Bailey’s interest in drawing began as a child reading comic books and he hoped to one become an illustrator. While watching Warner Bros. cartoons, he started to consider a career in animation. He worked hard to create a portfolio and applied for California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) where he was accepted in spring of his senior year in high school.
Began his animating career two years after graduating at Don Bluth Productions. He worked on two video games (Dragon’s Lair and Space Ace) and the film Starchaser: The Legend of Orin while at the studio. In 1984 he began work at Walt Disney Studios as a freelance animator on the Donald Duck cartoon Swabbies. In October 1984 he was hired as an animator for The Great Mouse Detective (1985).
Bailey recalls of his time at Disney: “the atmosphere and resources to do your best work were unparalleled at the time.” He started working as a animation supervisor on Hocus Pocus (1993) and later on The Lion King (1994) and Hercules (1997). His debut as a director came in 1995 with the Oscar-nominated Runaway Brain, a cartoon short starring Mickey Mouse. After finishing Hercules, Bailey left Disney to work on the comic book Major Damage. He returned six months later to be the computer-generated animation supervisor on Deep Rising (1998), Mighty Joe Young (1998), and Inspector Gadget (1999). In 1999, Bailey turned his talents to directing theme park films for Disney.
In 2000 he was asked to direct the cartoon Clerks: The Animated Series. After its cancellation, Bailey became the director and co-executive producer of Kim Possible. In 2001, Bailey adapted his comic book Major Damage into a 3-D short that received great acclaim. Following that, Bailey began work as an animation supervisor on many theatrical films for 20th Century Fox.
- Lenburg, Jeff. Who’s Who in Animated Cartoons. Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, 2006.