Lets start their story from the beginning when Kelly and Sean first met at Comic-Con dining with fellow storyboard artists. Kelly, the new girl looking to break into the business, had struck up a conversation with Sean a storyboard artist for Dreamworks. “I won’t lie, I was there to network,” says Kelly. “So I politely asked if he would look at my portfolio and give me notes. He was very open to the idea and encouraged us to meet up back in LA to go over things. Overjoyed with the prospect of a mentor, we continued to chat into the night.” For these two animation nerds who grew up and studied Disney animation their pragmatic mentor-ship eventually developed into their own real-life Disney fairytale.
Sean knew that Kelly was the girl he had been waiting for. “I’d given up on things like fairy tales and true love and magic,…all the things, ironically enough, that led me into my career of choice,…..animation,” says Sean. “As I hit thirty-seven with Forty rearing it’s ugly head, a kind of fateful pragmatism settled upon me. A sort of reverse midlife crisis where instead of breaking away from life, I was convinced that I’d missed it somehow. True love wasn’t always true and wasn’t always love. The type of happiness so lavishly rendered in the animated movies I loved was just “Hollywood Magic”and as I was getting ready to settle into, as Henry Higgins may have put it, “Confirmed old bachelorhood!” and trying to figure out exactly how I was feeling about my dubious new role, I turned around,….and there she was.” It was on their first date at Disneyland, the perfect place for two animation nerds, where Sean fell in love with Kelly.
His fairytale proposal took six months to plan, Sean made a replica of the bell rose jar from Beauty and the Beast and placed the ring at the base of the jar. He even had friend and co-worker Gary Trousdale, Director of Beauty and the Beast, bless the rose in the jar. When Kelly returned home from an errand Sean conveniently sent her on; she noticed the regular lamp that could be seen through the couple’s window had been replaced by the bell jar with a single rose suspended in the jar. She flung open the door, “the LED lights in the base of the jar illuminated the room,” Kelly continues. “Music played in the background as Sean took my hand. He gestured towards the base of the jar where a sparkling stone lay in the middle of a light show. Only then did I realize that it was a ring and what was happening. I started to cry and wrapped my arms around Sean. “Yes, yes a thousand times yes,” she said.
Union Station in Los Angeles was the perfect spot for their forties inspired Toontown engagement shoot.With antique suitcases in hand these two looked liked they had just stepped onto the set of Who Framed Roger Rabbit. After their photo session with Callaway Gable, Sean added a few additional characters of his own to the shoot. “When I proposed to Kelly, I told her I wanted to build her a fairy tale one dream at a time. I’m starting with these photos, because I am sensible of how rare it is. What we have together. As rare as true magic, or fairy dust,…or wishing upon a star,” says Sean.Callaway Gable ]