What Animation Means to Me…

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On the occasion of our 25th anniversary, we asked our readers and the top movers and shakers in the industry to tell us what animation has meant to them and how it has changed their lives. Here is just a sampler of the many wonderful and touching responses we received.

“I was 14 when The Simpsons premiered and it blew my mind! I became obsessed with the show and drawing Bart became my identity. I was 19 when I got hired on The Simpsons and, after 16 years, I still can’t believe they’re paying me! (But don’t tell my boss I said that!)”


— Brad Ableson, Storyboard Artist, The Simpsons [Fox]

“Animation means so much to me—as nothing brings a young imagination to life like it. The ability to create worlds, visit amazing characters and literally go anywhere will never date and I will always love it. The longevity of shows like Scooby-Doo, which I watched as a child and then again with my own children and, I suspect, my future grandchildren is a testament to how animated content will always resonate with the audience. Happy 25th birthday, Animation Magazine.”


— Sarah Muller, Head of CBBC Acquisitions and Drama Development

“I get to hang out with my friends every day and try to make each other laugh by drawing silly pictures, telling silly stories, writing silly songs and doing silly voices… and they actually pay me! How cool is that?”


— Dan Povenmire, Creator & Executive Producer, Phineas and Ferb [Disney Channel]

“To me, animation is happiness. Until the age of 28, I had tried every different job I could find, from digging ditches, aerospace engineering, waterbed installation and even computer industry executive (the full list is almost comical in the quantity and variety of occupations). Most of them made me miserable at worst and ambivalent at best. Getting my first job in animation completely changed my life and even though I took a pay cut in the beginning, I had never been happier. That was back in ’88 and still today I feel like I am one of the happiest, most fulfilled and truly enthusiastic people I know about my chosen profession.”


— Swampy Marsh, Creator & Executive Producer, Phineas and Ferb [Disney Channel]

“Animation has always had a strong influence on me. At 12 I began making movies. I tried animation and really loved it. I studied animation in school. Today, I continue to practice my craft. Recently, I completed a claymation short, Adventure Dog. (This is available on Youtube.)”


— Robert Schevitz, Founder, 4|Reel Productions

“Animation for me represents the perfect medium to tell the most imaginative stories that come to my mind, a chance to collaborate with wonderful people around the world and to work doing what I’ve loved ever since I was a kid. It doesn’t get better than that!”


— Mauricio De la Orta, Director, The Adventures of Manu [Avikoo Studios]

“As an animation globetrotter, I have been reading Animation Magazine throughout my years in this business, from Canada to China, learning from the veterans and visionaries of the trade. You make me dream and work. Thanks!”


— Sean Chu, VP, Kids, Ciwen Media Group

“Working within animation we live in the zone of imagining—the freedom of imagination we felt as kids is brought to life in the creation of animation.”


— Jennifer Emin & Jez Nicholls, Founders, Itchy Feet Animations

“Animation is believing that an imaginary character’s life extends beyond the constraints of the frame. It means that their struggle is real to you, and you are moved by their decisions.”


— Matthew Sullivan, Computer Animation Student, Ringling College of Art and Design

“Animation is an addiction. It is meant to be a glue for folks who watch it and fall in love with the characters and worlds. However, this syndrome afflicts the equally large number of artists and technicians involved in creation and production—who live eternally smitten by the ‘animation bug!’ Coming to this industry after two decades of working in marketing and strategy, everything has changed. My wardrobe, style of communication, use of both sides of the brain and my belief in and dependence on divine powers! It’s the people in animation that makes it such a compelling industry! Besides having a heightened visual ability, the medium needs patience, many alliances, motivation, persistence, constant reinvention of oneself and the craft and, of course, dollops of luck! Animation is my life and will remain so long after it is my livelihood!”


— Biren Ghose, Country Head, Technicolor India & President, ABAI

“The world of animation is its own galaxy of entertaining elements which have to be combined as creatively as possible. Nearly everything is ‘animatable’ if it has a good plot—and if it reaches the heart and soul of the audience. Congratulations on your unique performance over the last 25 years—Animation Magazine is the only one in this business that informs steadily what’s current and the state of the art.


