"There is difference and there is power. And who holds the power decides the meaning of the difference." --June Jordan

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Feminism Friday: Female Animators

I was disappointed when I saw this sexism-filled letter of rejection to a would-be female Disney animator at Feministing. But my spirits were lifted a little when my boyfriend (an animator himself) sent me this photo gallery link to show me that Disney did, in fact, employ female animators, and so did other companies. It seems like if Disney was regressive and clueless when that letter was written in 1938, at least they were doing slightly better by the 1940s. I find it totally inspiring to see these pictures of talented women at work, so I wanted to re-post them here. With the exception of Tissa David, all of the captions come from the gallery page.

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"Retta Scott, Disney Studio, 1940's . She animated on Bambi, Fantasia, Dumbo, Wind in the Willows , later on did storybook illustrations for Disney's publications. The first woman given screen credit as an animator at Disney's ."



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"Mary Blair at work at the Disney Studios , c. 1941"



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"Marilyn and Madilyn Woods, Warner Bros. Animation, 1940's."



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"Retta Davidson, working on "The Sword & The Stone" at Disney's in the early 60's ... left Disney in the late 60's , but later returned to help train a new generation of animators on "The Black Cauldron" in the late 70's , early 80's era at Disney."



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Tissa David
From animationguild.org: "She was a lead animator on Raggedy Ann in 1977."

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"Kathy Zielenski, animating Frollo, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Disney's 1996"

8 comments:

Anna said...

How wonderful to know about these women. Thanks.

David N said...

I'm glad you liked the gallery page.

I posted a bit more about the amazing Tissa David here:

Tissa David: An Appreciation

Michael Sporn's blog has quite a bit of info. about and artwork by Tissa. (Tissa is in her 80's and still drawing, developing a feature film based on the work of Edgar Allan Poe in collaboration with Michael Sporn.)

Michael Sporn's Blog

Just do a search on Michael's blog for "Tissa David".

Tracey said...

Neat! Thanks for the info!

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Lillian Friedman who worked at Fleischer Studios in New York in the 1930s. She animated Betty Boop and Popeye. There was also
La Verne Harding at the Walter Lantz Studio in Hollywood in the 1940s where they animated Woody Woodpecker.

Z. said...

Very interesting post!Would you happen to know the biggest feature length animations that have been made by women? It seems that there were mainly directed by men...:(

Z.

David said...

"Would you happen to know the biggest feature length animations that have been made by women?"

These animated features were directed or co-directed by women:

The Adventures of Prince Achmed directed by Lotte Reiniger.

Animal Farm, co-directed by Joy Batchelor , with John Halas

Ruddigore , directed by Joy Batchelor

The Care Bears directed by Arna Selznick

The Tigger Movie directed by Jun Falkenstein

The Prince of Egypt co-directed by Brenda Chapman , with Steve Hickner, and Simon Wells.
(Brenda Chapman is currently directing "The Bear and the Bow" at Pixar)

Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron co-directed by Lorna Cook, with Kelly Asbury.

Open Season , co-directed by Jill Culton, with Roger Allers.

Persepolis written and co-directed by Marjane Satrapi, with Vincent Paronnaud

Sita Sings the Blues directed by Nina Paley

Gayle Ramey said...

Retta Scott was my aunt. I still have several of her books. She visited us often during my childhood and during my 20's I would visit her home in the San Francisco area. Thank you so much for the information here.

Tracey said...

That's so neat, Gayle! She was such a trailblazer for women.