10 Animation Talents to Track on the Canary Islands Animation Scene

The Canary Islands are attracting illustrious animation directors and art directors from France and the Spanish mainland, as local talent is returning and building:

Daniel Albaladejo Robles

Growing up on the island of Tenerife at a time when pursuing a career in animation and film was out of bounds, Albaladejo moved to Madrid to study both subjects at the Madrid Film School. His first jobs were on children’s series “Jelly Jamm,” “Pocoyo” and “The Amazing World of Gumball.” His VFX credits include “Game of Thrones” and “A Monster Calls” at El Ranchito in Madrid. “For the past few years, I have focused on storyboarding or animation, working as a freelancer for various studios, including Las Palmas-based Amuse,” he says. He recently worked on animated docu pic, “Mariposas Negras,” and is now collaborating on a U.K. series under wraps. AMDLF

André Bergs

A Dutch native residing in Spain and co-owner of a Thailand-based studio where he develops his own projects, Bergs has been directing a slew of notable animation projects – from TV series to independent shorts – for some 18 years.  Since 2017, he has been focusing on creating digital comics and exploring new storytelling methods, using a technology known as A2.8DCF. The digital comics’ 2.8 dimensional framework allows users to control the viewing angle. As co-founder and owner of Plastiek, he has created digital comics “Protanopia,” “RRR 1” and “RRR 2.” Plastiek is pitching a series titled “Coffee Kat” at Annecy’s Southeast Asia Partners Pitches section. AMDLF

Dan Creteur

Running up an impressive C.V. in France, Creteur worked as first assistant, 3D art supervision, on “Miraculous Ladybug,” and as narrative and art director for Ubisoft in Canada. But he really caught attention directing with verve and contemporary range, bringing an anime edge to “Tara Duncan.” The No. 1 rated Disney Channel show, kids 4-10, in April 2022, it has also rolled out robust sales. Now creative director at Tenerife’s highflying Atlantis Animation which supplied animation on “Tara Duncan” and has just scored a contract as the service studio for Sony Music’s Lionel Messi series. The world is now Creteur’s oyster. JH

Maxi Díaz

Much of the modern history of animation in Spain is inextricably connected to Maxi Diaz, an animation director on 2002’s “El Cid: the Legend” and 2007’s “Donkey Xote,” both for Filmax, then on further box office hits: 2015’s “Trap the Flag” and 2016’s “Tadeo Jones” 2, both for Lightbox Animation Studios. Díaz most recent move also underscores a larger trend of illustrious animation direct0rs morphing from a project-based career to becoming heads of animation at a Canary Islands’ studio, in Díaz’s case 3Doubles Producciones, which is bidding fare to become their most prolific animated feature production house. “Given I’ve worked for so many years, my aim is now to mentor other animation directors who are just beginning,” Díaz says. JH

Fabio Garcia Díaz

Born in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Garcia pursued his childhood interests in graphic and plastic arts through his early adult years, studying graphic design and later focusing on his passion, 3D animation. Turning 30 this year, he joined his current employer Anima Kitchent in 2017 as a junior animator and leapt up the ranks to his current position as animation supervisor. While based in Gran Canaria he’s had the opportunity to work on sundry video game and film projects in different countries. “I hope to have the opportunity to make an animated feature film and work in productions aimed at more adult audiences, something different from what I usually do.” AMDLF

Gerxon González Hernández

Specializing in 3D renderings as part of the team at Tenerife’s ambitious Tomavision, Canary Islands native González Hernández feels that “The great thing about each project is that each one has a different style of animation, a different narrative, so it gives you the opportunity to learn more, discover new things.” His skills, previously utilized on music-soaked Youtube series “Lea y Pop” and “Yoko,” the first Russian-Spanish series in animated co-production history, continue to be integral to the company’s mission of crafting amusing and stand-apart content on projects currently under wraps. HJ

Sergio Jiménez

As the director of art and 2D Animation at nascent outfit Glaboo, whose ingenious preparatory strategies are set to catapult their new project “Magia Con Lu y Poh” onto the global stage, Jiménez excels at designing its mesmerizing characters and the intricate worlds they inhabit. Fuelled with high-passion for the inclusive series they’re creating, slightly familiar in design while wholly unique in narrative, he credits their dedicated team and an environment that never feels too much like work, admitting that “although we’re a small studio, in the end we all give 200% and it shows in the final product.” HJ

Maria Pulido Aguza

With over 15 years of experience in animation, illustration, visual development, and watercolor, the multidisciplinary artist won the first edition of Desafío Buñuel for her work on Laura Hojman’s “Antonio Machado. Los Días Azules.” More recently contributing her art direction prowess to Ikiru and Tinglado Films’ upcoming “Mariposas Negras,” she relays that, “ the idea would be to stay in Tenerife with Tinglado and establish an artistic department, because it’s a company that has more than 20 years of documentary and production experience. We’d continue to champion social and environmental themes, but with our own style.” HJ

Omar Razzak

A founding partner of Tourmalet Films, the Spanish-Syrian producer has just released “Killing Crabs,” his first live action feature as a director. But he is also an animation director, making hybrid doc shorts with Shira Ukrainitz, such as the Goya nominated “La Prima Cosa” selected for Annecy as well as “Confined Spaces” and “The Last Mouglon.” He’s also produced “Keenie #166,” a sci-fi animated feature from Blanca Bonet, based out of Madrid’s Tiwa Studio. Among his co-production standouts are “Last Days of Spring,” winner of the New Directors award in San Sebastian and Rodrigo Sorogoyen’s “Stockholm.” He’s also a producer in “Invisible Heroes,” a documentary series for TVE 2. AMDLF

Remy Terreaux

It is a mark of just how far the Canary Islands’ animation scene has come that part of the animation for “Arcane,” which dominated last year’s Annie Awards, is made out of the Canaries. Put that down to Fortiche’s Remy Terreaux, an “Arcane” lead animator in Paris who made a personal decision  to move to the Islands. Rather than lose him, Fortiche suggested he created Fortiche España where he serves as animation supervisor, one of four on “Arcane.” “Fortiche was looking to expand on “Arcane” because of production needs. So I proposed them to follow me here because I had to come anyway. And they said: “Why not?” Tax incentives helped the decision, he adds. JH

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