— Winfried Debertin [Director] & Christoph Busse [CEO/President], MPP Agency for Animationmedia mbH

“Animation brings together art, stories, characters, music and performance in a totally unique way that no other film making process can. Done well, it’s wholly satisfying to the senses and allows the imagination to soar and the emotions to be set free.”


— Heather Wright, Executive Producer & Head of Commercials and Branded Content, Aardman Animations

“At the outset, I thought that animation was just another field of the TV industry. But I soon found out that it was much more: We are a big, fun, dysfunctional family that goes across borders and cultures, with a unique mix of talent, money people, writers, producers, designers…This family culture is, I think, truly unique to our craft, and this is why I won’t ever be leaving it.”


— David Michel, General Manager, Marathon Media & SVP – Marketing, Zodiak Media

“Animation is an art form that can enrich the world through its magic craftsmanship, heartfelt stories, and be a true gift to the world.”


— Gabe Swarr, Supervising Producer, Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness [Nickelodeon]

“We truly value and appreciate our partnership with Animation Magazine, which plays such a critical role in writing about all the movers and shakers of the animation industry. At Toon Boom, we share the same passion for animation and look forward to many more years of collaboration! Happy 25th Anniversary!”


— Joan Vogelesang, President & CEO, Toon Boom Animation Inc.

“Animation has introduced me to a world of creative, smart and wonderful people whose children’s shows are often more insightful than those written for primetime. I adore the international animation business and all the friends I’ve made over the years.”


— Annette van Duren, Annette van Duren Agency

“25 years is exactly the time I’ve been pioneering the CGI industry! From producing 10 frames per day to half-hours per week, what a creative revolution! But, as surprising as it may sound, the biggest thrill is still ahead of us: new formats, new screens and potentially infinite interactive spin-offs…”


— Guillaume Hellouin, President & CEO, TeamTO

“Animation will always be evolving and adapting as long as there are creative people who have the love that fuels their hearts for the art and the imagination that keeps the creative gears in their heads turning to bring great cartoons and movies to the masses.”


— Gary Bryant, Student, Full Sail University Online

“1987 marked the year I got involved with animation, so I celebrate my 25th anniversary along with Animation Magazine. Thank goodness for your magazine. It’s been an enduring chronicle of our industry. There’s been a ‘Thoren’ at my side ever since and I hope we’re both around to celebrate another 25 years.”


— William “Bill” Dennis, Partner, International Animation Consulting Group & Founder/Principle, Zanymation International

Animation Magazine 25? You don’t look —or behave—a day older than five!
25 years ago I was half the age I am now and had twice as much hair (or at least it grew in more conventional places). I was working with a little known animator called Don Bluth trying to ensure that we didn’t run out of money while bringing films like An American Tail and The Land Before Time to the world. Little did we imagine that this would result in such a huge re-awakening of interest in animation, paving the way for companies such as Pixar and the healthy state of the industry we see to-day. Animation Magazine has been the source of industry news in this time, a constant in a changing industry.”


— Andrew Fitzpatrick, Founder & Chairman, Monster Distributes Ltd.

“Animation to me is a release of my mind onto the world. It’s a way for me to express myself through visual means, filling people with joy or sadness, as I make my characters react to situations made from my imagination and personal experiences.”


— John Governanti, Computer Animation Freshman, Ringling College of Art and Design

“The first thing is very simple: Love what you love. Don’t give up that love.
Creatively, do things you want to do. If you are the creators, you’re the ones who set everything up.  Cooperate amongst yourselves…Share what you have amongst yourselves. Don’t be like the old generation. Where I come from it was: Mine! My Precious!  It’s not. Everything is there for us to use and create. You must forget the past, as far as its negatives are concerned. We must know history. We must know where we come from, but… Go, have fun. And be who you are. Love what you do. Love it. And you will be successful.”


