Monthly Archives: April 2008


Women In Animation 4/29

Presented by Nina Frenkel andRu Kuwahata.

Independent Film Makers/ Animators

-Lotte Reiniger(1899-1981)
Lotte Reiniger directed and animated the first animated feature film, “The Prince Achmed” in 1926 and continued to create silhouette animation in Germany and UK with her husband.

Footage: “The Prince Achmed” Extra (Behind the Scene, who is Lotte Reininger)
More information here.

-Faith Hubley(1924-2001)
Faith Hubley and her husband John Hubley are Adademy-Award winning animators. They collaborated on many films , and Faith continued animating after John’s death.
hereand here are more interesting article about here.

Footage: “My Universe Inside Out”(1996)

-Caroline Leaf(1946-)
Caroline Leaf is an American/Canadian film maker who pioneered a several experimental animation techniques. Her notable work is “The Street” has been nominated for an Academy Award and won several animation festivals.

Footage: The Street (1976)

-Wendy Tilby/Amanda Forbis (1960-, 1963-)
Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis are Canadian animators. They belong to the National Film Board of Canada and co-directed “When the Day Breaks” which won many awards including Cannes, Annecy, Hiroshima, Zagreb, Ottawa, and nomination for Oscar.

Footage: When the Day Breaks (2001)

-Signe Baumane(1964-)
Signe is Latvian/ American animator, writer and illustrator.She also curates many animation screening in NYC. She had created a few more episodes for “Teat Beat of Sex” which will screen at ASIFA-east on May 4th Sunday 6pm.

Here’s the information on the screening
Tishman Auditorium
@The New School
66 W. 12th St
(bet. 5th/6th)

Footage: Teat Beat of Sex (2007)

-Nina Paley
Nina Paley is a cartoonist and animator who recently finished a feature film, “Sita Sings the Blues” which she animated entirely by herself. It is currently screening at Tribeca Film Festival.

Footage: Goddess of Fertility (2002)

Studio Animators

-Retta Scott (Disney )
Retta Scott was the first woman to receive screen credit as an animator at Walt Disney Animation Studios. She is famous for the vicious hunting dogs that chase Bambi.

-Mary Blair (Disney)
Mary Blair created many beautiful concept art for The Walt Disney Studios’ “Alice in Wonderland”, “Cincerella” , “Peter Pan”, etc. She also worked on Disney attraction “It’s a Small World.”
here is an article about her book, “The Art and Flair of Mary Blair”.

-Laverne Harding (Walter Lantz Studio/Hanna Barbera/ Depatie-Freleng Enterprises)
Laverne Harding is the first women to earn the title of “animator.” She was often credited as Verne Harding to make it sound masculine.
She worked on Woody Woodpecker, Yogi Bear, Pink Panther and and many more

Independent & Commercial Animators

-Tissa David
Tissa David has been one of the most prolific female animators, her career spanning more than sixty years. She has worked on Hubley’s animations like Cockabody and Everybody Rides The Carousel, as well as Raggedy Ann and Andy and numerous Michael Sporn’s animations.

Some more interesting articles here and here

-Debra Solomon
Debra Solomon is an illustrator and award winning animated film director. Her notable works include “Lizzie McGuire”(2001-2004) and her independent work, “Everybody’s Pregnant” She is currently working on another autobiographical independent film which is looking AMAZING!

Footage: “Everybody’s Pregnant”(1998)


-Ru Kuwahata
Ru Kuwahata is an award-winning animation director and a teacher in Parsons’ Pre-Enrollment Program.

Footage:Daikon Ashi(2004)

-Nina Frenkel
Nina Frenkel is an animator/illustrator and teacher, who teaches Animation Design in Parsons’ Pre-Enrollment Program, and Illustration
at Pratt Manhattan.
Footage: They Might Be Giants Here Come the 1,2,3’s “Pirate Girls Nine”(2007)

Women In Animation Meeting

A Survey of Women Animators, from Past to Present

Join Animators Nina Frenkel and Ru Kuwahata for a survey of Women Animators, from the originals who pioneered the medium, to the independents of the mid/late 20th Century, to the women animating today, and in what mediums. This talk will include viewings of these animators’ works, and there will be a discussion at the end, on the evolution of our industry, and how women are currently contributing
to the creation of animations and impacting animated content as writers, directors, producers and voice talent.

