Nationality: American

Born in Budapest Hungary in 1909, Jules Engel immigrated to the US in the early 1930s. He initially settled in Evanston, Illinois where he went to school. In 1937 he moved to Hollywood for work and continued his education at the Chouinard Art Institute. In 1938 his artistic ability in several mediums included animation, painting, and sculpture. This earned him a job with Disney Studios. There he worked on animation for the Disney classic “Fantasia”. Inspired by the ballet and modern choreography, Engel was a major contributor for the famous dance scenes in the film.

After WWII, Engel would find work as part of a creative team for the United Productions of America (UPA) Studios. There he would help create animated characters such as Gerald McBoing-Boing, Madeline, the Chipmunks and Mr. Magoo. Around the same time he became serious about painting, lithography, and independent film making. His early paintings, as opposed to his mainstream animations, were mostly non-figurative and non-representative. Inspired by abstract artists such as Wasilly Kandinsky, Piet Mondrian, and Alexander Calder, he was able to combine his deep sense of color he learned as an animator together with geometrical and abstract constructions. In 1949 his works were exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago.

In the 1950s, his style shifted slightly away from the non-representational geometric paintings toward expressive compositions. His work still remained entirely abstract. During the early 50s he exhibited works at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the De Young Museum in San Francisco. By 1958, Engel shifted his concentration solely to painting and independent film making. For twelve years this was his main focus. In 1970, he founded the Abstract Experimental Animation on Film Department for the California Institute of the Arts and taught many of today’s animators.

For the next thirty three years, Jules Engel would be consumed by teaching, painting, sculpture, and print making. An active artist all throughout his life, he would work well into the late years of his life, until his death in 2003.


1987-1988 / color / sound / single screen / 6' 00 / 28 €
distribution: 16mm
1978 / 16mm / color / sound / single screen / 5' 00 / 27 €
distribution: 16mm
1971-1978 / 16mm / color / sound / single screen / 4' 00 / 25 €
distribution: 16mm
1975 / 16mm / b&w / sound / single screen / 3' 00 / 25 €
distribution: 16mm
1974-1975 / 16mm / color / sound / single screen / 4' 00 / 26 €
distribution: 16mm