Darrell Van Citters
Darrell Van Citters: Animation Ace and Historian
American director, animator, and author Darrell Van Citters’ career began in the Disney-sponsored Character Animation program at the esteemed California Institute of the Arts. While still a student, he spent a summer working as an in-betweener/gofer at Chuck Jones’ studio. The following summer he spent as an assistant at Filmation Studios.
Van Citters started at The Walt Disney Studio as an animation trainee after graduation, working his way up to animator on 1981’s The Fox and the Hound. The next year he directed Fun With Mr. Future, a live action/animated short, all while developing another much more ambitious live action/animated production that would become 1988’s Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
In 1987, Van Citters’ next stop was Warner Brothers Classic Animation, quickly rising to the rank of Creative Director during a crucial period in the studio’s history. In this role, Van Citters oversaw production of shorts, commercials, and print work featuring Warners’ beloved classic characters.
On the passing of Mel Blanc in July 1989, Van Cites drew the iconic “Speechless” drawing as a tribute to the legendary voice actor who brought so many classic characters to life. In what may be the all-time best selling piece of animation art, the drawing shows a spotlight fixed upon a microphone stand, as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Tweety, Sylvester, Yosemite Sam, Pepé Le Pew, Speedy Gonzales, and Foghorn Leghorn bow their heads solemnly.
In 1992, Van Citters founded Renegade Animation where he has directed numerous commercials, video projects, and several television series. As an author, Van Citters has written two books about animation history, Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol: The Making of the First Animated Christmas Special and The Art of Jay Ward Productions.