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When one talks of animation, certain names of stalwarts come to mind. Five such personalities who are thought to be synonymous with animation are mentioned below:

Laurent Ben-Mimoun

UG & PG Animation DegreeThis French born artist has contributed concept art and matte paintings to films like ‘Tangled’, ‘Peter Pan’, ‘The Day after Tomorrow’, ‘Beowulf’, ‘Around the World in 80 Days’, ‘Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring’ and ‘Pearl Harbor’ to name a few.

He started out as a young artist in the animation studios of London where he first got noticed for the film ‘Seven Years in Tibet’ where he had to face the challenge of transforming Argentina to Tibet. It is for this film that he got the opportunity of going to America in 1997 and has been living there ever since.

He says that he likes the projects that offer him “creative freedom”, which he says to have got while working with Disney. He says that what he finds “engaging” and “interesting” about animation is that “everything is created”.

David Gilson 

This French artist and illustrator is well-known for ‘Tangled’ and ‘Magic’. He specializes as a character designer. After completing his training at CFT, he polished his art by working with various animation studios like Walt Disney, Feature Animation, Marathon etc. Being a huge fan of Disney princesses, it was his dream-come-true to work in ‘Tangled’.

Having “a gift for drawing”, Gilson wanted to work with everyone including Disney. He started out at Saban’s, designing secondary characters on the ‘Achille Talon’ series. He got a chance to work with Disney on Tarzan. He worked on the film for two years since April 1997. He says those were the two most important years of his life.

Barry Cook 

He was the first director to successfully fuse hand-drawn and computer animation in a film called ‘My Peoples’. It was based on his own short story ‘The Ghost & His Gift’. This film, however, never really got a release as Walt Disney Feature Animation Florida got closed, an experience that Cook described as “heartbreaking”.

2D & 3D AnimationHe also made a 3 minutes and 20 seconds long film as a young boy. This was an adaptation of Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’. He explains the brevity of the film by saying “that’s how long the cartridge in Super 8 film ran – three minutes and 20 seconds.”

He worked with Hanna-Barbara’s ‘The Smurfs’, where he worked on a 15 minute pilot. He joined Disney in 1981 and went on to work as a special effects animator in films like ‘The Black Cauldron’ (1985), ‘Captain EO’ (1986), ‘Oliver & Company’ (1988) and ‘The Little Mermaid’ (1989).

Margaret Kerry 

This Disney legend modeled for Tinker Bell in Peter Pan. She was also the voice and animation model for the red-haired mermaid in the ‘Neverland’ lagoon scenes. Her television work includes the role of Sharon in ‘The Ruffles’, one of the first network sitcoms on ABC-TV.

She provided her voice for Paddlefoot and Spinner for 52 episodes in the popular kids’ show ‘Clutch Cargo’.

Jamie Beard 

He is known as the animation supervisor for ‘Tintin’. Earlier he had worded on visual effects in films like ‘The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King’ (2003). ‘I, Robot’ (2004), ‘King Kong’(2005) and ‘Avatar’(2009).

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