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(E) Marija Miletic Dail
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  08/25/2005 | People | Unrated
(E) Marija Miletic Dail


Marija Miletic Dail

Director - Producer - Animator - Filmmaker

Work History
Additional Information

2005 - Supervising Director for animated series - European Studio
1999 - Co-directed the feature animation film “Madeline lost in Paris� for DIC Animation Studio.
1996-1998 - Produced and directed 24 half hours of “Casper the friendly ghost� series for UNIVERSAL STUDIO.
1989-1995 - Independently produced and directed three half hour specials for the ABC NETWORK in USA in own studio ANIMATION COTTAGE, utilizing up to 200 people, domestic and foreign.
Directed and animated 10 min. promotional for the opening of MGM hotel and park in Las Vegas.
Produced and directed three half hour specials for the Christian TV Network.
Produced and directed the environmental short “Think Earth�, and an educational 15 min. spot.
1989 - Produced and directed eight half-hour of “Kissyfur� for DIC Studio and NBC Network.
1984-1987 - Producer and Supervising Director at the MARVEL STUDIO for the ABC series “Little Wizards�, syndicated series “Moondreamers�, “Glo-friends�, and “Jem�.
1983 - Animation Director and Designer for STUDIO OPERATIONS.
Animated the trailer for the Disney feature film “Black cauldron�.
Produced and directed musical video for the Olympics in Los Angeles in 1984, “Olympiad I�.
1980-1982 - FILMATION STUDIO – Animation Director and Layout Supervisor.
1977-1980 - HANNA BARBERA – Presentation designer.
1975-1977 - FREELANCE ARTIST – TV commercials (Toyota, Toys R Us, Kleenex etc.), book illustrator, independent short animation films.
1970-1975 - ANIMEDIA – Animator and Art director.
1968-1970 - HANNA BARBERA – Animator.

Started in animation at “Zagreb Film� studio in Zagreb, Croatia.
Upon immigrating to Canada and Hollywood independently produced directed and animated three shorts, one of which, “Why Not?� received “The best of animation award� in Switzerland.

1981 Earned the Master’s Degree (MFA) from UCLA in theater Arts, majoring in animation.
Was offered to lecture at the animation workshop with a promise of professorship. She did it simultaneously with working at the studio for two years. The double duty proved too taxing and she had to decide for the better paying job at the studio.
Still keeps in touch with students, who want her input.

Marija was born in Zagreb, Croatia, just before the WWII started. She remembers seeing clusters of bombs falling down on her town and learning at the same time the valuable lesson of “Golden rule�.
She and her brother’s home teacher held their hands as they looked skyward and Marija said, “Oh,God, let those bombs fall anywhere else, but not here.� The teacher looked down at her and said: “You gave God an impossible task, Marija. What if others are praying the same prayer?�
Her brother Anthony wrote and she illustrated their “house newspapers� as children and young adults, and through writing about a daily life in their communist country, they got in trouble. Brother Anthony, at age eighteen, was sentenced to eight years in prison, where he contracted hepatitis three times and died of chyrosys, not even reaching his best years of life. He managed to escape to Canada, where Marija followed a year later.
She continued with her artistic endeavors, once she learned enough English. Until that time she washed dishes in restaurant, picked fruit for canning industry, and picked worms at night on golf courses for fishermen. Anything to stay alive and above board.
She made a point of learning a word of English every day and using it. The articles of “a� and “the� have always presented a problem, since they don’t exist in her language.
After about two years in Canada she got a job in an animation studio, and worked there ten years. Bill Hanna of Hanna-Barbera called her to come and join his company in Hollywood, to which she responded enthusiastically. She was by this time a divorced, single mother with two daughters and a mother to take care of.
In Hollywood she worked as an animator, designer, writer (“Jane� the pilot for Edgar Rice Burrows comic strip). She gave them the idea to write “Jane� in 1974, “The year of women�.
She directed and produced animation series and features for Hanna-Barbera, Marvel and Universal Studios.
She met her husband Sukhdev while both worked at H&B in 1968.
Marija started her own studio “Animation Cottage� and produced a series of specials for the ABC network.
Her last job in Hollywood was directing and producing 24 half hours of “Casper the friendly ghost� series for television.
She writes and directs her own films and participates in animation festivals in France and Croatia.
Since her homeland became a free and democratic country, she travels there every year, since she has a house there and many friends. Marija’s next project is a story about Joe Magarac, the Legend of the Allegheny Mountains. She made a five minute film presentation of it, while presenting her thesis for Master Degree at UCLA in 1982. “Joe Magarac� is a genuine American legend, which has its roots in Croatian immigration and steel and mine workers of Pennsylvania.
Maria’s father and brother worked in the steel industry in Hamilton, Ontario – and she feels it’s up to her to tell the story, since she is Croatian/American – just like “Joe Magarac�.

Member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences,

Member of the Board of Directors of ASIFA,
Won the “Best of Animation Award� at the International Film Festival in Switzerland, 1974, for the film “Why Not?�
Won the “Presidential Award� in 1992 for the environmental film “Think Earth�.
Lectured on animation at UCLA, LACC and Cal Arts (Disney college).
TV Reviews in Los Angeles Times wrote on 4th Feb. 1989:
“… as director Marija Dail and the artists at the Animation Cottage studio managed to imbue P.J. (animation character) with an agreeably bouncy way of moving. Their attention to details like shading the character to suggest shadows and highlights gives the program a richness that’s rarely seen on Saturday morning television. These animators are clearly capable of interesting work…�
Marija was included into the chosen group of “Creatives in Animation� in the “Animation Magazine� March 1997 issue, page 18.

In 2005, Marija published Pixletown - The World Found and is presently writing Joe Magarac - The Legend of the Allegheny Mountains.





Just a small addition to the above biography from a personal and professional point of view. Marija is 'Odlikasica' with a huge heart for Croatia and Croatians. She was one of the first to help me with Can We Go Higher? Video that was produced at the very beginning of the war. Generous to many as I personally witnessed... and gave a lot for our country, silently, without asking anything for herself. Talented as the best come. Her vision of Joe Magarac should be supported long time ago to become a feature animation film. Croatia should have an ear to help Marija create an epic that involves Croatian characters form the American legends. It is still not too late. It comes down to the same song I always sing. So much talent and so little collective support. Croatia as a country needs to create a STRUCTURE OF SUPPORT for her best daughters and sons, who are so undeniably representing Croatian culture around the world. Marija Miletic Dail, certainly deserves your attention.


Nenad Bach, New York August 26th, 2005


Joe Magarac:

Joe Magarac is a genuine American Legend with roots in Croatian as well as other nationalities' immigration.
The story evolves around the lives of steel mill and mine workers of Pennsylvania's Allegheny Mountains at the turn of the century. Joe Magarac is a hero who helped save many a live and changed the course of the steel industry forever.



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