Animation Insider’s goal is to focus on the blue collared worker of animation; the back bone of the industry. We want to focus on the people in the trenches who make the award winning stuff we love.  Basically if your job is or ever was associated in some way with animated movement, we want to interview you! Even if you’re a big famous hotshot you weren’t always and I’m sure you’ve got great stories to tell! We think everybody has stories to tell from the trenches of animation!

If you’ve ever been in the Animation, Feature film or video game industry, please feel free to send us an email and we will send you the questionnaire!

NOTE: Can’t find the interview you came for? Just do a quick search in the box on the top right column and it will come up. 

Jean Ann Wright

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What is your name and your current occupation?
Jean Ann Wright, Animation Pre-Production Consultant/Author (“Animation Writing and Development”, Voice-Over for Animation” along with MJ Lallo, 6 chapters in “Write Your Way Into Animation and Games” by Christy Marx).
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Professional Dancer, Telephone Information Operator, Game Show Production Assistant, and (during a break in animation jobs) Buyer of all the cars and trucks on “The Price Is Right” game show.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
 “The Flintstones”, “The Jetsons”, “Scooby Doo”, “The Smurfs”
How did you become interested in animation?
I had been interested in writing and illustrating children’s books, but animation provided a full time job and my various somewhat unrelated skills could be used.

Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I was born in Canton, Ohio, (USA) but I grew up in Burbank, California (home of the Disney Studios) and grew up with kids whose fathers’ worked for Disney.  I had just finished an art major after returning to college when Continue…

Kidscreen Awards shortlist release

 kidscreenawards 2016


Winners to be revealed at a gala event on February 9 during Kidscreen Summit 2016 in Miami

Toronto, November 24, 2015: Kidscreen, host of the global kids television industry’s leading awards for excellence, is delighted to announce the shortlisted entries that will be continuing in the competition through a final round of judging.

The nominees in the Programming Categories are:


Best New Series

Hey Duggee (Studio AKA)

PJ Masks (Frog Box, Entertainment One UK, France Television, Disney Junior, CNC, Rhôdes-Alpes Region, Procirep, Angoa)

Puffin Rock (Cartoon Saloon, Dog Ears, Penguin Children’s Books)

Best Animated Series

Clangers (Coolabi/Sprout/CBeebies/Factory)

Peg + Cat (The Fred Rogers Company, 9 Story Entertainment)

Puffin Rock (Cartoon Saloon, Dog Ears, Penguin Children’s Books)

Best Non-Animated or Mixed Series

Dino Dan: Trek’s Adventures (Sinking Ship Entertainment)

Hi Opie! (marblemedia in association with TVO and The Jim Henson Company)
Sesame Street (Sesame Workshop)

Best One-Off, Special or TV Movie

Peppa Pig: The Golden Boots (Entertainment One, Astley Baker Davies)

Ruby’s Studio: The Siblings Show (The Mother Company)

Sesame Street: The Cookie Thief (Sesame Workshop)


Best New Series

The Adventures of Puss in Boots (DreamWorks Animation Television, Netflix)

All Hail King Julien (DreamWorks Animation Television, Netflix)

We Bare Bears (Cartoon Network Studios)

Best Animated Series

All Hail King Julien (DreamWorks Animation Television, Netflix)

The New Adventures of Figaro Pho (Chocolate Liberation Front, Luma Toons)

Steven Universe (Cartoon Network Studios)

Best Non-Animated or Mixed Series

Hank Zipzer (Kindle Entertainment, DHX Media, Walker Productions, Screen Yorkshire)

Horrible Histories (Lion Television)
Odd Squad (The Fred Rogers Company, Sinking Ship Entertainment)

Best One-Off, Special or TV Movie

Monster Beach (Bogan Entertainment Solutions)

Monster High: Freaky Fusion (Mattel Playground Productions)

Ten Pieces (Somethin’ Else, BBC Music)


Best New Series

Dragons: Race to the Edge (DreamWorks Animation Television, Netflix)

Hetty Feather (CBBC In-House Productions)

Wild But True (Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific, Beyond Screen Productions)

Best Animated Series

Dragons: Race to the Edge (DreamWorks Animation Television, Netflix)

Bob’s Burgers (Bento Box Entertainment, 20th Century Fox Television)