— Phil Mendez, Illustrator, Animation Designer & Director

“I love drawing and art. And I love storytelling, TV and movies. It’s really a perfect combination of the things I dig. I don’t have many hobbies. Some people have a job and a separate hobby. This is pretty much all I do, and I still love it.”


— Chris Prynoski, Creator, Executive Producer & Director, Motorcity [Disney XD]

“Animation changes my life every day because I work with talented and creative students. At the Irish School of Animation we are educating the animators of the future and hopefully some of them will grace the pages of Animation Magazine over the next 25 years.”


— Gareth Lee, Program Leader BA (Hons) Animation / Program Director ISA CON, Irish School of Animation at Ballyfermot College of Further Education

“Life is like an animated movie—the impossible is possible, there’s nothing that can’t be solved by an anvil on the head, and absolutely anything can happen, so just hang on and enjoy the ride! Thanks to Animation Magazine for a great 25-year ride!”


— Mark Byers, Executive Producer, DeZerlin Media (Qingdao, China)

“Animation has given me the gift of being a kid again, where laughter and imagination are as essential as breakfast every day…Seeing life through a set of cartoon glasses is such a colorful, uplifting way to experience the world. And if something doesn’t work, you get to hit delete and try it again! Awesome. The perfect antidote for depression and old age!”


— Julie Stall, Vice president of Production, Portfolio Entertainment

“As a boy, I loved animation and designing characters. My life changed in 1999 when my first creation, Bob the Builder, appeared on the BBC and my hobby became a career. Now I create characters and animated shows for a living. It’s the best job in the world.”


— Keith Chapman, Founder & Creative Director, Chapman Entertainment

“Through animation I’ve gained a new-found appreciation of story. Animation allows pictures to tell stories that other mediums can’t.”


— Scott Bogoniewski, Chair of Entertainment Arts, College for Creative Studies

“Animation found me as a fan in ’75, followed me as a student in ’86, made me proud as a professional in ’89, fired me up as an instructor in ’04 and in 2012 animation still has me inspired. I’ve enjoyed a complete relationship with this industry and I have no plans to stop now. I wouldn’t be who I am without it … but don’t tell my therapist.”


— Tammy Zeitler, Animator & Instructor – Computer Animation Dept., Ringling College of Art and Design

“When I graduated from high school the options weren’t great: Join the military and go to Vietnam, get married and immediately have kids, or go to college. Choosing the latter, I wanted to work on animated features, and for nearly three decades that’s what I did. Now I help animation students reach their goals.”


— Dan Hansen, Director – Character Animation Program, California Institute of the Arts School of Film and Video

“Without animation, I would have become an embittered, wanna-be comedian with a failed sitcom tragically titled Butch under my belt.”


— Butch Hartman, Creator & Executive Producer, T.U.F.F. Puppy and The Fairly OddParents [Nickelodeon]

“I was only 19 when I started my career, after stopping into the MPSC Union 839 where I got a list of the studios in 1971. I had grown up watching Felix the Cat, Popeye, and the Flintstones along with Rice Crispy and Charlie Tuna commercials and loved the thought of working with cartoons. My first job was with a small studio named C&D, owned by Bill Hanna’s sister. We specialized in ink & paint, and I learned to flow the paint between the lines of the hand-drawn characters. These were the days when jobs were plentiful in the U.S. and studios would ‘teach people’ if they had a promise of talent. I was lucky to be taught and later learned Color Key. I went on to enjoy 30 years in the industry in commercial houses, TV and motion picture studios including DePatie-Freleng, Marvel and Disney. I met many well-known and talented people such as Fritz Freleng, Stan Lee and Bill Hanna along with too many creative artists to mention. I would never have had as much fun nor such an exciting career if I had not stepped through the doors of Animation.”


— Robin Koblin [Draper], Artist & Animator

“Originally, I was a live-action writer and producer in Northern Europe. My films were made for national markets. Sixteen years ago my animated show Loggerheads changed the view; every series or movie I produce now is made for global exploitation. In animation and live action.”


