Supervising Animator at Walt Disney Animation Studios
University of Pennsylvania
Nik Ranieri, Mark Henn, Andreas Deja
Ruben Azama Aquino (born December 18, 1953) is a Filipino-Japanese American character animator and a supervising animator who formerly worked at Walt Disney Animation Studios. His work has included several Disney characters, including Ursula in The Little Mermaid, Maurice in Beauty and the Beast, Simba as an adult in The Lion King, Chief Powhatan in Pocahontas, Li Shang in Mulan, Denahi in Brother Bear and Eudora and James in The Princess and the Frog. In March 2013, it was announced that Aquino had been laid off, as well as 8 other animators who worked at the studio, including Nik Ranieri.
His style is easily recognized by his powerful figures and his extremely geometric facial movements.
Ruben A. Aquino was born on December 18, 1953 in Okinawa, Japan. His father is a Filipino while his mother is Japanese.
He studied in Christ the King International School in Okinawa from kindergarten to high school and graduated in 1971. He attended the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and majored in Architecture.
From 1975 to 1979, Ruben worked as a graphic artist in Honolulu, Hawaii. He worked for Farmhouse Films as a trainee, which was his first job in animation.
After moving to Los Angeles in 1980, he worked for Hanna-Barbera Studios in visual development, character design, and layout. He was laid off after a year.
Months later, he was able to enter Walt Disney Feature Animation's clean-up training program and after completing it, he worked on a 30-second animation test of Fflewddur Fflam from The Black Cauldron and submitted it to the review board. He was promoted to animating assistant and has been working for Disney since 1982.