Visual Effects Supervisor, Iwaju, Disney Animation Studios
MARLON WEST (Visual Effects Supervisor) has worked on Paperman, and served as Head of Effects Animation for Feast, both shorts won Academy Awards. He also was Head of Effects Animation for Frozen, which won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. He started his career producing educational films for Encyclopedia Britannica, after graduating from Columbia College in 1985. In 1989, he moved to Los Angeles and started freelancing, working on special effects for music videos, television commercials, and motion pictures. Marlon joined Walt Disney Animation Studios in 1993 as an effects animator on The Lion King.
Continuing in his role as effects animator, Marlon went on to work on Pocahontas, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Mulan, Tarzan, Fantasia/2000 and The Emperor’s New Groove. Marlon worked as Head of Effects on Atlantis: The Lost Empire and Home on the Range.
Marlon’s first assignment at Disney was to add the dust cloud effects to the wildebeest stampede scene in The Lion King. On Pocahontas, he was part of the team responsible for the storm sequence at the beginning of the film. He also designed and animated the effects for Grandmother Willow, Pocahontas’ aged adviser. Marlon also added the molten lead effects to The Hunchback of Notre Dame’s dramatic climax. For Hercules, he used his artistic skills to bring life to the hot-headed Hades and the destructive Titans. Marlon animated the fire on the shipwreck in Tarzan, as well as much of the lightning in the showdown between Tarzan and Clayton. He served as Assistant Effects Supervisor on the “Rhapsody in Blue” sequence of Fantasia/2000.
As Effects Lead on Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Marlon designed most of the effects for the film. He was also responsible for casting and keying all traditional and digital effects and worked closely with the Directors and Art Director to create the “comic book” look of the movie.
After transitioning to CG animated films and working as a digital artist animating and designing special effects on Chicken Little and Meet the Robinsons. Marlon helped to usher the return of traditional, 2-D animation (as well as the cartoon short form) back to the studio with his work as Artistic Coordinator and Visual Effects Supervisor on How to Hook Up Your Home Theater. Marlon was also the Head Of Effects Animation on The Princess and the Frog, Winnie The Pooh, Moana, and Frozen 2. In 2010 Marlon and several of his venerable peers African-American animators were honored by The Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center (BHERC). He was given Animation Magazine's Game Changer Award in 2019.
He is currently serving as Visual Effects Supervisor on Iwájú for Disney+. Always a music fan, he has worked as a DJ in various venues and styles. A native of St. Louis, Marlon resides with his kid and thousands of books and records in Glendale, California.