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Gary Trousdale expected to be laid off from the House of Mouse at the end of The Black Cauldron, but a series of in-house effects jobs kept him at Disney until his jokey cartoons ... and a recommendation from Joe Ranft ... helped boost him into Disney Feature Animation's story department ...
Becoming a feature animation director was another promotion that was far from pre-ordained. Gary and Kirk Wise were made "temporary" directors on Beauty and the Beast after the original directors left the project. It was only after months of work that they became "official," and the rest, as they say, is animation history.
Gary talks about all these things and more in Part II of the interview.