A native Californian, Bancroft grew up in Orange County. After a two-year stint at Cypress College, he enrolled in the character animation program at CalARts. This led to a summer job as a production assistant with filmmaker Ralph Bakshi and ultimately to an internship in California with Disney Feature Animation followed by a full-time position at the new Florida animation facility. Bancroft (along with this twin brother, Tom) was selected to be among the first group of animators to work at the Disney-MGM Studios. During his one-year stay in Florida, he had his first official assignment as an assistant clean-up animator on Roger Rabbit (Roller Coaster Rabbit). This was followed by a credit as animating assistant on The Rescuers Down Under working on the character of Frank the frill-necked lizard.
In 1990, he returned to California and worked as a character animator on Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin before being promoted to supervising animator role on The Lion King. After working on the character design and some preliminary animation for the gargoyle characters in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, he was tapped to join Barry Cook as a director on Mulan.
Bancroft and his wife, Rene, have two daughters, Savannah and Caitlin. They recently returned to Los Angeles after living in Florida during the production of Mulan.
Tony Bancroft Facts