Best Non-Animated or Mixed Series

4 O’Clock Club Series 4 (CBBC In-House Productions)

Nowhere Boys Series 2 (Matchbox Pictures)
Trio: Cybergold (Nordicstories, Fabelaktiv)

Best One-Off, Special or TV Movie

Lost Treasure Hunt (Argosy Film Group)

Pirate’s Passage (Mahon Pictures)

These shortlisted entries will be reviewed and assessed by a fresh panel of judges, including the following execs: Andy Yeatman (Netflix), Emily Hart (Disney Junior), Tara Sorensen (Amazon Studios), Jamie Piekarz (Corus Kids), Jennifer Dodge (Nickelodeon), Alison Stewart (BBC Children’s), Andrew Thomas (Hulu) and Deirdre Brennan (ABC Australia).
The nominees in the Broadcasting Categories are:

Channel of the Year

Cartoon Network (US)



Best Channel Design

Best Programming Block
Sunny Side Up (Sprout)

Gulli Good (Gulli)

Best Channel Website
Channel One News (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)


Tiny Pop (CSC Media Group, part of Sony Pictures Television)
Best On-Air Host or Hosting Team
Louis-Philippe Deslauriers, Alexandra Janvier and Josée Leblanc (Groupe Média TFO)

Channel One News—Azia Celestino, Tom Hanson, Arielle Hixson Keith Kocinski, Demetrius Pipkin and Maggie Rulli (Houghton Miffin Harcourt)


Kidscreen‘s readers will now be invited to review these shortlisted entries, and vote for their favorite in each category. Their votes will determine the final winners

The nominees in the Digital Categories are:


Best eBook
Disney Story Central (Disney Publishing Worldwide)

Little Emily (Ever After Tales)

My Little Pony: Twilight’s Kingdom Storybook Deluxe (PlayDate Digital)

Best Game App—Smartphone

Monkey See Monkey Dance (Smartoonz Entertainment)

Sesame Street Video Maker (Sesame Workshop, IDEO Toy Lab)

Best Game App—Tablet

My Very Hungry Caterpillar (StoryToys)

Peppa Pig: Golden Boots (Entertainment One and Kids Industries)

Sesame Street Art Maker (Sesame Workshop)

Best Learning App—Smartphone

Blaze and the Monster Machines (Nickelodeon Digital/CHEWY)

Sesame Street—Let’s Get Ready! (Sesame Workshop)

Sunny’s Hootenanny (Loudcrow Interactive/Twofold Films)

Best Learning App—Tablet

Elmo’s Animals: A Sesame Street S’More App (Sesame Workshop)

Mickey’s Magical Math World by Disney Imagicademy (Disney Publishing Worldwide)

Tiggly Tales (Tiggly)

Best Streaming Video Platform

Hopster (Hopster)

Nick Jr. (Nickelodeon Digital)

PlayKids (Movile)

Best Web/App Series 

The Adventures of Annie & Ben (HooplaKidz)

Fanny Foozle (Aether Entertainment, Cosmic Toast Studios)

Lalaloopsy Kitchen (MGA Entertainment)

Best Website 

ABCmouse.com Early Learning Academy (Age of Learning)

Nickjr.com (Nickelodeon Digital)

Peep and the Big Wide World/El Mundo Divertido de Peep (WGBH Educational Foundation)


Best Game App—Smartphone

Adventure Time: Magic Man’s Head Games (Cartoon Network Digital)

Crayola Color Alive! (DAQRI)

Mix+Smash: Marvel Super Hero Mashers (Disney Publishing Worldwide)

Best Game App—Tablet

Adventure Time Game Wizard (Cartoon Network Digital)

Toca Life: City (Toca Boca)

Weirdwood Manor (All Play, No Work)

Best Learning App—Smartphone

The Centsables Dash for Cash (DNA Creative)

Plum’s Creaturizer (WGBH)

Safari Tales (Kuato Studios)

Best Learning App—Tablet

The Foos Coding 5+ (codeSpark)

Weirdwood Manor (All Play, No Work)

Zoombinis (TERC and FableVision Studios)

Best Streaming Video Platform

Cartoon Network app (Cartoon Network Digital)

Nick.com (Nickelodeon Digital)

Toon Goggles (Toon Goggles)

Best Web/App Series

Life Hacks for Kids (DreamWorksTV)

