“So what is it that you do?”

 

I have been asked that a lot.  A good analogy would be sailing into uncharted waters and navigating whirlpools and snags hindering a rewarding emotional narrative journey.  This search for adventure has led to signing up with upstarts Kroyer Studios, DISNEY's Skellington Productions, PIXAR and LAIKA and working with visionaries Tim Burton, Brad Bird, John Lasseter and Henry Selick.

 

Mike Cachuela’s multi-cultural San Diego childhood meant Sunday suppers could be Grandpa’s Filipino Chicken Adobo or Aunt Gloria’s sublime tamales.  His father’s Air Force career transplanted him from Vacaville, California to Montgomery, Alabama, Honolulu and Tokyo before landing at CalArts in 1988.  At CalArts Mike studied story under Joe Ranft and animation with Chris Buck. 

 

In 1991 Mike joined the story team on Fern Gully: The Last Rainforest.  A newly-created Skellington Studios and Nightmare Before Christmas came next followed by a small nascent group called PIXAR in Point Richmond for Toy Story.  James and Giant Peach, The Incredibles and Ratatouille followed.  Portland’s Vinton Studios brought him to Oregon where he became part of the creative team for the new stop-motion feature film studio LAIKA. He was a Development Director for nearly a decade.

 

 

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The experience of working on many ground-breaking film projects has led to work and lectures around the world including China, Taiwan, Denmark and Brazil.  In addition to his own short films, two of which sold to Spike and Mike’s Festival of Animation, Mike has sold story options to Lucas Films and LAIKA.