— Ralph Christians, Executive Producer, Magma Productions

“From an early age, animation was a source of entertainment, education and inspiration. Tom and Jerry not only taught me how to make a parachute, they also inspired me to believe that I might actually be able to jump off of the family garage with it. Animation taught me to dream!”


— Randy Dormans, Supervising Producer, Kung Fu Panda:  Legends of Awesomeness [Nickelodeon]

“Hmm…How animation has changed my life? I suppose, when I think about it, animation has given me the opportunity to do things I might never have experienced and visit places I might never have seen. It has certainly allowed me to meet maybe thousands of people I would have never met otherwise. Changed my life? Sure. It has made mine a deeply interesting and movable feast!”


— Frank Gladstone, President, ASIFA-Hollywood

“The number of passionate and talented people I have had the good fortune of becoming friends with during my time in animation has been just fantastic—from artists to businessmen, from writers to engineers, from actors to journalists… And each year I keep meeting more. How great is that? To paraphrase the legendary Chico Escuala, ‘Animation has been berry, berry good to me!’”


— Michael Mennies, Director of International Development & Production, Riki Group

“My father Claudio was not very happy with his marriage with my mom Maria Jose. Claudio thought animation was the perfect way to build up dreams outside of his average routine and created an animation studio as a way to enjoy work and try to achieve success. Right after creating BRB, Claudio had his third baby son… named Carlos. The studio turns 40 years old in 2012… and so do I! So, animation—aside of being my everyday joy—is basically the reason why I was born. It is my life!”


— Carlos Biern, Executive Producer, BRB Internacional

“I have worked with koala bears, robots, chipmunks, aliens, monsters, mutants, super heroes, ghosts, dragons, talking sponges, vampires, princesses, turtles and more…not many people can say that…and of course, wonderful ‘human’ peers from every continent of our planet! But my favorite and most humbling moment was when a new show I was working on came on Cartoon Network: My three-year-old daughter recognized it, saying, ‘Daddy …isn’t that the show you made?!’ I said, ‘Yes!’ (beaming with pride)… to which she responded, ‘…Can you change the channel to Dora?!’ Oy vey…now that’s entertainment!”


— Eric S. Rollman, President & CEO, Rollman Entertainment, Inc.

“Through the art of animation I have truly been blessed to use my passion for drawing to entertain others. Animation has opened countless doors that I never would have experienced otherwise. Now I am able to pass this knowledge that enriched my life to my students at Full Sail University.”


— Anthony Michaels, Animation Department Chair, Full Sail University

“When I was nine years old, while watching Looney Tunes, I noticed the Sound. Then I thought, ‘You know what, God, I want to be a soundman… And meet Bugs Bunny!’
Years later, while working with Mel Blanc, I realized…I had forgotten my prayer, but God didn’t.”


— Andy Morris, President, Buzzy’s Recording

“Animation changed my life like it did to Eddie Valiant. I learned that cartoons are people, too, and should be taken seriously—but only when they’re funny.”


— Thom Chapman, Vice President, ToonBox Entertainment

“So, once upon a time (33 years ago), I went to collect my son from kindergarten and the teacher said, ‘We love those SuperTed stories,’ and that changed my life. SuperTed became books, animation, moved to the U.S., started a studio and the rest is not quiet yet history!”


— Mike Young, Co-CEO, MoonScoop

“Since my 14th year, animation has always been first priority. All other events, including personal, have evolved from my first interest, and I have never regretted it. I have had the good fortune to have my work be my hobby and to befriend my heroes. Who could ask for more?”


— Hans Perk, President & CEO, A. Film L.A., Inc. & Director, Miffy the Movie (2013)

“Animation allowed me to practice my art form and make a living at the same time that allowed me to be close to my family. Animation allows me to share my dreams.”


