Carl Taylor lands gig as technical director for Mr. Peabody and Sherman

by: COURTESY PHOTO - Carl Taylor, who graduated from Forest Grove High School in 2006, worked for Lucasfilm before landing a full-time position at DreamWorks in 2012. Hes a technical director on the new animated film Mr. Peabody and Sherman, which debuts March 7.If Carl Taylor were a superhero, his name just might be “Enhancer-man.”

That’s because Taylor, a 2006 graduate of Forest Grove High School, is fashioning a career out of doing just that: enhancing the efforts of contemporary film animators and technologists.

“I essentially interface between the artists and technology experts,” said Taylor, who has his first credit as a technical director in the 3-D animated feature film “Mr. Peabody and Sherman,” which debuts nationwide on Friday.

Produced by DreamWorks Animation, the movie is a throwback to 1960s cartoon characters Mr. Peabody, an uber-intelligent beagle, and his adopted human son, Sherman, who time-travel to experience significant moments in history. For Taylor, 26, working on the team that brought it to life has been eye-opening.

“I really only learned about this industry as a senior in college,” said Taylor, who has a computer science degree from California Polytechnic State University and parlayed that into an internship, and later a permanent position, with Lucasfilm — founded by filmmaker George Lucas of “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” fame — in San Rafael after graduation.

In December 2012, said his father, Forest Grove resident Mitch Taylor, Carl got an offer he couldn’t refuse.

“DreamWorks called him up and wanted to take him on full-time,” said the elder Taylor, who manages reforestation projects in western Washington County for the Oregon Department of Forestry. Today Carl, a Berkeley, Calif. resident, “builds software tools to allow animators do what they do,” said his dad, who’s understandably giddy about Carl’s accomplishments.

“I’m probably the most excited about it,” said Mitch. “Carl said, ‘I don’t want to be the center of attention.’”The poster advertising DreamWorks newest computer-animated film, Mr. Peabody and Sherman, is appearing in windows at local theaters.

Ty Burrell, Max Charles and Stephen Colbert are among the stars voicing characters in the feature-length movie, which focuses on the personal lives of the main characters and their mishaps with the WABAC (“way back”) machine. Carl Taylor calls it “less tongue-in-cheek than the original cartoon,” which played as part of “Rocky and His Friends” and “The Bullwinkle Show.”

He played down his part in the film’s production, which started in 2007 and whose release date was delayed several times.

“I’m really a very small part of it,” said Carl, “but it’s fun to see something come of the work after two years.”

Despite his son’s self-effacing attitude, Mitch Taylor is looking forward to bringing 100 or so friends and family members to a screening of “Mr. Peabody and Sherman” at Cornelius 9 Cinemas next week. “I was hoping to get a private showing before the first public showing, but DreamWorks put the kibosh on that,” he said.

Meanwhile, Carl is looking ahead to his next project with DreamWorks, a sequel to “Madagascar,” the 2005 computer-animated comedy starring the voices of Ben Stiller, Chris Rock and Jada Pinkett Smith. “It’s going to be called ‘The Penguins of Madagascar,’ playing off the penguin characters in that movie,” he said.

That film, due out in 2015, will undoubtedly fatten Carl’s portfolio in the animated film world. But he’s not counting on caviar and a yacht just yet.

“I just got lucky and found something I love to do,” he said.

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