Lima, Kevin: Director of Disney’s Enchanted

Kevin Lima is the director of Disney’s new romantic comedy-musical, Enchanted.

Lima was born and raised in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and has been drawing as long as he can remember. He traces his fascination with animation back to his fifth birthday when he received the book, Preston Blairs Animation.

Inspiration from his grandmother led him to an association with Marc Kohlers professional puppetry theater, The Puppet Workshop in Providence, Rhode Island, and then to a summer with Eve Brooks Costumes in New York City creating costumes for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus.

These eclectic experiences began his lifelong fascination with bringing characters of imagination to life. Lima studied acting and theater design at Emerson College before going on to graduate from the California Institute of the Arts Animation Program.

He took his first animation job designing characters and going to Taiwan for six months to work as an animator for the independently produced feature The Brave Little Toaster. He helped develop a project called Samurai Cat and animated on The Chipmunk Adventure. Then in 1987, he joined Walt Disney Animation to animate the character of Fagin for Oliver & Company. Lima worked in many capacities on each of Disney Animations next five features.

He helped design Ursula, Flounder, and most of the incidental characters for The Little Mermaid; he played a key role in creating the characters of Lumiere, Mrs. Potts and Cogsworth for the 1991 feature Beauty and the Beast; and he storyboarded sequences for Aladdin. Concurrently during this period, Lima continued to pursue his passion for live theater; directing a community theater production of Stephen Sondheims Into the Woods.

In 1992, ready to direct, Lima helmed Disneys A Goofy Movie. The film was a critical and commercial success and breathed new life into a classic Disney character. Limas unexpectedly sensitive handling of material about the Goofy character and his son gave the film a surprisingly real, everyday quality that moviegoers of all ages related to. He followed this by directing the hugely successful and critically acclaimed Tarzan. More than a decade after its release, A Goofy Movie continues to be one of Disneys strong DVDs and the Tarzan franchise has evolved into a DVD success, an attraction at the Disneyland Parks, a Broadway musical and a video premiere sequel.

Again ready for new challenges, in 2000 Lima went on to make his live-action directing debut with 102 Dalmatians starring Glenn Close. He followed that by directing Julie Andrews in the television features Eloise at the Plaza and Eloise at Christmastime (2003) for ABC. His work on the latter film won him the Directors Guild of America award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Childrens Programs.

Kevin Lima currently lives in Marin County, California with his wife, artist/director Brenda Chapman, who is directing a film at Pixar Animation, and their daughter, Emma Rose.