Top 100 Anime / Cartoon Filmmakers

by chovgan | created - 23 Apr 2015 | updated - 31 May 2015 | Public

1. Hayao Miyazaki

Director | Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi

Hayao Miyazaki is one of Japan's greatest animation directors. The entertaining plots, compelling characters, and breathtaking animation in his films have earned him international renown from critics as well as public recognition within Japan. The Walt Disney Company's commitment to introduce the ...

2. Walt Disney

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Walter Elias Disney was born on December 5, 1901 in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Flora Disney (née Call) and Elias Disney, a Canadian-born farmer and businessperson. He had Irish, German, and English ancestry. Walt moved with his parents to Kansas City at age seven, where he spent the majority of ...

3. John Lasseter

Writer | Toy Story 2

Although born in Hollywood John and his twin sister, Johanna were raised in Wittier near Los Angeles. His parents were Jewell Mae (Risley), an art teacher, and Paul Eual Lasseter, a parts manager at a Chevrolet dealership. His mother's profession contributed to his interest in animation and ...

4. Shin'ichirô Watanabe

Director | The Animatrix

Shin'ichirô Watanabe is known for his work on The Animatrix (2003), Cowboy Bebop: The Movie (2001) and Samurai Champloo (2004).

5. Yoshiaki Kawajiri

Animation_department | Jûbê ninpûchô

Graduated from Yokohama High School in 1968. After a few years working as animator at Mushi Production Animation, the company went bankrupt in 1972 and he joined Madhouse Studio. In the 70s he was promoted to animation director and finally debuted as film director in 1984's "SF New Century Lensman"...

7. Aleksandr Tatarskiy

Director | Gora samotsvetov

Aleksandr Tatarskiy was a co-founder of Pilot Studio, reputedly the first private animation studio in Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union. He held many roles in the animation process: writer, animator, artist, director, producer, and teacher. He has won the State Premio of Russian ...

8. Isao Takahata

Director | Hotaru no haka

Isao Takahata was born on October 29, 1935 in Ise, Mie, Japan. He was a director and writer, known for Grave of the Fireflies (1988), The Tale of The Princess Kaguya (2013) and Only Yesterday (1991). He died on April 5, 2018 in Tokyo, Japan.

9. Yuri Norstein

Animation_department | Skazka skazok

Born to Jewish parents and raised in a Moscow suburb, Yuri Norstein painted as a hobby and trained as a carpenter before studying animation. He directed his first film in 1968 and made a series of short films notable for their attention to atmosphere and fine detail, using a multiplane camera to ...

10. Vyacheslav Kotyonochkin

Director | Nu, pogodi!

Vyacheslav Kotyonochkin was born on June 20, 1927 in Moscow, RSFSR, USSR as Vyacheslav Mikhaylovich Kotyonochkin. He is known for his work on Nu, pogodi! (1969), Na lesnoy trope (1975) and Staraya plastinka (1982). He died on November 20, 2000 in Moscow, Russia.

11. Ron Clements

Writer | Hercules

Ron Clements was born on April 25, 1953 in Sioux City, Iowa, USA as Ronald Francis Clements. He is a writer and director, known for Hercules (1997), Aladdin (1992) and Moana (2016). He has been married to Tamara Lee Glumace since February 25, 1989.

12. Satoshi Kon

Writer | Tôkyô goddofâzâzu

Satoshi Kon was born in 1963. He studied at the Musashino College of the Arts. He began his career as a Manga artist. He then moved to animation and worked as a background artist on many films (including Roujin Z (1991) by 'Katsuhiro Otomo'). Then, in 1995, he wrote an episode of the anthology film ...

13. Osamu Dezaki

Director | Hakugei densetsu

Osamu Dezaki was born on November 18, 1943 in Tokyo, Japan. He is known for his work on Hakugei densetsu (1997), Ashita no Jô 2 (1981) and Space Cobra (1982). He died on April 17, 2011 in Mitaka, Tokyo.

