BATON ROUGE – The Red Stick International Animation Festival will present its second Lifetime Career Achievement Award to Mark Henn, a Disney animator who is responsible for creating many of the studio’s iconic princesses.
Henn was a supervising animator for Ariel of “The Little Mermaid,” Belle of “Beauty and the Beast,” young Simba in “The Lion King” and the title character in “Mulan.” Henn also worked as an animator for “The Rescuers Down Under,” “Mickey’s Christmas Carol” and “Pocahontas,” and directed the Disney short film “John Henry.”
“We created this award to honor those animators who truly love the medium and have in some way advanced the field for others,” said Red Stick Festival Director Stacey Simmons, Ph.D. “We are excited to present this award to Mark Henn, who has created some of the most beloved Disney characters, particularly the Disney princesses.”
In honor of Henn’s work, the festival will feature its own Princess Ball for young girls to come dance with their fathers, grandfathers, uncles, brothers or best friends in the Old State Capitol Senate Chamber on Friday, April 24, at 7:30 p.m.
East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Melvin “Kip” Holden will present Henn with the award at the festival’s closing-night dinner and reception on Saturday April 25, 2009 at the Hilton Capitol Center Heidelberg Ballroom at 8:30 p.m., during the fifth annual Red Stick International Animation Festival, which will take place April 22-25 in downtown Baton Rouge.
“Disney’s upcoming feature film, for which Mark created the princess character, takes place in Louisiana, and the fact that Louisiana also is home to the country’s largest animation festival makes this award a perfect and fitting way to honor Mark’s career,” said Emily Hoppe, an animation marketing and publicity professional with Walt Disney Animation Studios. “We are so honored to have another Disney animator selected for the Red Stick Festival’s Lifetime Career Achievement Award.”
At the 2008 festival, Simmons and Red Stick featured speaker Stuart Sumida, Ph.D., along with Mayor Holden, presented the inaugural Lifetime Career Achievement Award to Disney feature animator Andreas Deja, one of Disney’s few “keepers of Mickey,” the animators entrusted to sketch Disney’s marquee character, Mickey Mouse. Deja also created some of the company’s most enduring characters, including memorable villains Jafar, from “Aladdin,” and Scar, from “The Lion King.”
“As we continue our work to establish East Baton Rouge as America’s premier location to do animation, video game design and other forms of digital media, we are proud to have the honor of commemorating the work of Mark Henn, Andreas Deja, and other industry giants who have set the standards for animated films,” Mayor Holden said. “Their characters have left a lasting impression that inspires future generations of artists and animators, here in Baton Rouge and around the world.”
LSU’s Center for Computation & Technology sponsors the Red Stick International Animation Festival in partnership with the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, Baton Rouge Area Foundation, East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President’s Office, Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism and Louisiana Economic Development.
For more information on the festival, please visit www.redstickfestival.org
or call 225-389-7182.