For this year’s Annency animation festival, the students at Gobelins made five 1-minute animations to honor five female animation pioneers. They’re all phenomenal. If you have five minutes, please watch each of them. Warning: some hit HARD.
Mary Blair (1911-1978)
Worked for Ub Iwerks, MGM, and eventually Disney. Known for creating incredibly vibrant watercolors, which clashed with the studio aesthetic at the time. Disney eventually let her loose, and her aesthetic can be strongly seen in Cinderella, Peter Pan, and especially Alice in Wonderland.
Evelyn Lambart (1914-1999)
Hearing-impaired Canadian animator who worked with Norman McLaren on several pieces that the Canadian government would later declare masterworks. She directed her own films, making her one of the first women in animation to take the director’s chair. She was known for scratching up film stock to create “jazz” like patterns, the sort of thing you’d later see in Fantasia, Donald in Mathmagic Land, and the like.
Lotte Reininger (1899-1981)
German director who created the technique of silhouette animation, preceding Disney by 10 years. Started out making titles for movies and moved on to make her own animated feature, The Adventures of Prince Achmed, in 1926! As for the rest of her career, well – watch the short.
Claire Parker (1906-1981)
Created the “pinscreen” animation technique, where 240,000 tiny metal rods were manually manipulated in and out of a board in order to create an animation — think tweaking pixels by hand. She and she alone owned the patent on it.
Alison de Vere (1927-2001)
One of the first women to work in British animation, and was design director for The Yellow Submarine. She went on to create many animated shorts at a commercial studio, winning prizes for virtually almost every single one of them. She is often credited as Britain’s first female animation auteur.