Nina Frenkel is an animator/illustrator and teacher, who teaches Animation Design in Parsons’ Pre-Enrollment Program, and Illustration
at Pratt Manhattan. She worked as a staff animator at Seattle’s Smashing Ideas Inc. (2000-2001) before moving to NYC in 2002 to continue
pursuing her freelance career. Most recently, she completed animations for the UN, They Might Be Giants, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
You can see her work at

Ru Kuwahata is an award-winning animation director and a teacher in Parsons’ Pre-Enrollment Program. She is a graduate of Parsons School of Design and animates in both traditional and digital media. Her commercial works have appeared on HBO Family, Nick Jr. and Playhouse Disney.
Most recently she has been developing television properties and working on an independent film. You can see her work at

Date: Tuesday, April 29th
Time: 7:00pm – 8:30 pm – NOTE THE START TIME
Place: School of Visual Arts
209 E. 23rd St., bet 2nd & 3rd Aves.
Room 502
RSVP TO: Nina Frenkel by April 27th at

Sita Sings the Blues

I went to Tribeca Film Festival on Friday night with some friends.
Thank you Nina Frenkel for inviting me.

A wonderful director/animator, Nina Paley finished a feature film, “Sita Sings the Blues” and it premiered at Tribeca Film Festival.
Ms. Paley worked on this film for 3 years and when I first heard about it, I was surprised how ambitious she was to make a feature all by herself.

The film was amazing. There were about 5 different styles, shadow puppets, flash highly stylized animation, loose flash character animation, rotoscope and painted puppets. Her personal experience and Ramayana story were told parallel to each other which worked perfectly. She was vulnerable with her personal story and told Ramayana story from Sita’s perspective, which I’ve never heard of. It’s still screening at Tribeca Film Festival, and I believe it’ll be screening at many festivals all over the world. If you get a chance, you MUST SEE!
It’s touching, encouraging, fun, and educational. I LOVE IT!

More work in progress

Here’s Max in various stages.
1. Model sheet for me to craft
2. Crafted Max. Eyes and mouth will be digitally added later.
3. Max in a skull form.

Here’s Ru in various stages.
1. Model sheet for me to craft
2. Crafted Ru. Again, eyes and mouth will be digitally added later.
3. Ru in a skull form.

This is..Hunter, Jogger and Hunter/Jogger.
Did you know that most abandoned dead bodies are found by hunter or jogger? But I think our skeletons will be found by a….Hunter/Jogger.
again, eyes and other facial expressions will be added digitally later.

We’re done making all the characters and props at this point. As soon as we’re done with a music video we’re working on….We’ll get back to our film. Can’t wait.

Grandma Kiyoko

This is my grandma Kiyoko. My mom’s side.
She loves gorillas and monkeys.
She also LOVES dolls and stuffed animals.
She especially LOOOOOOOOVES to sew clothes for her little friends.

Isn’t my grandma cute? She made a matching brown dress for her monkey friend.

Lunafest at Old Dominion University

This time for Lunafest, I went to Old Dominion University in Norfolk Virginia.
Old Dominion University and the city of Norfolk organized “Reel Politics ON Film Festival from March 29th to April 5th. Thank you to Mr. Peter Schulman from Depart of Foreign Languages and LIteratures and Mr. Austin Jersild from Depart of History.
Lunafest was part of On Film Festival and it was organized by Alexa Priddy from Women’s Center.
This time all proceeds benefit the Breast Cancer Fund (as always) and the YWCA of South Hampton Roads.

Again, I met many people from different fields and educated me a lot. I also met a very interesting person, Veronica who is a vice president of Filipino American National History Society. They are trying to make a documentary and asked me about various options. It’s always encouraging to meet people who are trying to create an environment that will support the community. Alexa, who organized Lunafest explained to me the purpose and mission of Women’s center and I was very impressed with the amount of support system they offer. From leadership development, sexual assault education and outreach to various events that empowers women and help their health issues.

I feel very lucky to be part of Lunafest!