About Me

I was born on November 2, 1970 in San Diego, California. My father was in the navy so we traveled to a few other cities, but eventually returned to San Diego in 1979, where I resided until 1999. I am currently located in the San Francisco Bay Area.  I married the incredible Candace Apple in December of 1996, four years after we met. We have 2 insanely cute daughters now.  I enjoy drawing, playing guitar, photography, travel, animals, spicy food, yoga, hiking, good movies, and the great outdoors.


I attended Bonita Vista High School in Chula Vista, CA, and graduated with the class of 1988. I have a B. A. in Studio Art from the University of California, Irvine. My last year of five I spent in Bordeaux, France on the Education Abroad Program, where I traveled extensively and enrolled in art courses instructed in French. I graduated in 1993 and returned to San Diego.


Two months later I somehow found a job. I was doing primitive CG pre-visualization of architectural and engineering projects at a small business called "Digital Design Simulations". This marked my introduction, albeit meager, to 3D computer graphics.  I worked there for a year, and in June of 1994 got a part-time design internship at a small game developer, Presto Studios, in San Diego. I received the internship despite a nebulous portfolio and no practical design experience. I was initially hired to assist Phil Saunders in the design of the adventure game "Journeyman Project 2: Buried in Time". As the game's scope snowballed my role as a designer expanded, and I was eventually hired on.  I learned how to paint and create textures in Photoshop, did some visual effects in After Effects, I acted in some of the game's video sequences, and I even did a little writing for some of the in-game text.

I went on to the positions of Creative Director on "Gundam 0079," Conceptual Designer on "Journeyman Project 3: Legacy of Time," Art Director for John Saul's "Blackstone Chronicles," and Creative Director on "Star Trek: Hidden Evil". On these projects I also took on the role of 3D artist using the production skills I had acquired along the way. Meanwhile I began teaching myself character animation on my spare time, because it looked like fun and the software was becoming cheaper and more accessible.  I was inspired by the movies Toy Story and A Bug's Life, and more importantly by all the other amateur animators I was starting to see on the internet.  I grabbed a copy of Animation: Master and started reading and researching everything I could about animation and doing test exercises.  My third animation test, a lip-synch test called "Alien Song", became a viral hit on the internet.

I left Presto Studios in November of 1999 after five wonderful years to search for new challenges and hopefully work in films. I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and took on some freelance visual effects work for the movie "Titan AE" as well as other projects. In December of 1999 I was contacted by Pixar Animation Studios (the president had received a copy of "Alien Song" by email) and I have worked there ever since March of 2000.  “Monsters, Inc.” was my first feature project at the studio and I have worked on almost every Pixar feature film since then, including “Finding Nemo,” “The Incredibles,” “Cars,” “WALL•E,” (for which I won an award from the Visual Effects Society) “Toy Story 3,” “Cars 2,” (for which I was a Directing Animator) “Brave,” and "Monsters University".  In addition to my work as an animator, I worked alongside John Lasseter and Rob Gibbs as co-director on a number of the “Cars Toon” short films including “Rescue Squad Mater,” “Mater the Greater,” “El Materdor” and “Tokyo Mater.” I most recently worked as a Supervising Animator on Disney•Pixar’s upcoming feature film “Inside Out,” set to release on June 19, 2015. 

I also teach animation on my spare time.  I taught at AnimationMentor.com for about 7 years, and I'm currently teaching at The Animation Collaborative in Emeryville.

I always enjoy learning new skills and finding new ways to expand my creative contributions. I have been lucky enough to work in places that allow me to grow and take on new challenges.


  1. Hello,
    I just wanted to let you know that fellow animator (and student Academy Award winner) Kristina Yee will be speaking at the Vacaville Public Library-Town Square on Saturday, June 6, 2015 at 2 p.m. I’m pasting the press release below and attaching a flyer. The event is free and everyone is welcome. I hope you can get out the word to your members and some of them will come.


    Kristina Yee, a native of Fairfield, will be at the Vacaville Public Library-Town Square on Saturday, June 6 at 2 p.m. to discuss her film about the first female aeronautical engineer, “Miss Todd,” and her new book, which was adapted from the film. She won an Academy Award in the student division for the film, the first time an animated film won the honor. She will screen portions of her film, demonstrate the puppets she used to make it, and dis¬cuss animation and her path to becoming a filmmaker. An artist’s reception and book signing will follow her presentation.

  2. Congrats on you animation career and your famous "Alien Song". I remember seeing that so many years ago, probably via email!