Women have made a significant impact in the animation industry, and it’s important to celebrate their work. Some of these women are pioneers who helped pave the way for other female artists, while others continue to inspire new generations with their incredible artistry. These women have blazed a trail for other female artists who continue to make their mark on the world of animation.
One of the most influential women in animation is Martha Sigall. She began her career in the early days of animation and worked on some of the most iconic cartoons of all time. She was an animator, painter, and inker, and her work can be seen in films like Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies.
Ruthie Tompson & Mary Blair both worked with Walt Disney Studios. Tompson, one of the original women animators at Walt Disney Studios, worked on classics like “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” and “Pinocchio.” Blair was a celebrated artist who worked on some of Disney’s most iconic films, including “Cinderella” and “Peter Pan.”
Kathleen Laughlin is an American animator who has worked on projects such as The Simpsons and King of the Hill during her 30 years in the industry. She was one of the first women to work in traditional cel animation.
Marge Dean is the president of women in animation, an organization that works to promote diversity and inclusion in the industry. She is also the co-founder of Women in Animation Canada, and she has been working in the industry for over 25 years.
Lauren Faust, known for her work on The Powerpuff Girls and Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, was the first woman to serve as executive producer on a Saturday morning cartoon show, and she has made it her mission to create strong female characters that young girls can look up to.
Director Jennifer Yuh Nelson became the first female head of animation at Dreamworks Animation, she is best known for her work on the Kung Fu Panda series.
Animator Rebecca Sugar is a favorite of Art Director, Hannah Churn’s. (She’s also a creative native of the DMV area, like us!)
“Steven Universe was such a groundbreaking show – beautiful visuals and stories that you just hadn’t really seen with other cartoons”
Animator Conner loves Caroline Leaf (“The Owl Who Married a Goose”), Eve Lambart (“Begone Dull Care” w/ McLaren, “Fine Feathers”), and Torill Kove (“Me and My Moulton”, “My Grandmother Ironed the King’s Shirts”).
Special shout out to Lillian Friedman, who worked at Fleischer studios as one of the first female animators. You can check out a fun cut of some of her work HERE!
Short film “When the Day Breaks” by Canadian duo Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis, is a team favorite and even stylistically inspired our Illustrator Hannah’s award winning thesis film, “My Parent, Neal”.
These are just a few of the many influential women in animation. Their contributions have helped shape the art form into what it is today, and they continue to inspire new generations of artists. Animation is a field that is open to anyone who has a passion for it, and women have been an important part of that community for decades. These women have broken down barriers and paved the way for other female artists. They are a force to be reckoned with, and they continue to inspire us all.
We support the next generation of women in animation as they make their own mark on the industry.