— Marc Dole, CEO & Executive Producer, Hatchling Studio

“Nothing is as much fun to me as making great animation.  As a kid, I was up at 6:45 every Saturday, eager for my cartoons to begin. Then through life’s twists and turns, I wound up at Nelvana on a month’s contract where my eyes were opened to this wonderful industry, and I’ve never looked back.”


— Vince Commisso, Co-Founder, President & CEO, 9 Story Entertainment

“In 1987, having  enjoyed 21 years of being a producer of music, television and commercials, I started producing my first animation series. I join whole heartedly with Animation Magazine in celebrating 25 years in this extraordinary and inspirational industry.”


— Jonathan Peel, Chairman, Millimages

“In 1978, I began at Hanna Barbera as a worker in the warehouse.  Though my aspiration was to be a writer, I was happy to have a regular job with a weekly paycheck. For two years, I pitched script ideas to Mr. Barbera’s secretary to give to him, though I don’t know for sure if any were ever passed along. One day Mr. Barbera came to the warehouse and said, ‘Kid, you’re up.’ As it turned out, he had sold the entire Saturday morning schedules that season to ABC, NBC and most of CBS, promising each network he would oversee their shows exclusively. This led to my opportunity to work at the foot of the master learning story, voice work, direction, gags, and most of all, sales. ‘Kid, this is how we milk a gag.”Kid, this is how you get the best line reading.’ Kid this, Kid that. The show I worked on that season was Yogi’s All Star Laff-A-Lympics … and my tiny role sweeping behind Mr. Barbera got my career rolling. Eventually I had an opportunity to leave and start my own animation company, DIC, beginning with Inspector Gadget. I always stayed close with Mr. Barbera, and he always called me, ‘Kid.’ Several years later, DIC had many shows in production and was really flourishing. One day, Mr. Barbera called me up, and said, ‘Kid, I need you to run down to Art’s and pick me up a lean pastrami sandwich on rye.’ I responded, ‘Of course, Mr. B, but I’m 40 years old now, and I have my own company…” Then he would interrupt me and say, ‘Yeah, I know, kid, that’s great—but make sure the pastrami is extra lean, and  would you mind grabbing my dry cleaning on the way back from the place across on Cahuenga?’ ‘Yes, Mr. B, of course.’ Today, I have produced over 5,000 half hours of animated TV programs for broadcasters around the world. I have had the privilege to win Emmys and other honors…Nonetheless, I feel indebted to the simple lessons I learned while working under Joe Barbera. Not only was it important to learn how to tell a story and direct a voice session, but it was also important to learn how to clean the warehouse and pick up a pastrami sandwich, extra lean. Joe Barbera remains the greatest force in the history of television animation. It was my great good fortune to have worked under him.”


— Andy Heyward, Co-Founder & CEO, A2 Entertainment

“Animation has allowed me to reach out to global markets and meet new companies and people, to express myself in many ways and has brought many talented people together … Over my 25-plus year career I have gained a family of friends that are special in the ways of expression, and we can always do this through our artwork in a positive way to reach out and touch the hearts of many children; because let’s face it, they are our future. Animation has allowed me to work with veteran film makers such as Mel Brooks on Spaceballs, the animated series, as a storyboard artist putting my vision from script to screen, this was an honor and a learning experience. Animation has allowed me to reach out to those who need a smile, to encourage children that it is okay to express yourself in drawing—and to get an education where you will be able to do a job that you always wanted to do in life because it makes you happy. This is how animation has changed my life.”


— Jeffrey Mueller, President, Magpie Entertainment Company Ltd & Magpie Film Studio Ltd

“It all started early with animation and me. Popeye cartoons with my lunch. Devouring The Art of Disney in 1973. Norman McLaren at the Whitney. Leonard Maltin showing Winsor McKay shorts and classic Walt Disney features on the big screen. Being at Disney Television Animation now. It all still excites me.”