14. Matt Groening

Writer | The Simpsons

Growing up in Portland, Oregon, Matt Groening did not particularly like school, which is what originally turned him towards drawing. In the mid-1980s, he moved to Los Angeles and started drawing a comic strip named "Life in Hell", which eventually became published in the newspaper where he worked. ...

18. Chuck Jones

Actor | Gremlins

Starting as a cel washer, Chuck Jones worked his way up to animator and then director at the animation division of Warner Bros. He is famous for creating such beloved cartoon characters as Wile E. Coyote, Henery Hawk, Pepé Le Pew, Marvin the Martian, Ralph Wolf, Road Runner, Sam Sheepdog, Sniffles,...

19. Bruno Bozzetto

Director | Allegro non troppo

Bruno Bozzetto was born on March 3, 1938 in Milan, Lombardy, Italy. He is a director and writer, known for Allegro non troppo (1976), La cabina (1973) and I sottaceti (1971).

21. Gerry Chiniquy

Director | Baggy Pants & the Nitwits

Gerry Chiniquy was born on June 23, 1912 in Illinois, USA as Germain Adolph Chiniquy. He is known for his work on Baggy Pants & the Nitwits (1977), InHumanoids (1986) and The Bugs Bunny Show (1960). He was married to Olve Lee Bailey. He died on November 22, 1989 in Ventura County, California, ...

22. Andrew Stanton

Writer | WALL·E

Oscar-winning filmmaker Andrew Stanton was raised in Rockport, Massachusetts. He was educated at The California Institute of the Arts (or "CalArts") in Los Angeles, where he studied character animation. After graduation, Stanton began working as a writer on the TV series Mighty Mouse: The New ...

23. Stephen Hillenburg

Writer | SpongeBob SquarePants

Stephen Hillenburg is the creator of SpongeBob SquarePants. Nickelodeon's highest-rated cartoons for children and a staple of American television. Stephen was born on August 21st, 1961 in Lawton, Oklahoma and raised in Anaheim, California, Hillenburg became fascinated with the ocean as a child and ...

25. Gary Trousdale

Director | The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Gary Trousdale was born in La Crescenta, California. His fascination with animation was fostered as a child, where he drew cartoons from an elementary school age. He planned to become an architect, but decided instead to study animation at CalArts, where he studied for three years. He was hired in ...

27. Sylvain Chomet

Director | Les triplettes de Belleville

Sylvain Chomet was born on November 10, 1963 in Maisons-Laffitte, Seine-et-Oise [now Yvelines, Île-de-France], France. He is a director and writer, known for The Triplets of Belleville (2003), L'illusionniste (2010) and The Old Lady and the Pigeons (1997).

28. Carlos Saldanha

Director | Rio

Carlos Saldanha is a Brazilian director of animated films. He was the director of Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006), Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009) and Rio (2011), and the co-director of Ice Age (2002) and Robots (2005).

Saldanha was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He left his hometown in 1991 to ...

29. Eric Darnell

Writer | Madagascar

Eric Darnell is known for his work on Madagascar (2005), Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008) and Antz (1998).

30. Don Bluth

Director | Anastasia

Don Bluth was one of the chief animators at Disney to come to the mantle after the great one's death. He eventually became the animation director for such films as The Rescuers (1977) and Pete's Dragon (1977). Unfortunately, the quality of animation that Disney was producing at this point was not ...

31. Rob Minkoff

Director | The Lion King

Rob Minkoff was born on August 11, 1962 in Palo Alto, California, USA as Robert Ralph Minkoff. He is a producer and director, known for The Lion King (1994), Stuart Little 2 (2002) and The Forbidden Kingdom (2008). He has been married to Crystal Kung since September 29, 2007.

