When one looks at Mike Peraza´s impressive
career, it is common to wonder how he had the time to work on
so many film projects. From his early days creating layouts,
to working as the Art Director for Disney´s The Little
Mermaid, Mr. Peraza´s amazing talents have shaped the
animation world, and helped to usher in the fabled Disney Renaissance.
Born and raised in New
Orleans, one of the most culturally diverse cities in America,
Mike Peraza knew he wanted to be an artist from a very early
age. His animation work for a local TV station solidified this
dream and soon he set out west to attend the prestigious California
Institute for the Arts, a university that Walt Disney himself
helped to establish. However, tuition fees soon proved to be
too costly and he planned to drop out, but then famed animator,
Jack Hannah, Dean of the Disney Program, offered Mike a full
ride scholarship and made it possible for him to stay and study
the craft he loved so much.
At the end of his third year,
Mike Peraza was desperately searching for a job. After graduation,
while returning to his locker to clean out his supplies, Mr.
Peraza found a note inviting him to come and work for The Walt
Disney Studios, his dream job.
One of his first assignments
at Disney was to help in designing the multiplane shots for
The Fox and The Hound. This project was only the first in an
impressive list of animated features that Mr. Peraza had a hand
in shaping. This list includes projects such as Dragon´s
Lair, Space Ace, The Great Mouse Detective, TRON, Something
Wicked this way Comes, Return to OZ, Ducktales, Chip and Dale
— Rescue Rangers, Talespin, Goof Troop, Who Framed Roger
Rabbit, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Thumbelina, Stuart Little
and Warner Brother´s, Ice Age.
Mr. Peraza´s big break
came when, at the wrap party for The Great Mouse Detective,
John Musker and Ron Clements brought over The Little Mermaid
script and asked if he would be interested in Art Directing
it. As a big fan of Mr. Muscker and Mr. Clements, Peraza didn´t
have to think long before taking the position. When The Little
Mermaid premiered, it was given credit for breathing life back
into the animated feature film genre and also marked the beginning
of the era known as the Disney Renaissance.
Along with his wife, Patty,
and daughter, Kimberly, Mike Peraza donates a considerable amount
of time to youth groups aimed at helping troubled kids get a
second chance. He also spends much of his time helping to raise
awareness for Epilepsy, and hopes that one day his contributions
will facilitate a cure for this debilitating illness.
Collectors Editions is thrilled
to have Mike Peraza as a member of the Disney Fine Art Family,
and is confident that his consummate professionalism, groundbreaking
talent and love for all things Disney, will ensure that his
works are well received by all who look upon them.