Bruce W. Smith is an animator, director, and producer who has been working in animation for decades. In addition to co-directing the Oscar-winning Hair Love, he is the creator of The Proud Family, director of the 1992 movie Bebe's Kids, and was the supervising animator for various well-known Disney characters such as Kerchak (Tarzan), Pacha (The Emperor's New Groove), Dr. Facilier (The Princess and the Frog), and Piglet, Kanga, and Roo (Winnie the Pooh 2011).
• How some of the sequences in Hair Love were drawn from life
• Features an accidental sneak peak at the currently-in-production Proud Family reboot (at 15:20)!
• Pitching The Proud Family to various networks only to be told it was better suited for BET or UPN
• Penny Proud's skin color was darker originally
• Korey and Bruce discover they both worked on Space Jam (Bruce was the animation director, Korey painted the shadows for literally one shot lmao)
• Trying to balance just being an animator vs. being perceived as a black animator
• Struggles of trying to get Bebe's Kids made, including being implored to tone down the blackness and "gang inflections" (????) of various aspects and multiple unnamed people leaving the project after finding the subject matter questionable
• Being mistaken for another animation professional by the same name and almost accidentally getting his royalty checks once
• Bruce had dinner with Kobe Bryant just a few weeks before his death and the pair were discussing several potential projects to work on together. Kobe was evidently seeking to transition to the field of media production, particularly that of animation.
This is such a huge interview for Korey to get and I'm super proud of him. <3