Born and raised in New Orleans, Mike knew he wanted to be an artist from an early age. His animation work for a local TV station solidified this dream and he set out west to attend the prestigious California Institute for the Arts, a university that Walt Disney himself established. When tuition fees proved costly and he planned to leave, Disney Legend Jack Hannah, Dean of the Disney Program intervened. He offered through the Disney family, a full scholarship enabling him to stay and study the craft he loved in addition to getting to know each Disney instructor on a close one-to-one relationship as the new Teachers Aid. At the end of the year, students showed their films to an amazing audience including Ron Miller, Lillian Disney, Diane Disney, Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnson, Ward Kimball, Woolie Reitherman and other animation notables. Afterwards Mike found a note inviting him to come and work for The Walt Disney Studios, his dream job.
Mike went on to have a hand in the concepts of animated features for film, TV and games including projects such as: Fox and the Hound, Mickey’s Christmas Carol, The Black Cauldron, The Great Mouse Detective, TRON, The Little Mermaid, Return to OZ, Ducktales, Chip and Dale, Rescue Rangers, Talespin, Goof Troop, Darkwing Duck, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Return to OZ, Junglebook 2, Alice in Wonderland and others. Mike’s recent assignments for Walt Disney Imagineering include CARSLAND, New Fantasyland and the Shanghai Disney Resort.
Mike Peraza donates much of his time raising awareness for Epilepsy, and hopes that one day his contributions will help facilitate a cure for this debilitating illness so those children as well as adults can enjoy a better life.