Phillip Bradley "Brad" Bird (born September 11, 1957) is a two-time Academy Award-winning American director. His best known works are Disney/Pixar's The Incredibles (2004) and Ratatouille (2007). He also adapted and directed the critically-acclaimed 2-D hand-animated 1999 Warner Bros. film The Iron Giant. Reviewing the Ratatouille DVD, Eye Weekly offered this characterization of Bird's work: "It’s hard to think of another mainstream American director with a comparably fluid visual style or such a vise-grip on storytelling mechanics."
Bird was born in Kalispell, Montana. On a tour of the Walt Disney Studios at age 11, he announced that someday he would become part of its animation team, and soon afterward began work on his own 15-minute animated short. Within two years, Bird had completed his animation, which impressed the cartoon company. By age 14, barely in high school, Bird was mentored by the animator Milt Kahl, one of Disney’s legendary Nine Old Men. Bird recalls Kahl's criticisms as ideal: Kahl would point out shortcomings by gently delivering thoughts on where Bird could improve. After graduating from Corvallis High School in Corvallis, Oregon in 1975, Bird took a three-year break. He was then awarded a scholarship by Disney to attend California Institute of the Arts, where he met and befriended another future animator, Pixar co-founder and director John Lasseter.
Upon graduating from the California Institute of the Arts, Bird began working for Disney. His tenure with Disney was brief, and he left the company shortly after working on The Fox and the Hound in 1981.