Did you think animation is within the male-domain and the person associated with it are mainly male? As the viewership of cartoon and animation is equally divided into male and female, women are part of the fraternity and has played a big part in making it a multi-billion dollar industry. They have always played the role of a silent soldier in all these years. Now, on the occasion of International Women’s day, let us remind some of the big names in the animation industry, who being a female has influenced animators over the century.
Here is a list of the top women or female animators, whose works has influenced the world of animation since its inception.
Mary Blair: She was an American artist who was prominent in producing art and animation for The Walt Disney Company, drawing concept art for such films as Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Song of the South and Cinderella. The sister-in-law of famous animator Preston Blair, Mary worked briefly on art for Dumbo, an early version of Lady and the Tramp, and a second version of Fantasia which was not released until the late 1990s.
Gayatri Rao: She is an independent animator who has had the rare distinction of doing an internship at Walt Disney Studios, Florida sponsored by UNICEF where she grasped the spirit of classical animation which she passed on to her hungry for knowledge colleagues back in India. One of the founders of Animagic, Gayatri also pioneered stylised animation commercials in India and directed the animation for Mahakapi, a film based on the Jataka tale of the Monkey King, for CFSI, which won the prestigious UNESCO Award in 1998.
Caroline Leaf: She is an independent Canadian-American filmmaker and animator who made her first film, Sand, or Peter and the Wolf, in 1968 at Harvard University. The short was made by dumping sand on a light box and manipulating the textures frame-by-frame. Her second film, Orfeo (1972), had her painting directly on glass under the camera. She mixed paint with glycerine to produce The Street, adapted from the short story of the same name by Mordechai Richler, which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film at the 49th Academy Awards.
Amy Winfrey : She is an American animator, screenwriter, songwriter, and voice actress. She is best known for creating the web series Making Fiends that was later picked up by Nickelodeon in 2006. When the 12 shorts were finished, Winfrey created another series, Big Bunny. In 2003, Winfrey created Making Fiends. Nickelodeon contacted Winfrey in 2004 about possibly bringing Making Fiends to TV.
Lauren Faust : She is best known for developing the Hub Network’s family/fantasy cartoon My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Faust’s early career focused on animated feature films, working on Cats Don’t Dance, Quest for Camelot, and The Iron Giant as an animator. She shifted to television animation in the 2000s, working on The Powerpuff Girls, Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Super Best Friends Forever and Wander Over Yonder.
Brenda Chapman : Brenda Chapman is an American writer, animation story artist and director. In 1998, she became the first woman to direct an animated feature from a major studio, DreamWorks Animation’s The Prince of Egypt. She recently co-directed the Pixar film Brave, becoming the first woman to win the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.She also worked on Chicken Run, and several projects in development while at DreamWorks.
Retta Scott: She was an American artist. She is notable as the first woman to receive screen credit as an animator at the Walt Disney Animation Studios. Starting with Bambi, Scott contributed to Disney features Fantasia, Dumbo, and Disney’s version of The Wind in the Willows.Scott merited a chapter in The Little Big Book of Disney by Monique Peterson, and also a chapter in Walt’s People – Volume VIII by Didier Ghez.
Nina Paley : She is an independent animator and filmmaker, who have gained success in the recent times. A comic artist in the beginning of her career, she turned to animation and produced many films of distinctive narrative styles. “Fetch!”, “The Stork”, “The Wit and Wisdom of Cancer” and “Sita Sings the Blues” are her popular works.
Retta Davidson : She is best known as one of the few women animators for Walt Disney Studios during the Golden Age of American animation. Davidson joined Disney as an inker and painter, where she worked on Pinocchio, Bambi and Fantasia. In 1980, Davidson was invited back to Disney to work on the feature length animated films The Fox and the Hound and The Black Cauldron as coordinating animator.
Arlene Klasky : She is an American animator, graphic designer, television producer and co-founder of Klasky-Csupo with Gábor Csupó. In 1999, she was named one of the “Top 25 Women in Animation” by Animation Magazine. Her vision has inspired other distinctive productions, including Rugrats, Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, Santo Bugito, Rocket Power and The Wild Thornberrys.
So, now you know that the women has equally contributed in the making the world of Animation – a success. They have been associated with this art form from its onset and is part of this industry in modern days like never before.
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