Lorelay Bove was 14 years old when she boarded an airplane with her family that would take them from their home in Andorra (a country between Spain and France) to the U.S. in search of the American Dream. Today, she remembers exactly what her father told her before they made the journey from southwestern Europe to Los Angeles.

“I remember him telling me, “Whatever you want to do you can accomplish it in the U.S,’” Bove told me during a phone interview. “He told me that if I worked hard I could become whatever I wanted.”

Even at a young age, Bove already knew what she wanted to be when she grew up. Her childhood dream was to become an artist at Walt Disney Animation Studios. Raised by a father who worked as an artist and falling in love as a little girl with Disney films like “Sleeping Beauty” and “The Little Mermaid,” Bove was certain she was on a path that suited her.

After graduating from Cal Arts in 2007, Bove completed an internship at Pixar Animation Studios and went on to work in the visual development department at Walt Disney. At Disney, she started her career by contributing to the development of characters and costumes in “The Princess and the Frog.” In her most recent animated film, “Winnie the Pooh,” Bove helped create the “honey sequence” where everything in Winnie the Pooh’s world turns into the delicious, sticky food he loves.

During our interview, Bove talked about how her father’s artwork influenced her to be an artist and what she thinks a new generation of kids can expect from the film even if they’re not familiar with the tubby little cubby all stuffed with fluff.

What type of animated films did you watch as a kid back in Andorra?

I remember watching all the Disney films. Some of my favorites were “Alice in Wonderland,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “Dumbo” and “The Little Mermaid.” It was “The Littler Mermaid” that gave me the idea that I wanted to be an animator.

Did you understand what animation was at an early age or was your interest in it from a child’s perspective?

I didn’t know what it meant to be an animator at such a young age, but I was inspired in a different way. I knew I wanted to create the same thing I was watching and one day show it on the big screen. I remember wanting to learn more. I tried to incorporate what I saw on paper.

Does your father’s art influence your own style?

It does a little when it comes to color choices. We both share that with each other. My father was a contemporary abstract artist. He knew I enjoyed animation and that I always wanted to learn more about it. I’ve always been around him and his art. He would let my brother and I use his paints and materials. The art background I had with my dad really did help me. I took what I learned from him into my animation.

What did you contribute to “Winnie the Pooh” as a visual development artist?

In my department we design all the visuals – the characters, objects, colors, locations. The sequence I worked on in the film was such a joy. It was called the “honey sequence” where everything is honey. I was able to come up with ideas to create the world. I came up with a lot of options so the director and animators could pick and choose what they liked.

What is it like today working at Walt Disney?

At Disney we’re in a moment of more experimentation. They’re giving us a lot of freedom in the creative process. I’m really glad I’ve had the chance to be at Disney since the beginning of my career.

We haven’t had a Winnie the Pooh film in a while. What do you think kids who are not really familiar with the character will take from the new film?

I think they are going to get to meet a group of very sweet characters. They’re going to enjoy this film. It’s a different kind of comedy. It’s very innocent and funny. They’re going to get something new out of it because they’re not used to getting this type of film.

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