II Combo Pack now!

For the Latest News on Mulan and Mulan II –

Be sure and “Like” Mulan on Facebook. 

Stay up to date with all things Mulan at the Official Mulan site.


**** Walt Disney Pictures invited me on this all-expenses paid trip as their guest . Thoughts and opinions here are 100% my own and not influenced by others. This post contains affiliate links.**


  • Stephanie

    How incredibly cool! The who animations process is just so neat, especially because Disney is involved!

    • Carrie with Children

      I totally agree with you, Stephanie! Such a fascinating process! Thanks for reading

  • Tiffany

    That is SO COOL!!!! I always love hearing “behind the scenes” stuff like this. Thank you for taking the trip and sharing with us!

    • Carrie with Children

      Thanks so much for reading, Tiffany! It was fascinating to hear their stories and such a great trip too.

  • marybeth @

    You are adorable and that sounds like an AMAZING experience! I’m a big Disney fan and a total child at heart–I’d love to do something like that one day!

    • Carrie with Children

      Thanks MaryBeth! It was a once in a lifetime type day – I’m a big Disney fan too!

  • Dee

    How cool! I’m from the area of Disneyland and never once got to meet an animator. Those two look like fun! (And Mulan is a fave of mine.)

    • Carrie with Children

      Thanks for reading, Dee! The Bancroft brothers were a lot of fun – very personable! It was a great experience!