joined the Character Animation team at PDI (Pacific Data Images, affiliated with Dreamworks Animation) way back in 1991. PDI is one of the leading proponents of computer animation and even helped to define the industry itself. Darnell had some fun at PDI with his animated short, Gas Planet
(1992), which featured alien animals eating alien foods, and then, well, passing a lot of gas. The short film garnered recognition internationally and won the Special Jury Prize at the 1993 Ottawa Animation Festival.
Darnell started off studying Broadcast Journalism at the University of Colorado but then went on to receive his MFA in Experimental Animation from CalArts. His "experimentation" became evident in the animated feature film, Antz (1998), which Darnell co-directed. The quirky, awkward animated bugs from Antz were wildly popular, and Darnell was nominated for an Annie award (think Oscars for Animation) for Outstanding Direction for the film.
Other credits include television commercials and a segment of the IMAX feature, Cyberworld (2000). Madagascar (2005) was Darnell's second time utilizing the voice talents of a star-studded cast.
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa