Animators are digital artists who make designs that simulate movement in a sequence, frequently conveying a story or offering information. They usually collaborate as part of a creative team on animation production. They work in various fields, such as television, films and video games. Who are the top popular animators with the most distinct styles?
Animation is important as it allows producers to tell stories and communicate emotions in an easy-to-reception way that both adults and children can comprehend. Even though animated characters are not real, people tend to identify with them much easier than they would with ordinary movie characters.
Top 10 popular animators
There are multiple animators in the entertainment industry, but some have had outstanding careers making them popular among animations lovers. The following is a list of ten popular animators who have distinctly different styles:
1. Seth MacFarlane
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- Date of birth: 26 October 1973
- Place of birth: Kent, Connecticut, United States
- Famous works: Family Guy, The Cleveland Show
If you're a fan of animated comedies, then there's a good chance you're a fan of Seth MacFarlane. The man behind Family Guy, American Dad! and The Cleveland Show has become one of the most popular animators in recent years, thanks to his distinct style of humour. He bagged many awards for Family Guy, including Primetime Emmy Awards and an Annie Award.
What sets MacFarlane apart from other animators is his willingness to push the envelope when it comes to jokes. The American actor is not afraid to tackle taboo subjects or to make crude jokes that some might find offensive. But for fans of his work, that is part of the appeal.
MacFarlane's unique sense of humour has made him one of the most successful animators. If you're looking for something different in your animated comedy fix, then give Seth MacFarlane a try.
2. Hayao Miyazaki
- Date of birth: 5 January 1941
- Place of birth: Bunkyo, Japan
- Famous works: Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke
Hayao Miyazaki is one of Japan's most celebrated animators and one of the founders of Studio Ghibli, a revered animation studio responsible for some of the medium's most iconic and visually distinct films.
Miyazaki's films are characterized by their beautiful hand-drawn animation, attention to detail, and strong themes of environmentalism and feminism. He is a master storyteller, and his films are loved by children and adults alike.
3. Jim Henson
- Date of birth: 24 September 1936
- Place of birth: Mississippi, United States
- Famous work: Muppets
Few animators have had as big of an impact on American culture as Jim Henson. The creator of The Muppets, Henson, was a master of puppetry and used his unique skills to bring some of the most beloved characters to life.
From Kermit the Frog to Miss Piggy, Henson's creations have entertained millions of people worldwide and continue to do so today. While Henson didn't invent puppetry, he was one of the art form's most prominent practitioners, and his work has influenced countless other puppeteers. He is also the creator of Fraggle Rock and the director of The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth.
4. Nick Park
- Date of birth: 6 December 1958
- Place of birth: England, UK
- Famous works: Wallace and Gromit, Chicken Run
Nick is one of the most famous animators today. He started working on his animation passion when he was only a kid. However, everything changed for him after he joined Aardman animation, a British animation studio, in 1985. Park created some of the most well-known animations of all time in this studio. The popular animator created Chicken Run, Wallace and Gromit, Shaun the Sheep, and many more.
During the creation of these animations, Nick Park was the producer, writer, and animation director. Chicken Run, one of his best creations, still holds the top posts for the highest-grossing films since its official release in 2006. Nick has won 4 Oscars from six nominations and many other awards.
5. John Alan Lasseter
- Date of birth: 12 January 1957
- Place of birth: California, United States
- Famous work: Toy Story
Lassetter was obsessed with cartoons as a kid, so he enrolled at California Institute of the Arts (popularly known as CalArts), where he studied character animation. He later joined Disney as an animator in 1979.
In the early 1980s, Lassetter developed a great fascination with the capabilities of the new computer-generated graphics. This passion caused a rift in Disney, and he lost his job at the company. Shortly after, he joined Lucasfilm, which later became the current Pixar.
While at Pixar, he directed some of the widely known animated movies, which include Cars, Cars 2, Toy Story 2 and A Bug's Life. He also directed Frozen and Inside Out. The films Lassetter has been involved in have $19 million in revenue, which makes him one of the most successful animators in history.
6. Walt Disney
- Date of birth: 5 December 1901 (died 15 December 1966)
- Place of birth: Illinois, United States
- Famous works: Mickey Mouse, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Disney is now so big that it is easy to forget that it started as an animation studio in 1923. Walt Disney had a passion for drawing and illustration from a young age. Therefore, he joined art classes and later became a paid illustrator before setting up the Disney Brothers studio with his brother Roy. One of their earliest creations includes Mickey Mouse, Snow White and Dumbo.
7. Yuri Norstein
- Date of birth: 15 September 1941
- Place of birth: Kamensky District, Russia
- Famous work: Hedgehog in the Fog
Norstein has produced a comparatively small number of animated movies, but he is still considered among the best animators of all time. Yuri started his passion for animation while he was still a young boy and learned the arts in school. He further went ahead to study arts in a two-year course.
After completing his studies in 1961, he joined Soyuzmultfilm, where he applied his skills in creation of arounf 50 films. In the late 1960s, Norstein had a chance to work on his own films. Even Hayao Miyazaki admitted that Norstein is a great artist and that his Hedgehog in the Fog work is one of his favourites.
8. Matt Groening
- Date of birth: 15 February 1954
- Place of birth: Oregon, United States
- Famous work: The Simpsons
If you are a fan of The Simpsons, then the name Matt Groening should ring a bell to you. The Simpsons have won Groening 11 Emmys. He became popular for his work known as Life in Hell. Groening also created Futurama and, later, the Netflix series Disenchanted.
9. Trey Parker and Matt Stone
- Date of birth: 19 October 1969 (Trey Parker); 26 May 1971 (Matt Stone)
- Place of birth: United States
- Famous work: South Park
These two could have had separate spots on this list, but they are a power pair, so they need to go as such. Their work as creative partners has impacted the world, and they would not have made it without each other.
The creative duo met at university, and after they graduated, they started their work as a team. During the 90s, the two were struggling to sail through. Luckily, they had a chance from Comedy Central, where they could air South Park. The show ended up being iconic, bringing fame to its creators.
10. Joseph Barbera
- Date of birth: 24 March 1911 (died 18 December 2006)
- Place of birth: New York, United States
- Famous work: Tom and Jerry
Joseph Barbera was a well-known director, animator, cartoon artist and storyboard from the United States. He is popularly recognized for co-producing Tom and Jerry along with William Hanna while working at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Aside from that, he is credited with co-founding the famous animation studio and production company Hanna-Barbera.
The company is best known for producing world-renowned programs such as The Flintstones, Scooby-Doo and The Smurfs. The company's shows had a worldwide audience of more than 300 million people in the 1960s. The shows have also been translated into over 28 languages.
Animators are often responsible for some of the best memories people have from their childhoods. Some have given life to more adult-themed characters. Regardless of the target audience, these artists have managed to capture people's attention thanks to their memorable creations. The above are the top 10 popular animators with the most distinct style.
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