A native Canadian, Dean DeBlois began his career working on animated programs produced by an Ottawa television station. After graduating from Sheridan University, he moved to Ireland to work with director Don Bluth, working on films like Thumbelina (1994) and _Troll in Central Park, A (1993)_. He joined the Walt Disney Company's animation department in 1994, starting as a layout artist, and was soon head of story. The first film he worked on at Disney was Mulan (1998), and in 1999 he moved to Florida to work with Chris Sanders on Lilo & Stitch (2002), which he co-wrote and co-directed with Sanders. Along with Sanders, DeBlois is an up-and-coming member of the animation industry.