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max the mutt in toronto or van arts

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max the mutt in toronto or van arts

I was wondering if anybody knows anything about the quality at either max the mutt classical animation school in toronto or the 2d program at van arts. Also is it still possible to get an animation related job without knowing anything about 3d computer animation. I've already been accepted to the school in toronto which is a three year program, but have yet to apply to van arts. Any information on these schools or advise about animation would be appreciated.

Re: Max the Mutt

Nason Lamb,

I can tell you from experience that Max the Mutt is not likely where you want to be. There is a high turnover in both student population as well as staff. Even though it's a small school, it doesn't necessarily work to the student's advantage. The marks tend to be ambiguous, which allows for sudden changes if personal issues emerge with the administration (which happens more often than you'd like to think), and while I was there, a lot of the curriculum seemed very disjointed. In the first year program, one of the required courses is oil painting. I have talked to people working in the animation industry as well as teachers from other schools, and no one can understand why an animation student would be required to learn oil painting.

One more thing that isn't clear in their promotions, is that there is only one person on Max the Mutt's staff right now that has ever done animation. Quite a few teachers have worked in the industry doing backgrounds and what not, but only Scott Caple has actually been employed as an animator, and they have got him teaching storyboarding. A number of other teachers there are fine artists, with no connection to animation other than teaching at Max the Mutt.

Anyways, if you have further questions, I'll do my best to answer them, but I can tell you that two thirds of the people that I started my year off with won't be going back there.

I don't know anything about Van Arts, but right now I am going to school at the Art Institute of Toronto, which seems to suit me better. I would just recommend asking as many questions as possible and trying to find information from other schools (whether you plan on attending them or not) to compare to the schools you do want to go to. The last thing you want to do is to go to a school that can sour you to what you want to be doing.

Max the Mutt or Van Arts

Happily, Nason has done his own research and WILL be attending Max the Mutt in September. We have no problem with free speech and/or criticism.
However, the ex-student who replied about Max is uninformed. Everyone who teaches here teaches what they DO professionally. All our animation staff are working in the industry. In fact, Scott Caple is an environment designer, not an animator. As far as our first year program is concerned, one of our strengths is that we teach traditional representational skills.
Understanding color and how color conveys the illusion of form in space is very helpful when creating backgrounds in 3D computer animation. This knowledge has helped students land jobs at places like Electronic Arts. Please view our web site ( for more info about us and to see student work. We will encourage more students to join this chat room so they can share their experiences with you. Max the Mutt is not the school for everyone: ouir standards are high and we are looking for serious, focused students who care about fine art, drawing, and understand the connection between them and classical and computer animation.
Maxine Schacker, Director, Max the Mutt Animation School, Toronto