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Neal Scanlan

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Neal Scanlan, Visual Effects Oscar Winner

    Neal Scanlan began his career at the age of nineteen as a Stop Motion Designer for Cosgrove Hall, on their production of 'Wind in the Willows' (1981). Three years later he moved to London and began his animatronics career on Walt Disney's 'Return to Oz' (1984). Forming a working relationship with designer Lyle Conway, he freelanced as the Chief Mechanical Designer on films such as Dennis Potter's 'Dream Child' (1984), Jim Henson's 'Labyrinth' (1985) and the 1986 Oscar nominated, film version of 'Little Shop of Horrors'.

    Neal became one of the founder members of the Jim Henson Creature Shop with whom he enjoyed a successful eight year relationship, first as an Animatronics Supervisor, then as Creative Supervisor. Some of the projects that Neal was directly involved with include, 'The Storyteller' (1987), 'Witches' (1988), 'Greek Myths' (1989) 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1 & 2' (1988 & 90) and 'Dinosaurs' (1991).

    Neal's achievements and the success of Kennedy Miller's 'Babe' (1993) resulted in Neal and his 'Henson Creature Shop' team, producing the animatronic effects for Walt Disney's '101 Dalmatians' (1995), the Special Make-Up Effects for Anthony Minghella's Academy Award Winner, 'The English Patient' (1994) and numerous television commercials.

    In 1996, Neal left the Jim Henson Organisation to form the Neal Scanlan Studio. The Studio is presently comprised of many of the industry's most experienced professionals, in all areas of animatronic design & construction. The Neal Scanlan Studio offers it's expertise as a combined group of technical, creative and ingenious film makers.

    To it's credit, the Neal Scanlan Studio has developed what can only be described as the most sophisticated animatronic control system available today -- the PAC. This technology, combined with photo-realistic animatronic characters, has been used on the set of Kennedy Miller's production of the sequel to 'Babe' during 1997 and 1998.