A whole new world
In the end, Glen and his family stayed in Paris for four enchanting years. “It changed our life,” he says. “Our daughter [lived there] for nine years, married a French guy. Now our grandchildren speak French.” Ultimately, he isn’t sure whether he ever really returned from Paris. “I’ve just expanded. I feel like I’m a person of the world, and that’s what I want to be.”
If there is any one trait that defines Glen, it’s his utter commitment to being open. It’s made him bigger, of course: introducing new possibilities, pathways, and entirely different maps of synapses. “The person I was at 18, who said, ‘No, I’m afraid, I don’t want to go to a country where I don’t speak the language and I don’t know how to get around,’ there was a security in all of that,” he says. “That person could never grow to become the artist that I needed to.” It took 20 more years before Glen reached a place where he was willing to risk discomfort to satiate his curiosity. “To throw myself out into the unknown, I needed to be that person.”
About a decade after leaving Paris, Glen’s urge to break away came creeping back. “I felt like there was something beyond, that I needed to leave Disney to do it.” So in 2012, after 38 years at a job he loved, Glen decided to move on. Since then, he’s animated stories for virtual reality at Google and collaborated with Kobe Bryant. (Their short film, Dear Basketball, won an Academy Award in 2018.) He’s currently directing another film and partnering with his son, Max, on an animated series. “I see all of that as springing from the adventure of stepping out into the unknown and moving our family to France,” says Glen.
Despite everything he’s accomplished in his 65 years of life, what Glen seems most excited about is everything that hasn’t happened yet. “It’s a wonderful thing to be growing,” he says. “I told my wife the other day, I feel like I’m 20 years old. I’m just beginning.”