— Rob LaDuca, Executive Producer, Jake and the Never Land Pirates & Mickey Mouse Clubhouse [Disney Junior]

“Having grown up in a small town in Ontario, Canada, there were very few opportunities for a young artist to pursue a career in animation. However, upon graduating from Classical Animation at Sheridan College in the mid ‘80s my dream came true and the opportunities to work for several big name studios alongside many famous and talented artists and animators occupied over 30 years of my life! Funny how things have now come full circle; I am now a professor, teaching in the Bachelor of Animation Course at Sheridan, inspiring and offering my life of industry experience to a new young generation of animation gurus to help fulfill their dreams…and hopefully hiring them on the launch of my new animation company, Off The Dock Entertainment!”


— Maureen Shelleau, Professor – Animation, Sheridan College & Founder, Off the Dock Entertainment

“Dear members of the Animation Magazine crew, I had looked at this e-mail about the Special Anniversary Edition, and every time I started to think what I could write to tell you about ‘how animation changed my life,’ but just today I decided it was time to do it. I was born 25 years ago in a village on the middle of the Amazonian forest, in the same year that Animation Magazine began—1987. I grew up in a small country town in the southeast of Brazil, and since I was a small kid my mom taught me to read, and I started to read by myself some Disney and Monica (a famous character here in Brazil) comic books. At the same age, I started to visit my grandmother, who lived in a big city, every vacation, and every time I traveled to this city I watched a movie at the movie theaters—most of them Disney classics. My grandmother saw how much I like animation and started to give me Disney’s animated films on VHS every holiday and birthday. I grew up watching the new Disney classics (from Aladdin to Tarzan) in movie theaters and in my home, and when the time to decide on a profession came I decided to study animation at a college in Brazil. I just graduated from this college last July, and I decided to go to Los Angeles. It was the first time I left Brazil and I just decided to do this because of the animation. My time in L.A. was amazing; I had the opportunity to talk with a lot of amazing people, like Eric Goldberg, Mark Hen, Andreas Deja and other animators who were the guys who made the movies that guided my life until today. I moved back to Brazil, bringing with me a suitcase with more than 70 pounds just of animation books (including the Animation Magazine 20 Year Collection) and now I’m starting to look for a job in the animation industry here in Brazil. I know that it is going to be hard, but now it is time to grow up—but keep this child that loves animation inside me. So, thanks  animation, and thanks Animation Magazine for bringing more of this world to us.”


— Mateus Lima, mateuserelimaportfolio.blogspot.com

“There used to be a time when I looked at a cartoon and simply enjoyed it for enjoyment’s sake. But as time went on, I began marveling at how animation works. The process, the creativity, it was all such an amazing feat to accomplish. And I wanted to replicate it. (Thanks for the years of info you have been giving us, guys! I might be a new reader, but there has never been a magazine I have read before that made me more eager to get into the world of animation than this one. Thanks guys, for making these years of practice worth it.)”


— Blake Hudson, Memphis, TN

“The first movie I really remember seeing was Disney’s Jungle Book. I was only four when it came out, but it was life changing. I danced around the house to “Bare Necessities” for weeks —and I started drawing. I so wanted to be an animator, but there was no way CalArts was in reach. Luckily, right out of my much cheaper college, I landed a job at an animation distribution company called Expanded Entertainment that also happened to publish a periodical with the auspicious title of Animation Magazine. With the support of owners and founders Terry Thoren and later Jean Thoren, I managed to start a career in animation and I am forever thankful. I am also grateful for my dear friend Ramin Zahed — who, like me, has the animation bug in his blood.”


— Rita Street, Founder and President, Radar Cartoons

“Since our childhood, animation has been a part of our lives. Growing up watching Hanna-Barbera classics and Disney movies, our minds were transported to a world of fantasy and creativity. Today, as members of the international animation community, we have the opportunity of creating illusions and dreams. Animation is passion, friendship, traveling, imagination, learning and dreaming without moving from your seat!”


— Raquel Benitez and Carmen Llanos, CEO and COO, Comet Entertainment

“Animation has always been an important part of my life. I grew up absorbing the great animation of the Disney features, and the brilliance of Tex Avery, Chuck Jones, and all the other super-genius’ at Warner Brothers. I usually try to bring what I’ve learned from these masters about character, and movement, to the movies I’ve worked on. Even now…When you watch Men In Black 3 I think you’ll see glimpses of the lessons I’ve learned from the great animators.


