Matthias Lechner collaborates to define the style of the film’s environments and sets. While supervising the art department, he provides artistic guidance within the design team, environment modeling and the final look of the environment. His most recent project in this role was Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Ralph Breaks the Internet, as well as the 2016 Oscar® winner Zootopia.
Lechner joined Disney in 2012 as a freelance visual development artist from his home in Vancouver, working on a very early version of Zootopia. As the project ramped up into full production, he relocated to Los Angeles two years later. Prior to joining Disney, Lechner served as art director and/or production designer on a host of projects, including: Escape from Planet Earth for Rainmaker Entertainment, Laura’s Starand the Dreammonsters for Warner Bros. in Berlin, Germany, and A Fish Talefor A-Film in Denmark.
His love of animation—especially Disney animation—started early after being deeply impressed by The Jungle Book as a child. He began his career as a background painter at TFC-Trickompany in Germany, studied classical animation for two years at Ballyfermot College of Further Education in Dublin, Ireland, but returned to Germany before completing the course to work as a 2D layout artist/supervisor, concept artist, art director and production designer on over 20 animated feature films.