32. Eduard Nazarov

Writer | Zhil-byl pyos

Eduard Nazarov was born on November 23, 1941 in Moscow, RSFSR, USSR as Eduard Vasilevich Nazarov. He was an actor and writer, known for Once Upon a Time there Lived a Dog (1982), Travels of an Ant (1983) and Gora samotsvetov (2005). He died on September 11, 2016 in Moscow, Russia.

33. Katsuhiro Ôtomo

Writer | Akira

Katsuhiro Ôtomo is a Japanese manga artist, screenwriter and film director. He is best known as the creator of the manga Akira and its animated film adaptation.

In 1979, after writing multiple short-stories for the magazine Action, Otomo created his first science-fiction work, titled Fireball. ...

34. Kirk Wise

Director | Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi

Kirk Wise was born on August 24, 1963 in San Francisco, California, USA. He is known for his work on Spirited Away (2001), Beauty and the Beast (1991) and The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996).

36. Friz Freleng

Producer | ABC Afterschool Specials

Friz Freleng was born Isadore Freleng on August 21, 1906 in Kansas City, Missouri. With no formal training in drawing, his first job as an animator was with United Film Advancement Services in 1924 at the age of 17. The first work Friz is credited with was for Disney Studios where he worked as an ...

37. Roger Allers

Director | The Lion King

Roger Allers was born on June 29, 1949 in Rye, New York, USA. He is known for his work on The Lion King (1994), Aladdin (1992) and Beauty and the Beast (1991).

38. Raivo Järvi

Director | Aisopose rebane

Raivo Järvi was born on December 23, 1954 in Pärnu, Estonia. He was a director and actor, known for Aisopose rebane (1986), Päkapikud piiluvad (1990) and Kõige suurem sõber (1981). He was married to Tatjana Järvi. He died on June 17, 2012 in Estonia.

39. Tex Avery

Director | A Wild Hare

Tex Avery was a descendant of Judge Roy Bean and Daniel Boone, but all his grandma ever told him about it was "Don't ever mention you are kin to Roy Bean. He's a no good skunk!!" After graduating from North Dallas High School in 1927, Avery moved to Southern California in 1929 and got a job in the ...

43. Genndy Tartakovsky

Producer | Samurai Jack

Genndy Tartakovsky was born and raised in Moscow, USSR. He and his family moved to Chicago, IL when he was 7 years old, after his father defected to the US. His interest in comic books and animation led him to study animation at CalArts in Los Angeles. While he was there he produced two student ...

44. Tony Bancroft

Director | Mulan

Tony Bancroft has spent the past 16 years developing his skills as an Animator/Director with Walt Disney Feature Animation, Sony Imageworks, and currently with Toonacious Family Entertainment, his own animation studio.

Tony was accepted into the exclusive, Disney-sponsored California Institute of ...

45. Craig Bartlett

Writer | Hey Arnold!

Craig Bartlett was born on October 18, 1956 in Seattle, Washington, USA as Craig Michael Bartlett. He is a writer and producer, known for Hey Arnold! (1994), Dinosaur Train (2009) and Rugrats (1990). He has been married to Lisa Groening since 1987. They have two children.

47. Mamoru Oshii

Director | Innocence

Mamoru Oshii is a Japanese filmmaker, television director and screenwriter. Famous for his philosophy-oriented storytelling, Oshii has directed a number of popular anime, including Urusei Yatsura (1981-1984), Angel's Egg (1985), Patlabor: The Movie (1989), Ghost in the Shell (1995), and Ghost in ...

48. Anatoly Petrov

Director | Amba: Forest of the Tiger God

Anatoly Petrov is a director and actor, known for Amba: Forest of the Tiger God (2005), Terra Mater (2011) and Malenkaya Vasilisa (2007).

49. Max Fleischer

Producer | The Tantalizing Fly

Max Fleischer was born on July 19, 1883 in Krakau, Galicia, Austria-Hungary. He is known for his work on The Tantalizing Fly (1919), Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor (1936) and The Ouija Board (1920). He was married to Essie Goldstein. He died on September 11, 1972 in Los Angeles, ...

