Show 026 – Ken Duncan, Part One

Ken Duncan

“That to me is one of the funnest things about animation; is experimentation. And that’s…that’s the spirit of animation.”

Ken Duncan has served as a supervising animator on four Disney films. His characters include Thomas (Pocahontas), Meg (Hercules), Jane (Tarzan), Captain Amelia and Scroop (Treasure Planet). Ken was also a sequence supervisor on Dreamworks’ Sharktale. He currently is running his own studio, Duncan Studio, based in Pasadena, California. This is part one of the interview.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Continue for Show Notes, audio file download links, and comments…

Get the MP3 here: Show 26: Ken Duncan, Part One
Animation Podcast Show 26 MP3(26.3MB, 56:58 minutes)

Or get the enhanced version playable only with Quicktime, iTunes, or iPods.
(Includes chapter breaks, pictures and links in addition to the audio.)
Get the enhanced podcast here: Show 26: Ken Duncan, Part One
Animation Podcast Show 26 Enhanced(26.3MB, 56:58 minutes)


  • 00:00 The Intro Voice
  • 00:05 Theme Song by DJ Sweettooth (Joe Moshier)
  • 00:50 Sponsored by –
  • 01:06 Introduction – Duncan Studio
  • 02:24 Animating for 24 years
  • 03:20 Sheridan College
  • 04:10 Learning about animation, developing skills
  • 07:30 Goals in animation
  • 09:08 Intruiged by early CG animation
  • 11:05 First work after Sheridan
  • 12:58 Canadians + animation
  • 13:41 Working in Paris on Asterisk
  • 15:18 Oscar Grillo – blog
  • 19:03 Working in Madrid on BFG
  • 21:02 American vs. European art
  • 24:23 Interest in more involved performances
  • 26:04 Working at Bluth in Ireland
  • 28:25 Learning the ropes along the way
  • 33:08 Acting
  • 37:28 Supervising CG characters
  • 40:15 Styles and influences of different animators
  • 47:09 Animating female characters
  • 50:19 Expanding performaces in CG
  • 51:28 Conclusion
  • 51:38 Feedback info/Voicemails – Email ClayLink to Voicemail
  • 56:33 Sponsored by –
  • 56:44 Closing

Related posts:

  1. Show 028 – Ken Duncan, Part Three
  2. Show 027 – Ken Duncan, Part Two
  3. Show 016 – Burny Mattinson, Part One
  4. Show 021 – Dale Baer, Part One
  5. Show 023 – James Baxter, Part One

14 Responses to “Show 026 – Ken Duncan, Part One”

  1. Vince Gorman says:

    Thanks for another great podcast. I look forward to these and I probably listen to each one of them 3 or 4 times. There is always something new that I get out of them. Keep up the good work. I have a question for you. What are you animating right now at work, and what things are you currently struggling with/focusing on?


  2. Oh man! Andreas, Glen, Baxter, Ranieri and now Ken Duncan. These are quite literally the guys whose work inspired to become an animator. And your hitting them all!

  3. Hi Clay, first post for me here. Thank you so much for making these podcasts. I too am constantly listening to them at work and when I walk around my town looking for stuff to draw. :)

    Keep it going man! Animation Podcast rocks my socks off!

  4. Nate Lane says:

    Hey man these are awesome! Just want to thank you so much for all your time you have spent in making this possible. The past week I have been catching up on what I have already missed, and likely will be going back through them again next week.

    Best of luck with Disney crunchin time!


  5. Jay says:

    This month’s show has to be my favourite so far. Ken’s experiences in all those different places, as well as his thoughts on acting and experimentation were really interesting to hear.
    Keep up the good work!

  6. Another home run on Animation Podcast ! That was another great interview.

    I think this is the Hagar the Horrible commercial that Ken was talking about (which he animated at Oscar Grillo’s studio) —

  7. Stephen says:

    Thanks for the show! Question, I have heard you mention studying animation by pausing the films frame-by-frame. Can you tell us what you used to do this? My DVD player on my television does not have the capability (as far as I know), nor does the DVD software for my computer. The WinDVD software has the capability to “step forward,” but that jumps every couple of frames. Thanks

    If anyone else knows that would be great too :)

  8. Floyd Norman says:

    Great as always, Clay. After working with Ken at Disney, and continually hanging out at his Pasadena studio, I thought I pretty much knew all about him. You’ve managed to reveal so much more.

    I loved listening to Ken talk about animation, and I can’t wait to hear more.

  9. Andy Seredy says:

    Thanks again for this pod cast. I like how Ken touched more on acting this time around. I actually dug up some old acting books I had, and started looking over them again. Just so I could start thinking about different techniques to try out. Thanks for the fuel.

  10. Kyle Maloney says:

    you asked about the length, well I’ll just say for me personally, the longer the better. I don’t necessarily listen to it all at once, but I love being able to listen for 15 mins er so, pause it and do other things, and go back to the podcast. and I’m always sad to finally reach the end. so yeah, if your ever torn between putting it all up as multiple podcasts or just one, I’d definitely prefer one.

    cant wait for the next one.

  11. Uros Setina says:

    I’ve been listening since the beginning and I don’t mind longer shows. Whatever works for you better, so we can get shows faster. :)

    Keep up with amazing work!

  12. angel gracious says:

    its really great 2 hv some moments with ur words.its give me a confidence 2 be there in this field even though am only a beginner.hope ur great suggestions wil be there with me. thankyou

  13. hey,just found your Blog when i google something and wonder what hosting do you use for your website,the speed is more faster than my blog, i really need to know it.will back to check it out,thanks!

  14. Thank you for the podcast. I love learning and hearing how people come from beginners to hitting it big on the screen with their animation work. I’m a Jr. 3D animator looking to learn, grow, and hopefully one day, work at a major studio. Thanks, keep them coming!!