That's the best explanation, he figures, for how he ended up in the fanciful world of animation--first for Walt Disney Co. and later under the tutelage of Don Bluth, at whose independent animation studio he drew landmark animated films such as "The Secret of NIMH" and Steven Spielberg's "An American Tail."
With credentials like those, [Dan] Kuenster could have been content staying at the highest level of cinematic animation artists. But three years ago, he turned away from feature animation and gambled on the uncertain future of computer-based interactive multimedia, signing on as vice president of animation for 7th Level Inc., a multimedia firm in Glendale.
Why? Kuenster could not resist the challenge: 7th Level set before him to go beyond the traditional tasks of animating characters for movie and television stories and instead create "intelligent" cartoon beings.