50. Makoto Shinkai

Writer | Kimi no na wa.

Makoto Shinkai is a Japanese director, writer, producer, animator, editor, cinematographer, voice actor, manga artist and former graphic designer.

Shinkai studied Japanese literature at Chuo University where he was a member of juvenile literature club where he drew picture books. In 1999, Shinkai ...

51. Jun'ichi Satô

Director | Junkers Come Here

Jun'ichi Satô was born on March 11, 1960 in Aichi, Japan. He is known for his work on Junkers Come Here (1995), Magic User's Club! (1996) and Phi Brain: Puzzle of God (2011).

53. Bibo Bergeron

Director | Un monstre à Paris

Bibo Bergeron was born as Eric Bergeron. He is known for his work on A Monster in Paris (2011), The Road to El Dorado (2000) and Shark Tale (2004).

57. Ari Folman

Writer | Vals Im Bashir

Ari Folman was born on December 17, 1962 in Haifa, Israel. He is a writer and director, known for Waltz with Bashir (2008), The Congress (2013) and Clara Hakedosha (1996).

60. David Hand

Director | Bambi

David Hand was born on January 23, 1900 in Plainfield, New Jersey, USA as David Dodd Hand. He is known for his work on Bambi (1942), Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) and Wales (1948). He died on October 11, 1986 in San Luis Obispo, California, USA.

61. James Algar

Director | The Living Desert

James Algar studied at Stanford where he developed his skills as a cartoonist by drawing for the university's satirical magazine, The Chaparral. He joined the Disney Organisation in 1934, initially as animator. He directed the classic "Sorcerer's Apprentice" segment of Fantasia (1940), as well as ...

62. Osamu Tezuka

Writer | Tenrankai no e

Tezuka wrote/animated the Japanese TV Series "Jangaru Taitei" that was turned into a USA syndicated series in the 60s called "Kimba The White Lion". This story was then plagiarized by The Disney Company in 1994 and became "The Lion King", the most profitable film of all time, and Tezuka has never ...

64. Tadao Nagahama

Director | Chôdenji robo Kon-Batorâ bui

Joined Tokyo Movie Film Company in the 60s and soon began to direct episodes of animation TV series "Ghost Q-taro" (1965-67). With the TV series "Pa-Man" (1967), Nagahama began scriptwriting in addition to directing. In 1969 he was promoted to supervising director of the TV series "Star of Giants" ...

66. Joy Batchelor

Producer | Animal Farm

She answered John Halas's ad for an animator in 1938. She was already an experienced illustrator and animator. Their collaboration began with a series of films that were made in Budapest.

67. Butch Hartman

Writer | The Fairly OddParents

Butch Hartman was born on January 10, 1965 in Highland Park, Michigan, USA as Elmer Earl Hartman IV. He is known for his work on The Fairly OddParents (2001), Danny Phantom (2004) and T.U.F.F. Puppy (2010).

68. Brad Bird

Writer | The Incredibles

Phillip Bradley "Brad" Bird is an American director, screenwriter, animator, producer and occasional voice actor, known for both animated and live-action films. Bird was born in Kalispell, Montana, the youngest of four children of Marjorie A. (née Cross) and Philip Cullen Bird. His father worked in...

69. Masahiro Andô

Animation_department | Kôkaku Kidôtai

70. Wilfred Jackson

Director | Cinderella

Wilfred Jackson was born on January 24, 1906 in Chicago, Illinois, USA as Wilfred Emmons Jackson. He is known for his work on Cinderella (1950), Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) and Alice in Wonderland (1951). He died on August 7, 1988 in Balboa Island, Newport Beach, California, USA.

71. Andrew Adamson

Director | Shrek 2

Andrew Adamson was born on December 1, 1966 in Auckland, New Zealand. He is a producer and director, known for Shrek 2 (2004), The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005) and Shrek (2001). He has been married to Gyulnara Karaeva since January 16, 2016. He was previously ...

