9 Animators Who Shaped The World Of Animation

6 min readFeb 27, 2023

Behind every animated film, there’s a creator. These creators’ contribution to this industry has shaped the industry in large ways. From their visual style, color combinations, the stories they tell, use of inclusive representation, and more, these artists have helped impact their own industry and audiences who love their work.

In this article, you will find nine animators who shaped the world of animation and a few lessons we can learn from their experiences.

So let’s get into it!

We can’t talk about anime without mentioning Hayao Miyazaki. Many see him as the father of Japanese animation. Not only has he inspired Japanese animation and animators, but he has also laid a great foundation for animation for all. American animators, including those at Pixar, draw inspiration from Hayao’s early work and Studio Ghibli films. They are known for their bright-colored cinematography experience that was unique to his style. He also made sure his stories delivered a message. This can inspire your story writing.

Lessons from Hayao Miyazaki films:

  • My Neighbor Totoro — Don’t be scared to follow your curiosity; this can be applied creatively.
  • Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind — The importance of respecting nature, animals, and the earth.
  • Porco Rosso — Don’t let the past prevent or hold you back.

Mary Blair, one of the many women who transformed Disney and the animation industry worked on animated films such as Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Cinderella, etc. and was infamous for her unique color combinations. One of her greatest strengths as an artist was how she was able to render emotion in a single scene. She was an expert in conveying the emotions and feelings of characters in her watercolor paintings. Animation artists and story writers can apply Mary Blair’s approach. We need to believe in our characters, feel what they feel, pour out our emotions, relate to our character’s story, and watch the magic happen.




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