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Black History Month... early

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Black History Month... early

I know, I know... Its January. However, it's Martin Luther King Day and I thought i'd get a head start.

Usually, animators talk about how black characters are portrayed in television and movies. I'm sure this is going to happen again this year in the Cafe.

I wanted to start a thread about black animators. Instead of talking about how the industry is mostly white or asian and how you can count the black animators on your fingers and toes... I'd like to talk about some noteworthy black animators that are part of black history and animation history.

Frank Braxton was animation's FIRST black animator. He started at Warner Bros. and went on to direct shows like George of the Jungle and The Bullwinkle Show.

Floyd Norman was an animator on Disney's Sleeping Beauty and an artist for The Jungle Book.

Dan Haskett is one of my idols. This fantastic artist designed Belle for Beauty and the Beast and Ariel for The Little Mermaid, and has worked on The Simpsons, Sesame Street, Toy Story and Prince of Egypt.

And of course, everyone knows Bruce Smith. I was told that he is the FIRST black supervising animator for Disney. He supervised Kerchek on Tarzan, Pacha on Emperor's New Groove and Pearl on Home on the Range. Most folks know him as the guy responsible for "The Proud Family" on Disney Channel.

Is there someone you guys would like to recognize? Please do it here.

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I wrote an article about Black woman characters in animation:
http://sharvonique.animationblogspot.com/2007/12/12/uvc-magazine/

And here are some Black woman animators to add to the list:

Brenda Banks

Carole Holliday

Lillian Evans

Jackie Corley

Sharvonique Studios
www.sharvonique.com

Animated By Sharvonique Blog
http://sharvonique.animationblogspot.com

AWN Showcase Gallery

wait... maybe i spoke too soon. it might be an isolated experience, but....

The Challenges faced by a Black Animator

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Wow, thanks Sharvonique!

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I thought i'd ressurect this thread about now.

Here are some links about the animators I mentioned.

Dan Haskett

Frank Braxton

Bruce Smith

Happy Black History Month! And i'd like to add my family's and my sadness for the recent passing of Coretta Scott King. She will be remembered as the First Lady of the Civil Rights Movement and our hearts and minds are with the King family.

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I know, I know... Its January. However, it's Martin Luther King Day and I thought i'd get a head start.

Usually, animators talk about how black characters are portrayed in television and movies. I'm sure this is going to happen again this year in the Cafe.

I wanted to start a thread about black animators. Instead of talking about how the industry is mostly white or asian and how you can count the black animators on your fingers and toes... I'd like to talk about some noteworthy black animators that are part of black history and animation history.

Frank Braxton was animation's FIRST black animator. He started at Warner Bros. and went on to direct shows like George of the Jungle and The Bullwinkle Show.

Floyd Norman was an animator on Disney's Sleeping Beauty and an artist for The Jungle Book.

Dan Haskett is one of my idols. This fantastic artist designed Belle for Beauty and the Beast and Ariel for The Little Mermaid, and has worked on The Simpsons, Sesame Street, Toy Story and Prince of Egypt.

And of course, everyone knows Bruce Smith. I was told that he is the FIRST black supervising animator for Disney. He supervised Kerchek on Tarzan, Pacha on Emperor's New Groove and Pearl on Home on the Range. Most folks know him as the guy responsible for "The Proud Family" on Disney Channel.

Is there someone you guys would like to recognize? Please do it here.

Wow this is really great info, I'm black myself and currently teaching myself 2D animation, This is very encouraging,because there are a few black animators out there.

:D 2D Animation FOREVER:D

For some strange reason, an animator's ethnicity doesn't matter that much to me.

For some strange reason, an animator's gender DOES matter to me.
I'm serious, fellows. This forum is a big sausage fest. Where's Women's History Month?

Thanks for posting this! I'm taking some animation classes right now and we end up watching old Disney stuff. I can appreciate the hard work and imagination that went into all of that stuff but sometimes certain scenes just make me cringe and I think to myself "Damn, where were the black animators when this scene was being storyboarded."

It's nice to see other black animators around here which is nice because I only know a few in my high school who are actually interested in animation. I'm sure I will see more when I go up to SCAD-Atlanta (Yeah, I got accepted!) :) .

lol, now that I think about it there isn't many women in animation :( I'm a female, so I guess I got two things going, I'm black and also a female ,who wants to be an animator. :)

:D 2D Animation FOREVER:D

lol, now that I think about it there isn't many women in animation :( I'm a female, so I guess I got two things going, I'm black and also a female ,who wants to be an animator. :)

You got three things going (at least).
You're black, female, and an animator.
Happy Black Female Animators' History Month!

