Saturday, 24 March 2012

Animator Profiles: Michel Gagne

"Wherever the inspiration takes me is where I try to be." Gagne, Michel. (2005). Gagne International. Michel Gagne's Long Biography

Fig 1: Michel Gagne

Michel Gagne was born in a town called Roberval in Quebec. Ever since he was a child, he was deeply fascinated by the art of film making and animation. When he watched the Star Wars films and Walt Disney's Lady and The Tramp (1955), he decided that he wanted to base his career around film making and animation.
At the age of 18, he began to study classical animation at Sheridan College in Ontario, Canada.
At Sherdan, he completed two short films which he later sold to HBO and Show Time.
It was Gagne's dream to work at Bluth Studios. After completing his education at the Sheridan, he went to Bluth Studios and dropped off a demo reel with the receptionist there. A few days later, he received a call from one of the lead animators, ,John Pomeroy, asking him to join the studio.

Fig 2: A Still From The Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet

 During his time at Bluth, Gagne learned a lot about the production of feature films. He put that knowledge into use by working on his short film Prelude to Eden by working on it during his free time at Bluth Studios.

After Bluth Studios, Gagne moved on to Rich Animation and Available Light Studios before finally striking gold at Warner Brothers Animations.
At Warner Brothers', Gagne dabbled in the art of abstract painting and sculpture. He managed to sell a decent number of his artwork during an exhibition that was held during his time at Warner Brothers'.

In November 2004, Gagne put together a compilation of animations called Insanely Twisted Shadow Puppets. These were aired on the Nickelodeon TV channel Halloween Shriekin Weekend. These were later made into a game for the Xbox Live gaming console. According to reviewer Adam Pavlacka,"Gagné's pedigree as an animator is immediately obvious as soon as you boot up the game, as the Xbox 360 floods your mind with visuals that look very Tim Burton-esque" Pavlacka,Adam. (2011). Reviews. XBLA Review: Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet.

Fig 3: A Still From Sensology
The artists that inspire Gagne are Jack Kirby, Eiji Tsuburaya, Steve Ditko, Picasso, Kandinsky, Yves Tanguy, Yerka, Oscar Fishinger, Osamu Tezuka, Miyazaki, Don Bluth, Walt Disney, Ishiro Honda, George Lucas, Moebius, writers such as B R Bruss, Richard Adams, H G Wells, Jack Williamson, Edmond Hamilton, M A Rayjean, Philip Wylie.

He also created the animation for Disney Pixar's Ratatouille where the protagonist Remy tastes different foods and those tastes are represented in the form of image using light and colour. 
This technique is similar to the animated short that he created, titled Sensology(2010). This is a hand drawn animation that took Michel Gagne four years to create.
Gagne states,"Back in June 2006, Nancy and I were invited to the Vancouver International Jazz Festival by Coastal Jazz’s manager of artistic programming, the amazing Rainbow Robert. That’s where I heard piano improvisor, Paul Plimley for the first time. As Paul played, I closed my eyes and had an intense synesthetic experience. When the show ended, I immediately started feeling a compulsion to express in animation what I had just experienced." Allen, Andrew S.(2011).Short of The Week. Sensology.


Gagne, Michel. (2005). Gagne International. Michel Gagne's Long Biography. Available online at:

Allen, Andrew S.(2011).Short of The Week. Sensology. Available online at:

Pavlacka,Adam. (2011). Reviews. XBLA Review: Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet. Available online at:

Geronimi,Clyde.(1955). Lady and The Tramp.

List of Illustrations:

Fig 1: Gagne,Michel.

Fig 2: Gagne,Michel. (2004). Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet.

Fig 3: Gagne,Michel. (2010). Sensology

1 comment:

  1. Ah you got to love his work :)

    Btw I have your money when ever you want it? Also where abouts did you get it and you mist me wairring it :) Though Im sure you will see it when you get back from easter :)

    Have a nice cupple of weeks now :)