Jules Engel was born in Budapest in 1915, emigrating with his parents to the United States, Illinois, in 1935. After moving to Los Angeles to study at the Chouinard Art Institute in 1937, he began working for Walt Disney. Throughout his career he worked on Fantasia and Bambi, created the characters Gerald McBoing Boing and Mr Magoo and was nominated for an Oscar for his animated film Icarus Montgolfier Wright. Engel was a founding member of the United Productions of America (UPA) animation studio.

Engel was also accomplished in painting and printmaking. In 1966 he worked at Gemini Ltd on the lithographic series New York, New York. Through the use of repeated line and muted colour the works in this series create a sense of upward motion that recalls the vertiginous feeling of staring up at a row of skyscrapers.
Emilie Owens

Further reading


Born in Budapest, Hungary

Emigrates with parents to Evanston, Illinois, United States of America

Moves to Los Angeles
Studies at the Chouinard Art Institute

Creates Chinese and Russian dances in Fantasia, animated film at Walt Disney Studios, Los Angeles

Serves in the United States Air Force First Motion Picture Unit

Founding member of the United Productions of America (UPA) animation studio

Included in exhibition, American Abstract and Surrealist Art, at Chicago Art Institute, Illinois
Receives Purchase Prize, San Francisco Museum of Art, San Francisco

Receives Purchase Prize, San Francisco Museum of Art, San Francisco
Receives Purchase Prize, Los Angeles County Museum, Los Angeles

Exhibits paintings and drawings at Paul Kantor Gallery, Los Angeles

Included in exhibition, Museum of Modern Art, New York

Helps establish Format Films; produces Icarus Montgolfier Wright, scripted by Ray Bradbury; nominated for Academy Award

Receives Tamarind Lithography Fellowship, Los Angeles
Receives Oscar nomination for his work on the film Icarus Montgolfier Wright

Travels to Paris, France, to direct animated film, The World of Sine, which won the La Bell Qualité Award

Receives the Prix Jean Vigo Award for live action film, Coaraze
Produces, New York, New York, series of lithographs at Gemini GEL, Los Angeles

Solo exhibition, Sculptures, at Downey Museum, Downey, California

Founding director of the Experimental Animation Department, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, where he taught in the department until his death

Included in exhibition at Tamarind-Grunwald Center for Graphics Arts, University of California, Los Angeles

Exhibits paintings and drawings at the Tobey C. Moss Gallery, Los Angeles

Receives the Norman Mclaren Heritage Award, Canada

Receives Lifetime Achievement Award, Cardiff International Film Festival, Wales

Title of Institute Fellow conferred by the California Institute of the Arts

Receives Lifetime Achievement Award, Cartoons on the Bay, Positano, Italy

Jules Engel died in Simi Valley, California

Barbara Delano © Tyler Graphics Ltd., revised Emilie Owens, 2007
This chronology provides an overview of selected biographical information, major solo and group exhibitions held within the artist's own lifetime.

Further information will be added to this site as the National Gallery proceeds with its research and documentation.

Last updated November 2015