As part of the goal of preserving and promoting animation through education, the ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Educators Forum has compiled a listing of resources that may benefit individuals interested in receiving training and/or pursuing animation as a career. Please note that the inclusion of a learning institution, organization, program, or publication on these pages is not an endorsement by the AEF or ASIFA-Hollywood, but is simply a referral of opportunities and materials that may be germane to individuals interested in animation.
Ongoing Animation Courses
As artists and educators, the AEF knows that each individual has a particular learning style as well as goals that he or she wishes to achieve. Finding an educational program or courses that meet those needs may be a challenge but the list, below, may be a useful guide.
Click on the name of the listed organization to visit the website and view more detailed information.
In addition to courses, organizations and individuals often present shorter, less formalized classes that offer focused training and/or the opportunity to sharpen animation-related skills or knowledge. Follow the link to our blog where workshop opportunities are posted by the parties offering them.
Festivals and Competitions
Many groups and organizations offer the opportunity to submit animated films to be considered for awards and/or inclusion in screenings. Each festival has its own requirements (theme, animation media, length, date of completion, etc.) that will be listed in a call for entries. Follow the links below to download or read festival details and submission criteria online.
Beginning or continuing a career in creative fields such as animation can often seem overwhelming. Designing an effective job-search strategy, being aware of the expectations of the industry, learning the value of networking, and knowing how to present oneself professionally will help prepare for the realities of finding employment. In this section, members of the AEF and industry professionals share their tips and advice as well as provide online links to additional resources.
Animation World Network’s Career Coach:
Witnessing and participating in the production of an animated project is one of the most beneficial experiences that an aspiring animator can have. Many studios offer this opportunity through internships and mentoring programs. The Animation Educators’ Forum offers these guidelines for those seeking an internship:
- Be aware that many internship opportunities are unpaid. If that is the case, the intern must receive course credit for the work that they perform. If an internship does not provide either course credit or salary, the provider may risk violating labor laws.
- Be wary of offers that sound too good to be true or ask more than seems fair (such as working for deferred payment).
- Note that work that performed during an internship may not be eligible for inclusion in a personal demo reel or portfolio. Be sure to ask the studio about their policy.
- Internships should feature an up-front, written agreement that outlines job responsibilities and expectations, behavioral guidelines, and intellectual property considerations. This is important, as it protects both the studio’s interests as well as the intern’s.
Books and Journals
Although the Internet has made it easy to access data, books and other published material remain invaluable tools for gathering information. Below, you’ll find AEF’s recommendations.
Animation How-To Books
ANIMATED CARTOONS How they are made and the origin of their development- By E. G. Lutz ( Appelwood Books, Bedford Mass, 1920) The first how-to on animation. Walt Disney studied this book to teach himself animation.
The ANIMATION BOOK by Kit Laybourne ( Three Rivers Press, NY 1998) A fine overview of techniques for creating independent animation, from sand animation and cut-outs to computer graphics.
ANIMATION FROM SCRIPT TO SCREEN by Shamus Culhane ( St. Martin’s Press 1988) One of the great explanations of the traditional animation pipeline, taught by a master animator of Hollywood’s Golden Age.
ANIMATION: THE WHOLE STORY by Howard Beckerman ( Amereaon Press, Mattituck, NY 2001). A thorough going over to how to animate, by the famous NY animator-teacher.
The ANIMATORS SURVIVAL GUIDE by Richard Williams (Faber & Faber Ltd. London 2001). A great how to by one of the great masters of the medium.
The ANIMATOR’S WORKBOOK by Tony White ( Watson-Guptill, Broadway NY, 1988) A fine how-to book on traditional techniques by a master of London animation.
ANIMALS IN MOTION by Eadweard Muybridge ( Dover Publications, NY 1957). For many animators their first attempts to do a four legged animal walk comes from studying Muybridges action analysis photos. Since 1877 there has been nothing to equal the analytical work of cinema pioneer Muybridge.
CHARACTER ANIMATORS CRASH COURSE By Eric Goldberg ( Silvan James Press, Los Angeles, 2008) A great how-to on character animation by a Disney master artist.
