From Black Cauldron to the Smurfs: director Kelly Asbury on the evolution of animation

Kelly Asbury, director of Smurfs: The Lost Village, opens up about his 40 years of working in the world of animation.
Director and animation artist Kelly Asbury and Tom Power in the q studios in Toronto, Ont. (Melody Lau/CBC)

When Kelly Asbury was a teenager, he knew exactly what he wanted to do: work in animation.

Being a "complete Disney nerd," he set his sights for the biggest animation goal there was — and "by happenstance," his first feature, as an artist, turned out to be 1985's The Black Cauldron

"It was just a timing thing where I got in at the right time," he says. "I was beside myself, I couldn't believe it."

Asbury has since worked on a number of films including 1995's Toy Story, 2013's breakout Disney hit, Frozen, ​and most recently, directing Smurfs: The Lost Village. Today, he joins Tom Power in the studio to talk about his years in the world of industry and the evolution of animation. 

— Produced by Sarah Grant


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