Teddy was born in Encino, CA, but grew up in Dana Point, along the California coastline. He was inspired by the drawings of Al Hirschfeld and early Warner Bros. animation. Teddy dropped out of CalArts in the early 90s and spent some time at Disney doing story sketch work on Pocahontas, Fantasia 2000, Runaway Brain, Mulan and Hercules. Teddy opted to leave Disney to pursue more creative opportunities.
Teddy conceived the characters for DreamWorks Interactive’s Cooper McQ Breaks Thru. Other early works include writing and storyboarding an entire episode of the Emmy-nominated television show Dexter’s Lab and doing inspirational boards and story development for Nickelodeon’s first animated feature, The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales.
Teddy formed a partnership with composer Michael Giacchino to make animated films, but they did not have the capital to see it through. Teddy then moved on to Warner Bros Feature Animation and he partnered with Brad Bird on developing the story and characters for The Iron Giant.
He co-wrote and produced the live action feature The Trouble with Lou which was screened at the Slamdance Festival in 2001. This was followed by the animated (and very adult) Boys Night Out, which Teddy wrote, co-directed and handled the art direction. It paid off as Boys Night Out received an Annie Award nomination for Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Short Subject.
In 2002, he joined Pixar and became the character designer for Brad Bird’s The Incredibles. Here’s what he said, as part of the production notes, about creating these now iconic characters “Brad would simply describe the characters to me-he wouldn’t use too many adjectives, but he would often do an impression or a voice for them. Sometimes the voice alone would put enough pictures and ideas in my head. It’s like when you listen to the radio and you start to imagine what the person would look like. You get inspired and everything starts to take shape.”
Teddy stayed in the world of The Incredibles as he co-wrote the Jack-Jack Attack short based on one of his drawings of Jack-Jack that Brad loved.
He partnered with Brad Bird again on Ratatouille and helped with character design on the amazing end credits (with production design by Nate Wragg and Bob Scott/Scott Morse on backgrounds). This continued on Your Friend the Rat, as Teddy came up with all the gags and keyed out a lot of the animation for the hilarious short.
Most recently Teddy designed Alec and Presto for Doug Sweetland’s 2008 short Presto. The decision was made that the characters would have an iconic look that viewers would immediately recognize and Teddy delivered on this promise in spades. Teddy also contributed character designs to Peter Sohn’s 2009 short, Partly Cloudy.
Teddy’s newest project is the Pixar short, Day & Night playing theatrically with Toy Story 3. He is credited as both the writer and director on this genre busting effort.
- The Incredibles (2004): character design, end titles, voice of the Newsreel Narrator
- Cars (2006): visual development
- Ratatouille (2007): voice of Talon Labarthe
- WALL•E (2008): production artist, additional voice
- Up (2009): development artists
- Toy Story 3 (2010): voice of Chatter Telephone
- Toy Story 3: The Video Game (2010): Voice of advisor in Buzz Lightyear Video Game level