— Ken Ralston, Creative Head, Sony Pictures Imageworks

“Breathing life into objects and shapes that should not otherwise move, talk and walk. Animation is a fascination shared among thousands of like-minded obsessives, all of us looking for the magic uncanny ‘otherworld’ that does not conform to daily reality. It is a slow, personal and reflective art where anything is possible. Its boundary is found at the edge of human patience and tenacity, and is limited otherwise only by imagination and sufficient funding.”


— David Daniels, Partner & Director, Bent Image Lab

“I have always had a great respect for animation, it turns out that the animation community is very small. We all love what we do and although quite competitive, I have found everyone very friendly and supportive. We get to play with dolls for a living, what could be better!”


— Ray Di Carlo, Exec Producer & Director, Bent Image Lab

“Having grown up in a small town of around 20 thousand people in the middle of nowhere in New Zealand, animation has given me the chance to see the world in a way I could never have imagined. One of the highlights was an amazing night at the MTV music awards in Lisbon with Gorrillaz and Del La Soul. Animation remains a world of imagination where you never know what’s around the corner.”


— Heath Kenny, Creative Director, Alphanim [Gaumont Group]

“When I was seven, we immigrated to this country and one of the first memories I have is turning on the television set and being bombarded with cartoons! Bugs Bunny, Hanna-Barbera, Tex Avery; the colors, animation and humor leaped of the tiny screen and attacked my brain. Instantly animation became my passion and along with a few shows like The Six-Million Dollar Man and Wonder Woman helped me learn the English language. Since that time I never outgrew animation  and now some of the fondest memories that I share with my children is when we watch a Tex Avery cartoon we all bust out laughing.”


— Genndy Tartakovsky, Director, Hotel Transylvania [Sony Pictures Animation]

“When I was 16, I realized animation was the bridge between being an artist and a filmmaker. At that point I never looked back. Today I see animation is everywhere. It encompasses so much and is constantly being redefined. I believe it is the dominant art form of this century.”


— Chel White, Partner & Director, Bent Image Lab

“My dad is an illustrator and as a child, I would hang out in his studio and watch him draw. I was always amazed at how he could capture the essence of a character in a drawing. He introduced me to animation and I knew from a young age that I wanted to be in this business. I never could have imagined that I would actually land at Sony Pictures Animation where every day I get to work with some of the most talented animators in the world in an environment that is like home and often takes me back to those days as a kid with a dream.”


— Michelle Murdocca, Producer, Hotel Transylvania [Sony Pictures Animation]

“Since our childhood, animation has been a  part of our lives. Growing up watching Hanna-Barbera classics and Disney movies, our minds were transported to a world of fantasy and creativity. Today, as members of the international animation community, we have the opportunity of creating illusions and dreams. Animation is passion, friendship, traveling, imagination, learning and dreaming without moving from your seat!”


— Raquel Benitez and Carmen Llanos, CEO and COO, Comet Entertainment

“Animation has always been an important part of my life. I grew up absorbing the great animation of the Disney features, and the brilliance of Tex Avery, Chuck Jones, and all the other super-genius’ at Warner Brothers. I usually try to bring what I’ve learned from these masters about character, and movement, to the movies I’ve worked on. Even now…When you watch Men In Black 3 I think you’ll see glimpses of the lessons I’ve learned from the great animators.


— Ken Ralston, Creative Head, Sony Pictures Imageworks

“Having grown up in a small town of around 20 thousand people in the middle of nowhere in New Zealand, animation has given me the chance to see the world in a way I could never have imagined. One of the highlights was an amazing night at the MTV music awards in Lisbon with Gorrillaz and Del La Soul. Animation remains a world of imagination where you never know what’s around the corner.”


— Heath Kenny, Creative Director, Alphanim [Gaumont Group]