Essential Animation Reading List

Just thought I would make a post about some good text that’s out there on animation. There are some really great books on how to flesh things out and make characters really flow and come to life.

First up is The Animator’s Survival Kit by Richard Williams director of animation on Who Framed Roger Rabbit. This guy is a genius and really this is the only book you need. But I’ll introduce a few others for good measure. Check out The Thief and the Cobbler: The Recobbled Cut to see how smooth this guy can animate. He was privileged enough to learn and animate with some of the best in the business during the 1900’s. He has gathered a lifetime of great techniques from every animator he has spoken to and made one concise book to contain it all.

Next, check out The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation by Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas. These guys were a monster duo active during Disney’s finest years. This gigantic book chronicles their lifelong excursion into the world of animation and everything they learned from it. There isn’t anything better than getting advice from two veterans who have most likely tackled every problem there is to encounter.

Then, the priceless Drawn to Life: 20 Golden Years of Disney Master Classes: Volume I and Volume II by Walt Stanchfield. Walt Stanchfield was the guy you would take animation classes from if you got hired as a Disney animator. Just trust me that this is a collection of priceless knowledge.

And last, but not least, if you are still yearning for some more animation knowledge give Preston Blair’s Cartoon Animation (Collector’s Series) a good read.

Feel free to add any to the list! Enjoy!

p.s. If anyone knows of a good Tex Avery book that delves into his animation methods I would love to hear about it. His work was so great! Thanks!


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Drawn to Life: 20 Golden Years of Disney Master Classes: Volume I and Volume II

Cool, I don’t know those ones !!!

Thanks @Ben for the idea.

Great source for animation!