DIRECTING THE STORY: Professional Storytelling and Storyboarding Techniques for Live Action and Animation by Francis Glebas, Focal Press/Elsevier London 2009). The first book on directing animation.
DISNEY ANIMATION: THE ILLUSION OF LIFE By Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, Abbeville Press 1981. Thomas and Johnston, the secrets of Disney animation, explained by two of the most important Disney animators.
DREAMWORLDS, Production Design for Animation By Hans Bacher (Focal/Elsvier Press , London 2008) Richly illustrated book on the technique of the art director of such Disney classics as Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Beauty and the Beast and Muhlan.
THE FLASH ANIMATOR by Sandro Corsaro ( New Riders, Berkeley, Ca. 2001).
HOW TO ANIMATE FILM CARTOONS by Preston Blair. (Walter T. Foster workbooks, Tustin California, 1953)- Preston Blair was a great Golden Age animator and his book is still the best way to start. Every serious animator began with the Preston Blair book.
PREPARE TO BOARD! Creating Story and Characters for Animated Features and Shorts By Nancy Beiman ( Focal Press/Elsevier, 2007) One of the first serious books on storyboarding for animation and character design by a veteran Disney animator and teacher.
PRODUCING ANIMATION by Zahra Dowlatabadi and Catherine Winder ( Focal Press, Boston 2001). One of the only books on producing for animation.
Tezuka Productions. Tezuka School of Animation V. 1: Learning the Basics, 2003
Tezuka Productions. Tezuka School of Animation V. 2: Animals in Motion, 2003
TIMING FOR ANIMATION By Halas & Whitaker, updated by Tom Sito ( Focal Press, Cambridge Mass, 2009) The classic how-to of the 1960s, updated for modern readers, with a forward by John Lasseter.
YOUR CAREER IN ANIMATION: HOW TO SURVIVE AND THRIVE By David B. Levy ( Allworth Press, NY 2006) A good book on what new animation artists should know about the business end and how to break into the industry.
Animation History Books
THE ANIMATED RAGGEDY ANN & ANDY by John Canemaker ( Bobbs Merrill Press, 1977) a great account of the Richard Williams 1977 film and it’s world.
A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS: The making of a tradition by Lee Mendelson
( Harper Collins, 1997). The inside story of one of the most successful animated TV Christmas specials of all time.
BEFORE MICKEY: THE ANIMATED FILM 1898-1928 by Donald Crafton ( MIT press, Cambridge Mass 1984,1987) An in-depth account of silent film cartoons.
BEFORE THE ANIMATION BEGINS: THE ART AND LIVES OF DISNEY INSPIRATIONAL ARTISTS by John Canemaker
CARTOONS-ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF CINEMA ANIMATION by Giannalberto Bendazzi, (Indiana University Press)- Very good who’s-who accounting of toonmeisters on a global scale.
CHUCK AMUCK by Chuck Jones ( Warner Books, Toronto, 1990) The reminiscences of one of animation’s greatest directors.
CHUCK REDUX by Chuck Jones- ( Farrah, Straus & Giroux,NY 1996) More reminiscences of one of animation’s greatest directors.
DRAWING THE LINE: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE ANIMATION UNIONS FROM BOSKO TO BART SIMPSON by Tom Sito, U Press of Kentucky, 2006. Animator and union president Tom Sito traces the history of the producer-artist relationship, exploring quality of life issues, and the digital revolution.
DROIDMAKER: GEORGE LUCAS AND THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION by Michael Rubin ( Triad Publishing Company, Gainseville Florida 2006) A meticulously researched account of the creation of the George Lucas Digital Labs, which became ILM and PIXAR.
ENCHANTED DRAWINGS: THE HISTORY OF ANIMATION by Charles Solomon. ( Alfred A. Knopf, NY, 1989) A great overview of the history of American animation.
FELIX: THE TWISTED TALE OF THE WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS CAT by John Canemaker ( Alfred Knopf, 1997)
THE FIRST QUARTER by Steven L. Kent ( BWD Press, Boethwell Wa, 2000) The history of the first 25 years of computer games, from PONG to Nintendo and X Box.