Talking Tom and Friends: The Animated Series (Outfit7 Limited, arx anima Animation Studio)

Wonder Quest (Maker Studios)

Best Website

Design Squad (WGBH Educational Foundation)

The Next Step: Make a Scene (Secret Location/DHX Media/Temple Street Productions/Bell Fund)

Nick.com (Nickelodeon Digital)

These shortlisted entries will now be reviewed and assessed by panels of professional judges, including the following execs: Rachel Bardel (CBeebies Interactive), Sara Berliner (Night & Day Studios), Noemie Dupuy (Budge Studios), Matthew Evans (Nickelodeon), Robin Raskin (Living in Digital Times), Josephine Tsay (GlassLab Games), Amy Kraft (Monkey Bar Collective) and Anne Richards (Cracking Wise Interactive).     

All Kidscreen Awards winners will be announced and celebrated at a special presentation event and after-party during Kidscreen Summit, on the evening of Tuesday, February 9. Kidscreen Summit delegates are invited to attend as part of their event registration, and tickets for just the Kidscreen Awards evening can be purchased for US$150 by contacting Kidscreen Events Sales Manager Joel Pinto (416-408-2300 x650 or jpinto@brunico.com).

Additional details about the Kidscreen Awards, including categories, eligibility, judging and entry process, can be found at awards.kidscreen.com.

For further information, please contact:

Janet Balmforth at DDA Blueprint PR

Tel: +44 (0) 20 8868 0511  EMail: janet@ddablueprint.com

Notes to editors:

Kidscreen Summit 2016, which takes place from February 8 to 11 at the InterContinental Miami, offers an unparalleled opportunity to keep abreast of important issues and trends in the fast-moving international kids entertainment industry, generate business and revenue opportunities, and network with leading decision-makers.

Last year, Kidscreen Summit welcomed more than 1,700 attendees, representing 1,000+ companies from 54 countries around the world. And more than 450 buyers and investors were at the event looking for new content and partners. More information about Kidscreen Summit 2016 is available at summit.kidscreen.com.


Ivan Pinzon

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What is your name and your current occupation?
Ivan Pinzon, Principal Engineer, SketchBook Dev Lead.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I worked for Imaginova Corp, developing an Astronomy App called “Starry Night”.

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
My current project, SketchBook for iOS and for desktop and Starry Night
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I was born in Bogota, Colombia and 14 years ago I moved to Canada. I got involved with the digital artist world when I joined Autodesk to work in SketchBook.


What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
It’s a combination of different things: code, debug, investigate and learn, plan and schedule future releases and a bit of customer support.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
I really like to investigate and play with new concepts and ideas, try to find something that is going to be useful for our users.I also enjoy optimizing code. Faster is better.

What part of your job do you like least? Why?
Finding / reproducing bugs that caused our users to lose work. It’s frustrating to get these complains and more frustrating sometimes to not be able to reproduce these issues.

What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis, how has technology changed in the last few years in your field and how has that impacted you in your job?
My main development machine is a Mac and developing for iOS requires to have some iPads, iPhones and iPods. It’s incredible how technology has evolved. The latest iPhone/iPad are more powerful than the computer I had a few years ago. This has allowed us to push for unbelievable features for a mobile device. Something that a few years ago was just crazy to even imagine. The current trend were mobile is getting closer to desktop is very interesting. Seems that these 2 will eventually merge.

What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
Keeping up-to-date with all the technology changes and being able to take advantage of them in a short period of time. It’s both challenging but at the same time motivating.

If you could change the way the business works and is run how would you do it?
I would like to spend more time investigating to find new innovative tools. But, work has to be done so finding a good balance is never easy.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
I’ve had the chance to watch and listen to a few amazing guys, from sketching artists to animation professionals from studios like Pixar and Marvel. Different techniques and tools.  This has given me a chance to understand what artists need and with this I try to find a fun, simple and effective way to expose this in our software.

Describe a tough situation you had in life.
Leaving my family and my past in my home country and starting from scratch again in Canada while keeping my wife and kids afloat
Any side projects you’re working on that you’d like to share details of?
All I can say is that I’m working in some interesting technologies/features that I hope eventually are going to see the light of day.
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
I love airplanes. I have a private pilot license although I haven’t flown in a few years and I like to build and fly aerobatics model airplanes.  I’m lucky to have my son Nicolas as my partner and we compete in Canada and the US.  I also like to play the piano.

Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?Although I’m not an artist, I’ve had contact with many that have started from zero and have been persistent enough to develop a clear style and technique that differentiates them from the rest, finally becoming successful and recognized. Take advantage from the social networks: Deviant Art, Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, …


Where to Work: Top 100 Studios for Animation Professionals

Animation Career Review has a list of the Top 100 Studios for Animation Professionals. Below is A-B. Click the link for a full list!

343 Industries

This is the studio that took over Bungie’s Halo series back in 2009 and released Halo 4 in 2012.  In October this year we’ll finally get to play Halo 5: Guardians and see what’s in store for the future of Master Chief. No matter where the series is headed, I’m sure 343 will consider hiring plenty more game artists in the coming years to create make Halo 6. Next year we’ll get Halo Wars 2 to help us wait.

A-1 Pictures

This is simply one of the hardest working animation studios in the anime industry today. In 2014 and 2015 combined they have released a new season for twenty four different anime series including the highly anticipated Sword Art Online II and Persona 4 The Golden: Animation. Sure, they often collaborate with other animation studios to complete so many shows, but I don’t think we’ve ever seen a 2D animation studio deliver such an intense schedule of releases in such a short amount of time.

Aardman Animations

If you fell in love with the stop motion clay animation in Chicken Run or the Wallace and Gromit films, then this is a studio name you probably know well already. In 2006, they entered the computer animation industry with the film Flushed Away, and since then they’ve worked on the films Arthur Christmas (2011), The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! (2012), Shaun the Sheep Movie (2015) and they’re currently at work on Early Man (2018) and Shaun the Sheep 2 (TBA).

Animal Logic

My prediction from last year for this Australian studio hasn’t come true yet, but I’m still holding out hope! Illumination Entertainment hired Mac Guff to create most of the film Despicable Me for them, and then used the massive profits to buy the studio outright. Warner Bros. Animation went through a similar symbiotic relationship with Animal Logic, which animated all of The Lego Movie for them, so I still wonder if an acquisition is on the horizon. Either way, Animal Logic just opened a new office in Vancouver a few days ago, so they’re doing just fine! Both offices are hiring, so check them out!

Anzovin Studio

This animation company is located in Massachusetts and offers services in storyboarding, animation, graphic design, game art, software development, Maya plugins, character designs, character rigging, and can work in Maya, Mudbox, 3DS Max, ZBrush, VRay, Substance Designer, and all the Adobe CC products. Their rigging tools look superb, and it’s no surprise they’ve worked with famous clients like Bungie, A&E, PBS Kids, Microsoft, Syfy, DreamWorks Animation SKG, and Sea World. If you want to work on lots of different projects over a year instead of a huge neverending project over many years, then this could be the perfect studio for you.

Bardel Entertainment

The name “Bardel” comes from the names of its married founders, Barry Ward and Delna Bhesania, and they formed this Vancouver animation studio in 1987. Together they’ve handled plenty of large projects in the past, but what’s really gaining them global recognition is The Prophet and their hilarious art in the new television show, Rick and Morty. One of their other ongoing projects is doing all the animations for VeggieTales and VeggieTales in the House.

Bento Box Entertainment

This California studio is one of the younger ones on the list, but already has several hit series under its belt. Founded in 2009, they’ve already helped worked on Neighbors from Hell, Bob’s Burger’s, Allen Gregory, Brickleberry, Out There, Murder Police, and Bordertown. Add in the Web series The Awesomes and Gloves and Boots, as well as the films Achmed Saves America and Madea’s Tough Love, and you’ve got one of today’s most promising young studios.

Bethesda Game Studios

If you’re a gamer, then all I have to say is the Fallout series and The Elder Scrolls series. Enough said? Enough said. Not a gamer? Then this is a studio name to remember; even when it’s been years since they’ve released a game for either series, I still listed them as one of the most influential video game studios in the world. When Skyrim came out in 2011, the Internet was a quiet wasteland for a few days as everyone unplugged to play the expansive game. Forums went dry, comments sections were barren, and no one got insulted on YouTube for a whole sixty seconds once. Then, a few days later, the Internet damn near broke when everyone came back all at once and discussed the game everywhere and anywhere on every dot com imaginable, which made for one of the most memorable months the net has ever experienced. This November, Fallout 4 will finally be released! Prepare yourselves!


