The world’s most popular animators have always been at the forefront of movie and entertainment greatness. From Walt Disney to Pixar, these talented creators have consistently pushed the boundaries of storytelling and animation, making us fall in love with their characters and stories.
No matter what type of animation you prefer, there is something special about each one that captures our hearts. From the early days of pencil and paper, to the advance computer-generated animations of today — there is something for everyone.
And in this article, we are going to highlight some of the best names to ever animate.
15 Animators that Bring Cartoons and Animation to Life
Whether it’s the bright colors and whimsical worlds created by Hayao Miyazaki or the darkly humorous characters of Tim Burton, all of these animated films bring a certain kind of charm that can only be found through this form of art. Keep reading on for the full list.
Seth MacFarlane is an American animator, voice actor, writer, producer and director. His most high-profile work includes the creation of the popular animated sitcom Family Guy in 1999. He also created the spinoff series The Cleveland Show and American Dad.
In addition to his television ventures, he has directed two feature films: Ted (2012) and A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014). For his contributions to animation, MacFarlane received multiple Emmy Awards.
|Date of Birth||October 26, 1973|
|Notable Works||Family Guy, American Dad!, The Cleveland Show, Ted, Ted 2|
Walt Disney was an American animator, entrepreneur and film producer who revolutionized the film industry with his iconic cartoon characters like Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. He was a pioneer in developing new techniques for hand-drawn animation as well as stop-motion techniques.
He founded the Walt Disney Company, which produces films, media and entertainment products including theme parks, resorts and television networks. In addition to his work in animation, Disney was also a passionate advocate for conservation and philanthropy.
|Date of Birth||December 5, 1901|
|Notable Works||Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo, Bambi, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp, Sleeping Beauty, 101 Dalmatians, The Jungle Book, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King|
Tim Burton is an American director, producer and animator who is renowned for his darkly themed fantasy films such as Beetlejuice (1988), Edward Scissorhands (1990) and The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993). His unique visual style has been praised by critics around the world.
Besides feature length films, he has also worked in stop motion animation with projects like Corpse Bride (2005) and Frankenweenie (2012).
|Date of Birth||August 25, 1958|
|Notable Works||Beetlejuice, Batman, Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Batman Returns, Ed Wood, Mars Attacks!, Sleepy Hollow, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Corpse Bride, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Alice in Wonderland, Frankenweenie|
Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known by his pen name Dr. Seuss, was an American author, political cartoonist and animator best known for his children’s books such as The Cat In The Hat and Green Eggs and Ham.
His first animated film, Horton Hears a Who!, won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Subject in 1970. He was also nominated four times at the Oscars for other works such as Gerald McBoing-Boing (1951) and How The Grinch Stole Christmas (1966).
|Date of Birth||March 2, 1904|
|Notable Works||How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, The Cat in the Hat, Horton Hears a Who!, The Lorax|
Matt Stone is an American animator, director, writer and producer best known for co-creating the animated sitcom South Park with Trey Parker in 1997.
In addition to their television work, they have also directed several feature films including Team America: World Police (2004) and South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999). The latter went on to win an Academy Award for Best Original Song.
|Date of Birth||May 26, 1971|
|Notable Works||South Park, The Book of Mormon|
Trey Parker is an American animator, voice actor and writer who first gained recognition as the co-creator of South Park alongside Matt Stone. He has also acted in various projects including Orgazmo (1998) and BASEketball (1998).
In addition to his film work, he has written the music for several musicals including The Book of Mormon (2011).
|Date of Birth||October 19, 1969|
|Notable Works||South Park, The Book of Mormon|
Matt Groening is an American cartoonist, animator and television producer best known for creating the animated sitcom The Simpsons in 1989. He is also the creator of Futurama, as well as two comic strips: Life in Hell and Binky’s Buddies & Boo.
In addition to his work in animation, Groening has authored several books on popular culture and satire. For his contributions to animation, he was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame.
|Date of Birth||February 15, 1954|
|Notable Works||The Simpsons, Futurama, Disenchantment|
Mike Judge is an American animator, voice actor, director and writer who first gained recognition with the creation of Beavis and Butt-Head (1993). He also created the popular adult animated sitcom King of the Hill in 1997.
In addition to television, he has written and directed several feature films including Idiocracy (2006), Extract (2009) and Silicon Valley (2014).
|Date of Birth||October 17, 1962|
|Notable Works||Beavis and Butt-Head, King of the Hill, Office Space|
John Lasseter is an American animator, director, screenwriter and producer who worked at Walt Disney Animation Studios before leaving to co-found Pixar Animation Studios with Edwin Catmull.
He produced a string of critically acclaimed and commercially successful computer-animated films such as Toy Story (1995), A Bug’s Life (1998) and Finding Nemo (2003). Lasseter received two Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature Film for both Toy Story 3 (2010) and Coco (2017).
|Date of Birth||January 12, 1957|
|Notable Works||Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2, Cars, Cars 2|
Max Fleischer was an American animator, director and inventor who developed a rotoscope machine that allowed animation to be done with more realistic movement. He also created the iconic cartoon character Betty Boop as well as Popeye the Sailor Man.
His prolific career spanned four decades during which he directed over 500 animated shorts.
|Date of Birth||July 19, 1883|
|Notable Works||Betty Boop, Popeye the Sailor, Superman|
Chuck Jones was an American animator, voice actor, screenwriter and filmmaker best known for his work at Warner Bros. Cartoons helming such beloved characters as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and the Road Runner.
In addition to his television work, he directed several feature films including How The Grinch Stole Christmas (1966) and The Phantom Tollbooth (1970).
|Date of Birth||September 21, 1912|
|Notable Works||Looney Tunes, Merrie Melodies, Tom and Jerry|
Jeffrey Katzenberg is an American film producer, executive and co-founder of DreamWorks Animation. He has produced films such as The Prince of Egypt (1998), Shrek (2001) and How to Train Your Dragon (2010).
Besides animation, he has also produced several live action films including War Horse (2011) and The Help (2011).
|Date of Birth||December 21, 1950|
|Notable Works||The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, Shrek|
Brad Bird is an American animator, director, screenwriter and producer best known for writing the screenplay for The Incredibles (2004) and directing Ratatouille (2007), which won an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film.
He has also directed several live action films such as Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011).
|Date of Birth||September 24, 1957|
|Notable Works||The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, Ratatouille|
Genndy Tartakovsky is a Russian-American animator, director and storyboard artist best known for creating the Cartoon Network series Dexter’s Laboratory. He also created Samurai Jack and for his work on those shows he won five Primetime Emmy Awards.
In 2012, he directed the feature film Hotel Transylvania which became the highest grossing animated film of that year.
|Date of Birth||January 17, 1970|
|Notable Works||Dexter’s Laboratory, Samurai Jack, Hotel Transylvania|
Hayao Miyazaki is a Japanese animator, director, screenwriter, illustrator and manga artist who co-founded Studio Ghibli in 1985 with Isao Takahata. He has directed several critically acclaimed and commercially successful feature films including My Neighbor Totoro (1988), Princess Mononoke (1997) and Spirited Away (2001).
Miyazaki received an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film for his work on Spirited Away.
|Date of Birth||January 5, 1941|
|Notable Works||Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Howl’s Moving Castle|
Famous Animators that Bring Notable Cartoons to Life
Animators are the unsung heroes of movies and entertainment. Without their creative genius, none of our favorite characters would be so beloved. From Walt Disney to Hayao Miyazaki, these geniuses have earned their place in history by bringing life to the stories they tell.