The FLEISCHER STORY by Leslie Carbaga ( DeCapo Press, 1988)
FORBIDDEN ANIMATION by Karl Cohen ( McFarland Press, Jefferson N.C., 1997) An account of politics, censorship and the blacklist in animation.
The HAND BEHIND THE MOUSE by Leslie Iwerks and John Kenworthy ( Disney Editions, NY, 2001) A biography of the designer of Mickey Mouse by his granddaughter.
HAYAO MIYAZAKI: MASTER OF JAPANESE ANIMATION by Helen McCarthy
( Stone Bridge Press, Berkeley Ca. 1999) A biography of the great Japanese animator.
HOLLYWOOD CARTOONS: AMERICAN ANIMATION IN IT’S GOLDEN AGE by Michael Barrier. ( Oxford Univ Press, NY 1999) A very thorough accounting of the people and incidents that formed the best years of the Hollywood studio cartoon.
IWAO TAKAMOTO My life with a Thousand Characters by Iwao Takamoto with Michael Mallory ( University Press of Mississipi , Jackson, 2009) The memoir of a young Japanese American animator who rose from a desert internment camp picking strawberries, to be one of the most famous artists in Hollywood animation, the creator of Scooby Doo.
The MAGIC BEHIND THE VOICES By Tim Lawson and Alisa Persons ( University Press of Mississippi, Jackson 2004) A who’s-who of animation voice actors.
MISTER MAGOO’S CHRISTMAS CAROL: The Making of the First Animated Christmas Special by Darrell Van Citters ( Oxberry Press LLC, 2009)
OF MICE AND MAGIC: HISTORY OF AMERICAN ANIMATED CARTOONS by Leonard Maltin ( McGraw Hill , NY 1980) One of the best chronicles of the great Hollywood studios.
PAPER DREAMS, the Art & Artists of Disney Storyboards John Canemaker ( Hyperion Press, NY 1999).
THE PIXAR TOUCH by David A. Price (Alfred A. Knopf, NY 2008) A in depth history of the growth of computer animation at LUCAS Digital, and PIXAR.
TALKING ANIMALS AND OTHER FUNNY PEOPLE Shamus Culhane, (St. Martins Press NY) A great no-holds-barred memoir of what it was like to sit at a drawing table during the Golden Age of Hollywood Cartoons.
TEX AVERY: KING OF CARTOONS By Joe Adamson. ( Film Fan Monthly, Teaneck New Jersey, 1975) The biography of one of the great Hollywood animation directors.
TOM et JERRY by Patrick Brion ( Chene, PARIS 1987). All in French, the artwork from the famous MGM cartoons are exceptional and the printing amazing.
WALT DISNEY, AN AMERICAN ORIGINAL by Bob Thomas ( Hyperion, NY 1994) a biography of the great animator, using very much his view of events.
WALT DISNEY AND OTHER ASSORTED CHARACTERS Jack Kinney ( Harmony Press, NY 1990) An out of print, unofficial memoir of life at the Mouse House as seen from the director of the famous Sport Goofy shorts.
WALT DISNEY’S NINE OLD MEN by John Canemaker, ( Disney Editions, 2001). An examination of the lives of Walt Disney’s most trusted animators.
WALT DISNEY: THE TRIUMPH OF THE AMERICAN IMAGINATION by Neal Gabler ( Alfred A. Knopf, 2006) A great master of biographical writing, recounts the life of Walt Disney.
The WALTER LANTZ STORY: with Woody Woodpecker and Friends ( Putnam & Sons, NY 1985)
WALT’S PEOPLE: Talking Disney with the Artists who Knew Him By Didier Ghez ( XLibrius Corp, 2001-2009) Volumes 1 through 8. A young French writers quest to publish interviews with many of the great Walt Disney studio artists and their times.
WINSOR McCAY: HIS LIFE AND ART by John Canemaker ( Abbeville Press, NY 1999)