“Beauty and the Beast,” “The Lion King,” and “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” are just a few of the many movies women animators helped bring to the screen. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, best known as the org behind the Oscars, is giving well-deserved attention to some of the women who have played — and continue to play — an instrumental role in the evolution of animation with an upcoming event, “An Invisible History: Women in Animation.”
“From the earliest pioneers of hand-rendered animated films, to the advent of digital technology, women have been at the forefront of the animation medium, yet their extraordinary contributions have largely gone unrecognized,” the Academy writes on the event page. “Join Mindy Johnson, author of the landmark volume ‘Ink & Paint: The Women of Walt Disney’s Animation,’ along with a stellar panel of trailblazing artists, as they raise the celluloid curtain on the remarkable history of women in animation.”
Set to be held at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills August 7, the event will feature panelists Gretchen Albrecht (“Robin Hood”); Jane Baer (“Who Framed Roger Rabbit”); Lorna Cook, the lead character animator on “The Lion King;” Eleanor Dahlen (“Sleeping Beauty”); Jun Falkenstein (“Despicable Me”); Virginia Fleener, animator at Disney Studios during WWII; Carole Holliday (“Prince of Egypt”); Patty Peraza (“Beauty and the Beast”), the first credited female effects animator at Disney Features; and Tina Price (“Fantasia 2000”), the first female Head of Computer Animation at Walt Disney.
While the film industry in general is plagued with sexism, animation in particular is known as being a boys club. “I wanted to progress and was literally told, ‘No, you cannot, because you’re a woman and you’ll get married and you’ll go away,’” animator Joanna Romersa, who began working at Disney in 1954, has revealed. “I saw many of my male colleagues advance a lot quicker than I did, just because they could bullshit with the boys,” she said.
Head over to the Academy’s website to buy tickets for “An Invisible History: Women in Animation.”
Academy to Host Event Celebrating Trailblazing Women of Animation was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.