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Pioneers, Innovators, and Masters of Animation

Animation pioneers

I love this public Facebook photo album created by Salvador Fortuny Miró called Pioneers, Innovators, and Masters of Animation. How many of them have you heard of? One might quibble about some of the choices and omissions, but on the whole, it’s an excellent grouping of artists. The list is also a fine starting point for anyone looking to expand their knowledge of animation beyond the Hollywood standards.

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  • A nice site, but I really don’t get the Disney omission. . .

  • Sat

    Well, Ub Iwerks is there…
    It’s an odd thing to say, but I like Jiri Trnka’s look. A big, strong-looking man (and a mighty mustache!) who made his name manipulating such delicate puppets.

  • NicKramer

    He didn’t put Disney there because he was a producer and yet he put Lantz, Fleischer, and Terry there………

    • amid

      According to the guy, it’s because Disney was a “Nazi” producer. So you see, there’s a perfectly good reason ;

      Seriously though, disney’s omission doesn’t diminish the dozens of animation greats who are being recognized on the list.

      • Seems to me, you include the “Disneys” in your list and add your own special caveats. You can’t ignore history and the contributions just like you can’t ignore the circumstances or beliefs of the people who contributed – D.W. Griffith is another example. Granted, not in the animation realm, but a true film pioneer who’s often considered a racist. . .

  • Tom Pope

    Good grouping, but I have a hard time with a compiler with so much disdain for as towering a figure as Disney.

  • Another animation pioneer that’s been omitted was Japan’s “God of Anime,” Yasuji Mori, who’s yet again been given the shaft in favor of Osamu Tezuka (who wouldn’t have gotten into animation had it not been for Mori). It’s rather infuriating.

    • Chris Sobieniak

      I feel your pain.

  • Everyone’s obviously entitled to their own opinion when it comes to personalities in the industry, but I’m just looking for a bit more consistency in the choices being made on the site. I’m with “NicKramer”. I don’t see how a Paul Terry can make this list and not Walt Disney.

    I don’t get the thought process here. . .

  • Im not sure, as this image is rather small, but….is there no Bob Clampett in that grid? In the words of Bugs, ‘Tut tut tut! Shaaaaameful!’

    • amid

      If you didn’t bother to actually view the album, why are commenting and wasting other people’s time. For the record, Clampett is there.

  • Well, when one states that Walt Disney was a Nazi producer and therefore does not belong on a list of “Pioneers, Innovators, and Masters of Animation”, it kinda makes anything the author has to say suspect and undeserving of being taken seriously.

  • Astonishing! Not ONE of these guys went to Cal Arts….how is that POSSIBLE???

  • I show the works of all but about 6 of these artists in my History of Animation class. And I also show Walt Disney (who, for the record was not a Nazi, but that rumor spread when he allowed Nazi documentary film maker Leni Riefenstahl to tour his studio).

    Also included: Caroline Leaf, John Lasseter, Cordell Barker, Marv Newland, Joanna Preistley, George Griffin, Ward Kimball, Berthold Bartosch, Paul Grimault, Sylvain Chomet, Hans Fischerkosen, Terry Gilliam, Richard Williams, Osvaldo Cavandoli, Borge Ring, Michaël Dudok De Wit, William Kentridge, George Dunning, Witold Giersz, Marcell Jankovics, Michaela Pavlatova. Just to name a few omissions.

    I also have autographs of many of these artists

  • Thank you for the share!! I already “friend” him on facebook. He’s got a mini-encylopedia of German Expressionism and others in there… when I need a “What to watch today” I’ll look in there X) Thanks again Amid!

  • Wow I only recognized a thin fourth of these guys… time to study up!

  • andrew osmond

    Ulp, Kricfalusi has been seated next to Matt Groening. Anticipating nuclear explosion…

  • Salvador Fortuny

    All the ones you mention here are great artists indeed! But the album is only beginning. Concerning Disney there’re at moment some of his great animators, “inspirators” and animated films mentors who made the work for him, as Iwerks who rarely was acredited by Disney for his work for him after his own studio broke down. I recommend highly Richard Fleischer’s book about his father, the revolutionary inventor and genius cartoon producer and animator and director of his first and very influential, beginning with Disney, Ko-Ko the clown cartoons, Max Fleischer. ;)

  • Salvador Fortuny

    @Steve: All the ones you mention here are great artists indeed! For mentioning only a example, Bartosch L’ideé is simply incredible! But the album is only beginning, and much more thought as a hobby about a big passion. Concerning some other commentaries here that I understand but I not share, for instance about Disney, there’re many of his great animators and animated films mentors who made the work for him in the album, as Iwerks who rarely was acredited by Disney for his work for him after Iwerks own studio broke down. I recommend highly Richard Fleischer’s book about his father, the revolutionary inventor and genius cartoon producer, and animator and director of his first animated films, which had a strong influence in the work of other studios,(Disney indeed was not an exception), Max Fleischer, who later would create his own studio with his brother Dave. And of course, there’re also very good animators that they are not pioneers and innovators in the media and that have made a very nice job, but like in everything we do (more seriously or with a much cheerful attitude) this album can’t help to be in a short or longer way a bit personal, since art -like poetry – goes through subjective realities concerning objective matters (not a contradiction, but a way to show the paradoxes that moves life). And honestly, I can’t consider (after follow many opinions about his collaborators, books and the work behind the films he produced) Disney as animator, since he was not an inventor nor a pioneer, seriously or in a funny way. ;)