Dan Daly graduated from Whitman College in 1987 with a major in English and minor in political science. He went on to attend night school for three years at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, where he studied traditional figure drawing. He also he attended a figure drawing workshop with Burne Hogarth at the Scottsdale Artists’ School.
In 1990, Daly submitted his portfolio to Walt Disney Feature Animation, and was chosen for a 16-week intensive internship at Disney’s Florida studio. After successfully completing the program, he returned to California and spent a year working as both a special effects inbetweener and character inbetweener for Kroyer Studios on the feature film FernGully: The Last Rainforest, and as a character inbetweener for Don Bluth Studios on the feature film Thumbelina.
Daly was then hired permanently by Walt Disney Feature Animation Florida. He spent 12 years at Disney, working his way up to the position of Key Assistant Animator, where he was responsible for leading crews of three to ten artists, as well as mentoring entry-level artists. Daly’s credits at Disney include Trail Mix-Up, The Lion King, Pocahontas, Mulan, John Henry, Lilo & Stitch, and Brother Bear. While at Disney, Daly continued to attend figure drawing and painting sessions and workshops, as well as seminars on most aspects of filmmaking, including Bruce Block’s lectures on visual structure in filmmaking.
After Disney’s Florida studio closed, Daly began showing and selling some of his plein-air paintings at the Germanton Gallery in Germanton, North Carolina, and also completed several portrait commissions before moving to Wisconsin to become Supervising Animator at a small start-up studio. While animating during the day, he attended regular evening portrait painting sessions at the studio of Dan Gerhartz, a prominent oil painter. After two years in Wisconsin, Daly moved to Washington to begin his teaching career at DigiPen.
Daly is passionate about drawing and animation and enjoys sharing this passion with his students. His greatest pleasure in teaching is when he sees this passion take hold in a student.
- Brother Bear (2003)
- Lilo & Stitch (2002)
- John Henry (2000)
- Mulan (1998)
- Pocahontas (1995)
- The Lion King (1994)
- Trail Mix-Up (1993)
- FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992)