Although a veteran of the Chicago theater and music scenes, Ken Fountain cut his teeth as an animator in the city’s thriving advertising market – creating character work for well respected studios like Calabash Animation and Radar.
In 2007 he was tapped to join the DreamWorks Animation crew in Glendale California, and given the privilege to contribute animated performances to many worldwide blockbusters, including “Monsters Vs. Aliens”, “Shrek 4”, “Kung Fu Panda 2”, “Megamind”, “Puss in Boots”, as well as parts of the “How to Train Your Dragon” franchise.
Ken stepped away from the studio system in 2011 to pursue a dream of directing animation for education, and formed his own brand of animated titles under the banner “Crackerbox”. The animated app “Geo-Me!” (world geography taught through animated, musical characters) launched with much acclaim on Apple’s App Store, and is still being downloaded and enjoyed in classrooms across the globe. Crackerbox’s second series of shorts, “Wizards in My Machine” is currently in production, with Ken holding all the levers – writing, directing, music composition, storyboarding, visual development, CG animation, compositing and editing.
Since leaving California, Ken has continued working with major studios and directors as an independent artist. Most recently, Ken had the pleasure of animating for “The Peanuts Movie” from Blue Sky Studios (2015), as well as 2016’s Oscar Nominated Google Spotlight Story “Pearl”, directed by Oscar-winning director, Patrick Osbourne (“Feast”), and the upcoming VR release “Rainbow Crow” by Baobab Studios, featuring John Legend.
From the smallest commercial houses, to the largest animation studios in the world, Ken has gained a wealth of experience and understanding of just how much it takes to produce all forms of animation. He is proud of having a unique ability to be focused and methodical, while still maintaining a loose and risky sense of creativity. The decades he spent writing music and performing on stage inform every choice he makes as an animator and director. And he hopes to continue to wake up every day and be given the ability to do this thing he loves – bring characters to life!