Animation is a field that includes many genres, styles and techniques under its basic definition. As a 2D animator, and an MFA student who had already worked in the industry I’ve already established my own style and favorite technique and that affected the topics that I chose for this display.
I specifically chose books and films that deal with the more traditional techniques of animation (stop motion and traditional classic animation) from both western and eastern Industries. Like many MCAD students, I too am an anime fan and believe we have a lot to learn from the masters of the Japanese industry, so whether you like japanimation or not, some of these picks are a must for every animator regardless of his preferences.
In the Japanese animation feature department I highly recommend checking out Satoshi Kon’s Millenium Actress, Hayao Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro and Madhouse’s Ghost in the Shell as films that represent very different and unique kinds of storytelling and creative design techniques for animated features.
In the western front, I’d recommend checking out the Wallace and Gromit collection for some good old fashioned stop motion goodness, Brad Bird’s The Iron Giant for one of the most under rated yet amazingly well done American classic animation films and Persepolis for a different and very contemporarily relevant classic animation film.
Also, for all you fresh animators I chose to showcase books that might prove insightful and helpful for you on your journey into this area of expertise and even for your school assignments here at MCAD. These books are of course recommended not only for beginners, but for experienced animators as well, there are always new tricks to learn, new bits of information or sources of inspiration to discover.
From the book department I urge you to check out Richard Williams’ The Animator’s Survival Kit, it is the true holy bible of animation from one of the most brilliant and talented animators who ever lived. All you animators that still struggle with walking cycles, stretching, squashing or easing in and out- have no fear, all the answers you seek will be there, that I can assure you.
And for all you animators more interested in the wonders of anime and the pre-production process of feature films, I would recommend checking out the Ghibli studio art books I placed in this collection, they’re a true feast for the eyes.