An Introductory Letter

Dear everyone,

 My name is Grayson Ponti and I’m a high school student who plans on pursuing a career in character animation.  I feel honored to be able to through this blog give respect, acknowledgement, and gratitude to 50 of the greatest artists in the greatest studio in the history of animation.  Since the age of 10 years old I’ve wanted to write about great animators past and present. Since that time I’ve read countless books, studied an endless number of scenes, written to many talented people, and last but not least worked very hard on drawing, art, creativity, and the other skills that are essential into developing into an animator. Through my research I’ve found that sadly many animators have not received the respect and acclaim they deserve even inside the animation industry. Too many times have I seen an artist be heavily favored over someone who is just as talented but in a different way. There is no such thing as a “best” animator but only a few dedicated people can go past just moving something or drawing it well but do what animation is set out to do: communicate. The ones who achieve this feel for their characters, understand their personalities, and express this through their own style and technique.  I’ve ranked who in my opinion are the 50 most influential animators in Disney history and will do a post on each one in order from bottom to top over the next year. I’m going to do my best to keep my posts different than from what is normal animator information fare. Instead of going through their career and giving out information, I’m going to really analyze their style and impact as well as what I think is inspiring about each one of their careers and how you can learn from it. To demonstrate this I’ll post one original drawing by me with each post that is inspired by what inspires me about the particular animator. It’s important to not copy from the past but to take knowledge and inspiration from it. I hope you enjoy my blog and please leave a comment on each post you have an opinion or story about.


Grayson P.

7 Responses to “An Introductory Letter”

  1. Grayson, your respect for the medium and its masters is evident in every line of this blog. Great work and good luck!

  2. This is such a wonderful idea and I look forward to reading your blog, you can tell from this entry alone your very passionate.

    May I ask which books on this particular subject you found most interesting, it is quite difficult finding out information about animators cause as you’ve said alot of them go by unnoticed without the acclaim they deserve. I’m looking to do more research into the greats of animation ^^

    Thanks x

    • If I were asked to pick the 10 greatest books on animation I would say Illusion of Life by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston for all 10 spots. That’s the book that really opened my heart in regard to the medium and made me realize its potential. I’ve read it countless times and learn something new each time. It stands out in that instead of being a technique guid it actually teaches through going through how Disney animation developed over the course of their careers. It also really teaches you animation acting and analysis, two of the most crucial things an animator must have. Internet research especially in depth searching is a good way to learn about animation as well. I have actually written to quite a few of the living people on the list and encourage you to write to your heroes as well. It requires patience and maturity but is ultimately very rewarding and fulfilling. It’s a good way to learn things you can’t find anywhere else.

  3. Elijah Frederick Says:

    You are a presentation of every high school student who dreams to do such a craft. Thank you so very much!

  4. This is truly a blog of love. Thanks for passing it on. It is a must for anyone who wants to know the artists behind their favourite Disney characters.

  5. What a wonderful blog you have written here! So much information, that I would never have been fortunate enough to come upon, if not for the fact that I am helping a friend do some research for some drawings she recently acquired at an estate sale.

    I was impressed at all the information you included about each and every person you wrote about. I was MORE impressed when I got to the end and read your Introduction. WOW! All this from a high school student! I don’t even know what to say, other than thank you for your time & your efforts, and I hope that you are realizing your dreams!

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