7 june, 1970
Dean DeBlois is a Canadian writer, director, and producer known best for having co-written and co-directed Disney's "Lilo & Stitch" and Dreamworks' "How To Train Your Dragon, both Oscar nominees. While working as an assistant animator and layout artist for Hinton Animation Studios in Ottawa, Ontario, DeBlois simultaneously attended Sheridan College's three year Classical Animation program. Upon graduation in 1990, DeBlois was immediately hired by Don Bluth Studios in Dublin, Ireland. There, he cut his teeth as a layout artist, character designer, and storyboard assistant to Don Bluth on such films as "Thumbelina" and "A Troll in Central Park." In 1994, DeBlois left Ireland to work for Walt Disney Feature Animation as a storyboard artist, where he soon replaced his frequent collaborator, Chris Sanders, as Head of Story on "Mulan." Shortly thereafter, they re-re-teamed to create the lush and whimsical "Lilo & Stitch," heralded by critics as Disney's last great hand-drawn film. Following its release in 2002, DeBlois sold several original live action feature projects to write, direct, and produce, including "The Banshee and Finn Magee," "The Lighthouse," and "Sightings," set-up at Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone, and Universal Studios respectively. At present, all three remain in development. 2007 unveiled DeBlois' first foray into documentary filmmaking, with the acclaimed feature length music film, "Heima," chronicling the homecoming concert odyssey of Iceland's famed post-rock phenomenon, Sigur Rós. In October of 2008, DeBlois returned to feature animation to co-write and co-direct Dreamworks then-troubled "How To Train Your Dragon," once again re-teaming with Sanders. The two re-envisioned the story from scratch, leading the production to its March, 2010 release, at break-neck speed. The resulting film earned Dreamworks Animation its highest critical acclaim to date and became the studio's top grossing film outside of the "Shrek" franchise. During this same time, DeBlois also directed another feature-length music film for Sigur Rós front-man Jónsi, entitled "Go Quiet," as well as a feature length concert film entitled "Jónsi: Live at The Wiltern." At present, DeBlois is writing, directing, and executive producing the highly anticipated sequel to "How To Train Your Dragon," which he describes as "the epic second act of a much larger story."