It's nice to see other black animators around here which is nice because I only know a few in my high school who are actually interested in animation. I'm sure I will see more when I go up to SCAD-Atlanta (Yeah, I got accepted!) :) .

Glad to hear that. I here SCAD is a good school. I go to Cal State Fullerton.

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Interesting thread!

While I would hope someones ethnicity would no longer be an issue in any industry, in the past it was, and it is certainly worth remembering that and remembering the people who challenged that.

I wish I had found this thread when I was writing my uni dissertation! I wrote it on racial stereotypes in animation and touched on the issue of black animators.

Also, who was the guy who animated Dr Sweet in Atlantis?

You got three things going (at least).
You're black, female, and an animator.
Happy Black Female Animators' History Month!

Funny......:)
Any way, black history month, symbolises the freedom of the indigenous people of africa and black americans all around the world, it is however a good point that we talk about black animators in this industry.
I have yet to meet a black animator, quite frankly I don't care about their race and I give kudos to a woman in this industry, namely Christine Hui of Xaiolin Showdown, I love her (sigh). Harvey is right, ethnicity means nothing, it's the accomplishment and stride to greatness that really counts, to all female animators and aspiring animators......Much LOVE!:D
GIRLS RULE..........no I'm not a girl:cool:

He who seeks the truth, must first empty his heart of a false pursuit.

Diemeras Dark Angel

I thought I'd ressurect this thread for the new members.

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Thanx for that info, i always felt i was the only black person interested in animation and never knew much about the african-american majority in animation, so thats all great stuff to here. Especially knowing they accomplished so much. i am still shocked to know that a black animator created Belle!

I'm also black myself and there are a few of us in the animation program at SCAD. Perhaps we'll see more black faces in this industry in the future. ^-^

I just got accepted to SCAD fo the animation program! That's kinda nice to know i won't be the only green balloon with a crowd of yellow ones! Not that I don't mind. I love yellow balloons!:D

What would scooby do?

Hey Cartoonchaos, thats some really cool info! I remember reading about a black animator at Disney who had a pretty hard time. I don't remember his name though >_<. Sadly, I don't really know of any famous or historical black animators.

I have a friend who works at Digital Domain who's black. I'm also black myself and there are a few of us in the animation program at SCAD. Perhaps we'll see more black faces in this industry in the future. ^-^

"Animation isn't about how well you draw, but how much to believe." -Glen Keane

Whoa, there are a lot more black people working in animation than I first thought.:D

Hi, be sure to check out my blog! A few thing there, and I'll also be putting some of my work (pictures and short carttons) there too in the future: http://ukracattack.blogspot.com:)
I am also making a Flash animated cartoon that I plan to air on it's website in Fall 2008. It's called Tednut and it's about an personified peanut named Ted and his friend Kernal, and their basic adventures in their town of Sleepy Oaks, New York: http://tednut.sampasite.com:D

I thought I'd revive this thread to finish out the month.

Since no one brought it up... How do you feel about black characters in animation? We've seen quite a few lately in Disney's Atlantis and The Boondocks... What's your opinion on how they're being portrayed?

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Haha thats some sweet sweet info! I aint black but its still good to hear :) we're just learning about black heritage and stuff in history just now and one silly girl asks " hmm is martin luther king still alive sir ? " * millions of laughs * turns out that she really was asking seriously she is so ditsy haha :)

My animation professor in Orlando was Tee Collins, one of the UPI guys from back in the day. Sadly, he died a few years ago.

Back again!

Forgot to bump this last year! Well, its back for this year.

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Since no one brought it up... How do you feel about black characters in animation? We've seen quite a few lately in Disney's Atlantis and The Boondocks... What's your opinion on how they're being portrayed?

Since it's history month, why not discuss how darker-skinned people were portrayed in animation?
The earliest "black" character I've seen in animation is Little Nemo's buddy.
And I saw an ol'-timey Aesop cartoon where they actually had a slave auction. I wish I could remember the name of it.

Historical, yes...

Historical, yes... but not that many famous ones.

All the more reason for us to work harder to change that.

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Floyd Norman is still working today, collaborating frequently with Disney, Pixar, and other smaller studios on animation and live action projects. In addition, he's published a series of cartoon collections about life in the animation biz, and is one of the nicest and most accessible people you'd ever want to meet. A true pro, and an awesome human being.

And of course there's the great Bob Clampett masterpiece Coal Black and De Sebben Dwarves. :cool:

Order my book Jesus Needs Help on Amazon or download on Kindle.