72. John Kricfalusi

Writer | The Ren & Stimpy Show

Canadian-born cartoon cartoonist Kricfalusi began his career by working on low end Saturday morning cartoons like The Jetsons (1962) revival and Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids (1972). In 1987, Kricfalusi's mentor, Ralph Bakshi, "saved" him by hiring him as supervising director on his show Mighty ...

73. Tatsuo Satô

Director | Nekojiru-sô

Tatsuo Satô is a director and producer, known for Cat Soup (2001), Stellvia (2003) and Shingu: Secret of the Stellar Wars (2001).

75. Wolfgang Reitherman

Director | The AristoCats

Wolfgang Reitherman was a German-born American animator who was one of Disney's Nine Old Men.

He began working for Disney in 1933, along with future Disney legends Ward Kimball and Milt Kahl. The three worked together on a number of classic Disney shorts.

Reitherman directed several Disney animated ...

76. Lee Unkrich

Editor | Coco

Lee Unkrich is an Academy Award-winning director at Pixar Animation Studios. He most recently directed Disney.Pixar's critically-acclaimed "Coco", which received the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and Best Song.

As the director of Disney.Pixar's "Toy Story 3," Lee was also awarded an ...

77. Yoshiyuki Tomino

Writer | Kidô senshi Z Gandamu: Hoshi o tsugu mono

Yoshiyuki Tomino was born on November 5, 1941 in Odawara, Kanagawa, Japan. He is a writer and director, known for Kidô senshi Z Gandamu: Hoshi o tsugu mono (2004), Kidô senshi Z Gandamu II: Koibito tachi (2005) and Gundam G No Reconguista (2014).

78. Gabor Csupo

Producer | Rugrats

Gabor Csupo is a Hungarian animator, film director, and producer. He has had a long career, but he is better known as the co-founder of animation studio Klasky Csupo. The other major co-founder was his business partner and wife Arlene Klasky.

Csupo was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1952. At the time ...

79. Fyodor Khitruk

Director | Ostrov

Fyodor Khitruk was born on May 1, 1917 in Tver, Russia as Fyodor Savelyevich Khitruk. He is known for his work on Ostrov (1973), I Give you a Star (1975) and Lev i byk (1984). He died on December 3, 2012 in Moscow, Russia.

82. Roman Kachanov

Writer | DMB

Roman Kachanov was born on January 17, 1967 in Moscow, RSFSR, USSR as Roman Romanovich Kachanov. He is a writer and director, known for DMB (2000), Daun Haus (2001) and Obmen (2017).

83. Mike Stuart

Animation_department | The Meaning of Life

84. Ub Iwerks

Visual_effects | The Birds

Ub Iwerks worked as a commercial artist in Kansas City in 1919 when he met Walt Disney who was in the same profession. When Disney decided to form an animation company, Ub Iwerks was the first employee he had due to his skill at fast drawing as well as being a personal friend.

When Charles Mintz ...

86. Noboru Ishiguro

Director | Chôjikû Yôsai Macross: Ai Oboeteimasuka

Noboru Ishiguro was born on August 24, 1938 in Tokyo, Japan. He is known for his work on Super Space Fortress Macross (1984), Megazone 23 (1985) and Ninja Robots (1985). He died on March 20, 2012 in Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Japan.

87. David Cherkasskiy

Director | Ostrov sokrovishch. Karta kapitana Flinta

David Cherkasskiy was born on August 23, 1932 in Shpola, Ukrainskaya SSR, USSR as David Yanovich Cherkasskiy. He was a director and writer, known for Ostrov sokrovishch. Karta kapitana Flinta (1986), Return to Treasure Island (1989) and Makarony Smerti ili Oshibka Professora Bugensberga (1992). He ...

