Animators

A New Project Celebrates Women Animation Artists

Animators Lillian Friedman Astor (left) and Lillian Schwartz (right).
Animators Lillian Friedman Astor (left) and Lillian Schwartz (right).

A new website has set out to highlight the work of female animation artists.

Great Women Animators, launched by Canadian artist and animator Heather Kai Smith, is a repository of information—including bios, filmographies, and samples of work—on women who have worked or currently work in animation, from Helena Smith Dayton Lotte Reiniger onwards. Artists are categorized by era, medium, and locations as diverse as the Czech Republic, New Zealand, Japan, Spain, and United States.

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Though the site is a work in progress—the database so far includes a few dozen artist entries—the site draws attention to the major contributions of female artists in an industry often believed to be dominated by men.

Smith calls the project a labor of love. “I have accumulated thousands of names and watched so many incredible films,” she told Cartoon Brew via email. “It’s an extremely rewarding project.”

Smith’s inspiration for the website came out of curating an educational screening series of the same name for Calgary’s Quickdraw Animation Society. “I quickly became obsessed with gathering as much information as I could about any and all animators who identify as women.”

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