Hand Held

Don Hahn Biography

Don Hahn produced the Disney classic "Beauty and the Beast," the first animated film nominated for a Best Picture Oscar by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. "Beauty and the Beast" won a Golden Globe for Best Picture that same year. His next film, "The Lion King," broke box office records all over the world to become the top-grossing traditionally animated film in Disney history and a long-running blockbuster Broadway musical. Hahn also served as associate producer on the landmark motion picture "Who Framed Roger Rabbit." His other films include "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," "Atlantis: The Lost Empire" and the 2006 animated short, "The Little Matchgirl," which earned Hahn his second Oscar nomination.

Don made his directorial debut on "Waking Sleeping Beauty," a documentary that chronicles the perfect storm of people and circumstances that led to Disney's animation renaissance in the 1980s and '90s. The film played to rave reviews at film festivals in Telluride, Toronto, Palm Springs and the Hamptons, where it won the audience award for best documentary.

In 2010 Don completed a very personal documentary, "Hand Held," that chronicles the true story of Boston Globe photographer Mike Carroll, from his horrific discovery of pediatric AIDS in Romanian orphanages to his subsequent 20-year odyssey, fighting against stultifying bureaucracy to bring aid to forgotten children half-way around the world.
Don also serves as Executive Producer of the Disneynature films including "Earth," and last year's "Oceans." He is currently developing the stop-motion animated feature "Frankenweenie," which is being filmed in London with director Tim Burton.

Hahn has authored three books on the art of animation, including The Alchemy of Animation, which provides the definitive account of how animated films are created in the modern age. He is working on a new book, Brain Storm - Unleashing Your Creative Self, coming to bookstores in May 2011.

Don was born in Chicago and studied as a music and art major at Cal State University Northridge.