Michael Defeo is a sculptor whose specialty lies in translating 2-D character designs into fully-fledged 3-D models. He hand-built the modeling and sculpting studios at Blue Sky Studios and served as the head of each for 15 years. While with his pals at Blue Sky, Michael brought countless characters to life for ICE AGE, ICE AGE 2, ICE AGE 3, ICE AGE 4, ROBOTS,HORTON HEARS A WHO, RIO, and EPIC.
To enable him to pursue more freelance and personal work, Michael decided to strike out on his own in 2010; while a spooky prospect to leave the warmth and safety of Blue Sky, Michael had always dreamed of working in Paris and determined to make a go of it.
With the help of Illumination Entertainment, Michael spent the better part of two years in the city of light, helping to create characters for DESPICABLE ME 2, THE LORAX, MINIONS and THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS as well as characters for French impresario Joann Sfar and others. He has cemented an exclusive relationship with Galerie Arludik in Paris, for whom he has created many homages to his animation roots, most recently featured in the venerable Cornette St. Cyr auction of modern art.
Born in Pennsylvania to artistic parents, Michael began his career pursuing his passion for special effects and makeup, later making stop-motion puppets for commercials, television,theatre and film. Parlaying this passion and professional variety into the world of feature animation, Michael's versatility and unique use of traditional and digital mediums give life to a wide array of characters, from teddy bears to creatures for the film ALIEN RESURRECTION.
Michael's additional credits include HOP, STAR TREK INSURRECTION, A SIMPLE WISHand the Academy Award-winning short BUNNY.
Michael is currently the Lead Digital Sculptor at Laika Studios