UG 008 – Dreams Can Come True: Saul Blinkoff’s Unlikely Journey to Disney and Animation

    In this episode of Unlocking Greatness, Saul Blinkoff shares his journey on becoming an animator for Walt Disney Studios working and working on the hit films Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Mulan, and Tarzan. Since starting at Disney, Saul has directed and co-directed features for MTV, Disney and multiple national commercials. Saul shares his story on going from being just a kid with a dream to landing a coveted internship at Disney. He shares insights and advice for how to succeeding even if your goal seems unreachable and you feel outmatched by competition.


    • I want to be a Movie Maker: Saul’s dream of directing and animation (2:35)
    • Getting the answer key to Disney (6:14)
    • Supportive parents tackling his goal (7:56)
    • Growing in art school’s competition (10:43)
    • Transforming Along The Way (15:34)
    • Growing Incrementally (18:53)
    • Getting Rejected from Disney (20:33)
    • Third Times A Charm; Getting into Disney (28:21)
    • Getting Better Each Week (36:12)
    • Life at Disney and pushing to the next goal (38:11)
    • Expanding your skills through ups and downs (45:15)
    • Foundation, meaning, and responsibility (51:24)
    • The family-work balance of parameters (53:07)

    Path of the Just By R’Moshe Hayyim Luzzatto
    Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
    Margaret Mead: “Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.”

    Saul Blinkoff began his career as an Animator for the Walt Disney Studios working on the hit films Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Mulan and Tarzan. He made his directorial debut in 2000 with the hip action-adventure series, Spy Groove, for MTV.
    Shortly thereafter, he revisited Disney, co-directing the animated features Winnie the Pooh: Springtime with Roo and the hilarious Kronk’s New Groove, starring, David Spade, Patrick Warburton, Tracy Ullman and Eartha Kitt. Saul was also a consulting director on the Disney films Tinkerbell, Fox And The Hound II, Brother Bear II, Cinderella III, and Dumbo II.
    In addition to his work in feature films and television, Saul has also directed high-profile national commercials with Curious Pictures for top clients such as Best Buy, Dunkin’ Donuts, ESPN, Subway, Sweet ‘N Low, as well as the first-ever traditionally-animated spots for Mercedes Benz, EA Sports and The Truth.com.

    Saul directed the Disney Junior hit show ‘Doc McStuffins.’ Saul is now developing animated pitches, while freelancing as Creative Director and Creative Consultant.

    Connect with Saul on LinkedIn

    Thank you for listening to Unlocking Greatness!
    If you enjoyed this episode, please leave a rating and written review on iTunes (they affect the ranking of the show) and share the episode on social media (buttons below)! As always, we want to hear from you. Please leave your comments and guest suggestions in the comments section.

    One thought on “UG 008 – Dreams Can Come True: Saul Blinkoff’s Unlikely Journey to Disney and Animation

    1. Margery Kashman

      Just as a little aside: Saul contributed his talents to the high school newspaper, Spectrum, as art editor!


    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *