Kelly Adam Asbury
January 15, 1960
Beaumont, Texas, U.S.
|Died||June 26, 2020 (aged 60)|
Encino, California, U.S.
|Resting place||Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills|
|Alma mater||Lamar University California Institute of the Arts|
|Occupation(s)||Film director, writer, voice actor, illustrator|
|Employer(s)||Walt Disney Animation Studios (1983–1995, 2009–2013)|
DreamWorks Animation (1995–2009)
|Notable work||Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron|
Gnomeo & Juliet
Smurfs: The Lost Village
(m. 1990; div. 2006)
Kelly Adam Asbury (January 15, 1960 – June 26, 2020) was an American film director, writer, voice actor, and illustrator. He was best known for directing animated films, including Shrek 2, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, Gnomeo & Juliet, Smurfs: The Lost Village, and UglyDolls.
Asbury was born on January 15, 1960 Beaumont, Texas, the son of Josephine Margaret (Lebeouf) and Donald Leslie Asbury. His father Donald died from cancer when Asbury was 12. He attended Lamar University for two years before transferring to the renowned California Institute of the Arts in 1980, where he studied animation and filmmaking.
Asbury got his start at Walt Disney Feature Animation from 1983 to 1995, and contributed storyboards for several animated films including The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast, as well as Pixar's first feature film, Toy Story. In 1993, he was the assistant art director on Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas.
In 1995, he began working for DreamWorks Animation, and directed two Academy Award-nominated feature films, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002) and Shrek 2 (2004). In addition to directing, he provided some of the extra voices in Shrek 2 and Shrek the Third.
He directed and co-wrote the animated film Gnomeo & Juliet (2011), for which he also provided the voices of the tiny Red Goon Gnomes. He was nominated for two Annie Awards for directing and co-writing that film.
In 2003, he wrote a non-fiction book, Dummy Days, a biography of five 20th-century ventriloquists. He wrote and illustrated twelve children's books, including Rusty's Red Vacation, Bonnie's Blue House, and Yolanda's Yellow School.
In mid-2011 to mid-2012, Asbury briefly returned to Disney to contribute storyboards to Wreck-It Ralph and Frozen. His final directing credits were Smurfs: The Lost Village for Sony Pictures Animation and UglyDolls for STX Entertainment.
Asbury died of abdominal cancer on June 26, 2020, in his home, Encino, Los Angeles, at age 60. He was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills. He was featured in the In Memoriam section of the 93rd Academy Awards, and Spirit Untamed was dedicated to his memory.
|1984||The Littles||Storyboards (8 episodes)|
|1985||The Black Cauldron||Inbetween artist|
|1987||Sport Goofy in Soccermania||Short|
|1989||The Little Mermaid||Visual development artist|
|1990||The Rescuers Down Under||Character designer, storyboard artist, visual development|
|Roller Coaster Rabbit||Short|
|1991||Beauty and the Beast||Story, visual development artist|
|1993||The Nightmare Before Christmas||Assistant art director|
|1995||Toy Story||Story artist|
|1996||Quack Pack||Storyboard: Ducky Dearest|
|James and the Giant Peach||Storyboard supervisor with Joe Ranft|
|Disney's Animated Storybook: Toy Story||Video game|
Additional story and writing
|1998||Histeria!||Storyboard artist: The American Revolution|
|The Prince of Egypt||Artistic Supervisor: story with Lorna Cook and Ronnie del Carmen|
|2000||Chicken Run||Additional story artist|
|2001||Shrek||Story artist, special thanks|
|2002||Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron||Director with Lorna Cook [directorial debut]|
|2004||Shrek 2||Director with Andrew Adamson and Conrad Vernon, voices: Page, Elf, and Nobleman, ADR group|
|2005||100 Greatest Cartoons||Documentary|
|2007||Shrek the Third||Voices: Master of Ceremonies and Fiddlesworth, special thanks|
|2008||Kung Fu Panda||Additional story artist|
|Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa|
|2009||I'm No Dummy||Documentary|
|The BackStage Pass||TV special|
|2011||Gnomeo and Juliet||Director, screenwriter, story, voices: Red Goon Gnomes|
|Made in Hollywood||Himself (1 episode)|
|Jeff Dunham: Birth of a Dummy||TV special|
|2012||Made in Hollywood: Teen Edition||Himself (1 episode)|
|Wreck-It Ralph||Story artist|
|2014||Lennon or McCartney||Documentary short|
|Achmed Saves America||Original character designer|
|2017||Smurfs: The Lost Village||Director, voice: Nosey Smurf|
|Cake Wars||Himself: guest judge|
|2018||Sherlock Gnomes||Based on characters, creative consultant, storyboard artist, voices: Goons|
|2019||UglyDolls||Director, voices: Gibberish Cat, Oliver, and Chef|
|The Addams Family||Story consultant, special thanks|