46. Retta Scott
I know that somewhere the ghost of Retta Davidson is very offended by this post. Well I can say I love Davidson’s work too but there’s only so much room and I have to go with the first. Retta Scott was the first woman ever to be an animator. Her time as an animator from 1939 to 1946 paved the way not only for women as animators but also the way for minorities as well. Before her all animators were white men. Since Scott’s career was very brief in comparison with most people in this countdown this post will be more about her significance than her style and contributions.
Retta Scott was a fine draftsman who could make very dynamic drawings of animals. Walt Disney was so impressed by her talent he assigned Eric Larson to mentor her. Eric helped her some with the timing but she did all the animation herself of the hunting dogs in Bambi. The scene is very terrifying and has real strength to it. Although not listed in the credits Scott also animated on the Pastoral Role segment in Fantasia, the weasels in Wind and the Willows, and possibly even some additional animation in Dumbo.
Retta wasn’t just the first female animator but she proved that women could do something more than ink and paint. After her stint as an animator many women held jobs in many departments of the process. Also a little while later African-Americans and other minorities began making their stamp on the art form. Animation is blind to gender and color, much of that being due to Retta Scott.
Fantasia(1940)- Animator(uncredited) on fawns and cupids in Pastoral Role
Dumbo(1941)- Additional Animator(uncredited)
Bambi(1942)- Animator on Hunting Dogs
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad(1949)- Animator(uncredited) on Wessels in Wind and the Willows segment