You can also read the first 18 pages of my next book for free at this link: The Hap Hap Happy Happenstance of Fanny Punongtiti

I just got accepted to SCAD fo the animation program! That's kinda nice to know i won't be the only green balloon with a crowd of yellow ones! Not that I don't mind. I love yellow balloons!:D

Going to SCAD, huh? Well, this might interest you...

Here's a link to Kion Phillips. A friend of mine from SCAD that works at Naughty Dog for the Jak and Daxter videogames. There ARE black animators out there...

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one silly girl asks " hmm is martin luther king still alive sir ? " * millions of laughs * turns out that she really was asking seriously she is so ditsy haha :)

Maybe she saw that Boondocks episode with MLK where he's still alive.

Speaking of, I'm pretty happy with how the Boondocks show turned out. I'd like to see a season 2.

Can't believe i missed this thread a year ago, interesting conversation. I always thought that there wasn't many blacks interested in animation. I really haven't seen any other blacks at my school majoring in animation(or art for that matter). Its nice to know other blacks are interested in the field of animation.

Software: TVPaint Pro, Harmony Standalone, Storyboard Pro, Maya, Modo, Arnold, V-Ray, Maxwell, NukeX, Hiero, Mari, RealFlow, Avid, Adobe CS6
Hardware: (2) HP Z820 Workstations + 144-core Linux Render Farm + Cintiq 24HD Touch

I thought I'd ressurect my old thread again for any new members.

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I agree with Harvey Human

Hello.

I agree with Harvey Human- the color of someones skin is not a factor -

That said, you should add Willie Moore to the list. He is an independent animator who makes films and teaches.

He began as a football player, a linebacker from the Cincinnati Bearcats, an undrafted free agent - he was the last person cut from the Houston Oilers. So Willie, a fine arts major in college, went back earned his Masters degree- and in the process, became hooked on animation.

He has made several award winning films and is jnow finishing his first feature film. He is a great guy, a stellar example of a human being... oh, and he happens to be black.

I met Floyd Norman- another really great guy!

Thanks.

Hello.

I agree with Harvey Human- the color of someones skin is not a factor -

Thank goodness for that, and if you look through history, I don't think it EVER was in animation. We are rare, though, and its that time of year to bring up the subject.

Cheers to everyone.

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My annual bump.

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:confused:
While people are quick to say that the color of skin does not matter, they are not as quickly inclined to mention that quality of work does. This is because they don't understand the turbulence involved in being an animator who is black.

If you are good then you might garner a bit more resentment than someone who is white, while not being good enough is reason enough to doubt your fire. Both are good grounds in this industry for ignoring you completely. In my experience it has not been what you know, but who you know. Nevertheless I say follow your heart.

I have to say I appreciate this thread and will be looking into some of the people mentioned here. Feel free to ask me for advice or critiques of your work...
:eek:

A few more names...

Here's a few more names for the list for folks to Google... cheers!

Milton Knight

James Tucker

Swinton O. Scott III

Mary Tebb

Dot Powers

Lotte Reininger

Larry Houston

Lenord Robinson

Dennis Woodyard

Phil Mendez

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I think its all Great!!!

I'm a female too, and thats rare in the animation field. I'm not black, but I am Puerto Rican/Dominican ....... Do I get to celebrate too??? lol :p

Came back for the annual bump.

Long time, no see AWN forum!

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Episode 25:Usher removes his shades, to reveal....!

So well, It's black history month and what's there to discuss. While it's presence seems even less imposing this year. I feel just a smidgen more responsible to say something, make a discussion happen y'know? Sooooooo....what shall we use? I know! Let's talk about the police-man!;) Naw, um, uh, OK well this is an animation forum, let's talk Boondocks. What's your opinion of the show? How bout the Black Panther? What do you think about the direction animation that seems to be geared towards peoples of color is taking? Let's have some activity out there! :cool:

An Evening with Legendary Disney Animator Dan Haskett - 03.09.10

Over the past 30 years, the art and techniques of animation have changed drastically. The advent of computer animation ushered in ‘better and faster’ ways to work. But at what cost? How did it affect the art of animation?

In this month’s motion+connect, legendary animator, Dan Haskett shares his views and insights on the current state of animation. How has computer animation helped the industry – and how has it hurt.

Register now to attend this special motion+connect session. live. online. free.

when: tuesday, march 9
where: online
time: 7:30 – 9:00 PM {MST | UTC-7}

Wow

I've been bumping this for 5 years now. A lot has changed since then...

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