88. Edouard David

Animation_department | Inspector Gadget

89. Ralph Bakshi

Director | Wizards

Ralph Bakshi worked his way up from Brooklyn and became an animation legend. Born on October 29, 1938, in Haifa, Bakshi grew up in Brownsville after his family came to New York to escape World War II. Bakshi attended the Thomas Jefferson High School and was later transferred to the High School of ...

90. Gisaburô Sugii

Director | Arashi no yoru ni

He was born in Numazu City. Between 1958 and 1961 joined Toei Doga as animator. Here he became a close friend of reputed animation director Osamu Tezuka, and when Tezuka left the company to create his own, Mushi Production, he called Sugii to work with him. So Sugii joined Mushi until 1967. Here ...

91. Nick Park

Writer | The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

Nick Park was born on December 6, 1958 in Preston, Lancashire, England as Nicholas Wulstan Park. He is a writer and producer, known for The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005), Chicken Run (2000) and A Close Shave (1995).

92. Yoshiyuki Tomino

Writer | Kidô senshi Z Gandamu: Hoshi o tsugu mono

Yoshiyuki Tomino was born on November 5, 1941 in Odawara, Kanagawa, Japan. He is a writer and director, known for Kidô senshi Z Gandamu: Hoshi o tsugu mono (2004), Kidô senshi Z Gandamu II: Koibito tachi (2005) and Gundam G No Reconguista (2014).

93. Pete Docter

Writer | Up

Pete Docter was born on October 9, 1968 in Bloomington, Minnesota, USA as Peter Hans Docter. He is a writer, known for Up (2009), Inside Out (2015) and Monsters, Inc. (2001). He has been married to Amanda Jean Schmidt since December 27, 1992. They have two children.

94. Rintaro

Director | Metoroporisu

Rintaro was born on January 22, 1941 in Tokyo, Japan as Shigeyuki Hayashi. He is known for his work on Metropolis (2001), Ninja Scroll (1993) and Meikyû monogatari (1987).

95. Robert Clampett

Director | Thunderbolt the Wondercolt

Born in San Diego, California, the young Robert Clampett was monumentally moved as a child by the film The Lost World (1925), inspiring him to create a sea-serpent sock-puppet that he used in puppet shows to entertain the neighborhood kids. This led him to create a stuffed Mickey Mouse toy, which ...

96. Hideaki Anno

Director | Shin Gojira

Hideaki Anno was born on May 22, 1960 in Ube, Yamaguchi, Japan. He is known for his work on Shin Godzilla (2016), Evangerion shin gekijôban: Jo (2007) and Kaze tachinu (2013). He has been married to Moyoco Anno since March 26, 2002.

97. Leonid Shvartsman

Art_director | Snezhnaya koroleva

Leonid Shvartsman was born on August 30, 1920 in Minsk, Byelorussian SSR as Izrail Aronovich Shvartsman. He is an art director and director, known for The Snow Queen (1957), Kotyonok po imeni Gav (1976) and Kak verbluzhonok i oslik v shkolu khodili (1975).

98. Chris Sanders

Writer | Lilo & Stitch

Born and raised in Colorado, Chris Sanders fell in love with animation at the age of ten after seeing Ward Kimball animated shorts on 'The Wonderful World of Disney'. He began drawing, and applied to CalArts after his grandmother told him about the animation program at the school. He majored in ...

99. Henry Selick

Director | Coraline

Henry Selick is a film director, specializing in films with stop-motion animation. He has formal training as an animator.

Selick was born in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, son of Charles H. Selick and Melanie Molan. He was mostly raised Rumson, New Jersey. As a child, Selick took up drawing as a hobby. He ...

100. Dean DeBlois

Writer | How to Train Your Dragon

Dean DeBlois is a Canadian writer, director, and producer known best for having co-written and co-directed Disney's Lilo & Stitch (2002) and Dreamworks' How to Train Your Dragon (2010), both Oscar nominated. While working as an assistant animator and layout artist for Hinton Animation Studios ...



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