One of the oldest game studios on this list, BioWare was founded back in 1995 and has been relevant ever since then. Its famously memorable storylines rely heavily on award winning writing, making it a highly competitive studio to get employed at. Lately they’ve been releasing several games for the series Dragon Age and Star Wars: The Old Republic, and are now looking to launch another Mass Effect title. They’ve got a lot of exciting things in motion, but they also have a lot of job applications, so bring your best and see if you can get an interview.

Blizzard Entertainment

In one word, legendary. Blizzard was legendary long before they became an Activision subsidiary. Sometimes Blizzard gamers can be notorious for only playing Blizzard games, but even when that’s not the case, the loyalty is still strong. When Blizzard releases a game, almost everyone plays it, regardless of their demographics. For decades they have released the most breathtaking 3D animated cinematics the world has ever seen, even when compared to the best films the box office has to offer those years. They only hire the best, but the projects they tackle are so huge that they hire a lot of employees, so if you want to be one of the thousands of names listed in their next credits list, then apply and see what happens!


Nate Wragg

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What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Nate Wragg and I’m currently working as a Visual Development Artist for Animation
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Well not many, paper route I guess isn’t that crazy.  I did work with my dad for a while as an assistant electrician.  I got to do lots of fun stuff like crawl through spider webs under really old houses, that could get pretty gross and creepy.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
Well Ratatouille was the first project I got to design on as a professional, so that’s one I’ll always be proud of.  It was both exciting and stressful making that transition from student to a working artist.  Designing the end credits with Harley Jessup, Teddy Newton and Andy Jimenez was way too fun to.  I couldn’t have asked to work with a better group of artists.  I also was excited to be apart of Toy Story 3.  Character designing on that film was also a real challenge, but in the end, I’m very happy with the characters I got to help design.
How did you become interested in animation?
 As a kid I developed a love for both drawing and cartoons at roughly the same young age.  So naturally I Continue…

Aliki Theofilopoulos Grafft

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What is your name and current occupation?
Aliki Theofilopoulos Grafft

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
Well I suppose I will go in order and explain why…The first would be my first job in animation…the movie “Hercules” at Walt Disney Feature Animation. I had completed a 3 month training internship, and was hired on to this film to work with Supervising Animator, Brian Ferguson, on the character “Panic”. He was the one who gave me my break, and taught me so much. His love for animation was infectious and I felt so lucky to be mentored by someone with such talent.  Next would be the movie “Tarzan” also at Disney. On this film I mentored with Supervising Animator John Ripa on the character “Young Tarzan”. I had seen an animation test John had done and just knew I had to work with him. I went to his office and asked if I could assist him, and he told me yes, but under one condition… when a student of animation, or anyone seeing knowledge asked for help, that I would pass on what he had taught me. He said James Baxter had made him give that same promise and he had tried to keep it. I learned so much from John and will be forever grateful for the teaching, the time and the kindness he gave me. He was completely generous with his knowledge, and never let an opportunity for teaching pass by. This made working on the film so exhilarating for me. I will never forget it. And yes, I have tried to keep my promise.  Later I would move into television and was honored to be a part of Fred Seibert’s shorts program at Nickelodeon, “Random Cartoons”. I created two shorts..the first was “Yaki and Yumi” and the second was “Girls on the GO!”. It was an incredible experience making my own films. This is where I believe I went from being a draughtsman to a filmmaker. I completely fell in love with telling stories and the whole process of making a film. I also discovered a love for television type storytelling, and cartooning rather than animating.  And of course the show I am currently on, Phineas and Ferb. I am writing and storyboarding on the show and am also an Emmy nominated song writer too(still shocked about that)! I am really proud of the work that we are all doing on the show. I have really grown as a storyteller from watching my peers and working with some insanely talented people. I laugh every day at my job! I am surrounded by some of the funniest people I have ever met and I love the challenge of keeping up! It’s never a dull moment, and I think the fun we have with each other has a big impact on the way the show is turning out. It is fun to be on a show that is loved by so many people and I am honored to be a part of it.

How did you become interested in animation?  
My grandfather loved cartoons and drawing. He would sit down with me and draw. He always encouraged me and would patiently sit by my side and teach me little things he knew. But I feel like I was Continue…