Laputa's 100 Best Japanese and World Animation Directorsby skobic | created - 05 Jun 2012 | updated - 06 Jun 2012 | Public
Animation_department | Skazka skazok
Born to Jewish parents and raised in a Moscow suburb, Yuri Norstein painted as a hobby and trained as a carpenter before studying animation. He directed his first film in 1968 and made a series of short films notable for their attention to atmosphere and fine detail, using a multiplane camera to ...
Director | Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi
Hayao Miyazaki is one of Japan's greatest animation directors. The entertaining plots, compelling characters, and breathtaking animation in his films have earned him international renown from critics as well as public recognition within Japan. The Walt Disney Company's commitment to introduce the ...
3. Walt Disney
Walter Elias Disney was born on December 5, 1901 in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Flora Disney (née Call) and Elias Disney, a Canadian-born farmer and businessperson. He had Irish, German, and English ancestry. Walt moved with his parents to Kansas City at age seven, where he spent the majority of ...
Art_department | L'homme qui plantait des arbres
Frédéric Back was born on April 8, 1924 in Saarbrücken, Germany. He is known for his work on The Man Who Planted Trees (1987), Crac (1980) and The Mighty River (1993). He was married to Ghylaine Paquin. He died on December 24, 2013 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
6. Jirí Trnka
Director | Bajaja
A graduate of Prague's School of Arts and Crafts, in 1936 he created a puppet theater, which was disbanded after the outbreak of WWII. During the war he designed stage sets and illustrated children's books. In 1945 he set up an animation unit with several collaborators at the Prague film studio; ...
Producer | The Tantalizing Fly
Max Fleischer was born on July 19, 1883 in Krakau, Galicia, Austria-Hungary. He is known for his work on The Tantalizing Fly (1919), Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor (1936) and The Ouija Board (1920). He was married to Essie Goldstein. He died on September 11, 1972 in Los Angeles, ...
Director | Mr. Bug Goes to Town
Dave Fleischer was born on July 14, 1894 in New York City, New York, USA as David Fleischer. He is known for his work on Mr. Bug Goes to Town (1941), In the Good Old Summer Time (1926) and Dancing on the Moon (1935). He was married to Mae Schwartz and Ida Mae Sharnow. He died on June 25, 1979 in ...
10. Norman McLaren
Producer | Neighbours
Norman McClaren is one of the most awarded filmmakers in the history of Canadian cinema, and a pioneer in both animation and filmmaking. Born in Scotland, he entered the Glasgow School of Fine Arts in 1932 to study set design. His early experiments in animation included actually scratching and ...
12. Jan Svankmajer
Director | Otesánek
After studying at the Institute of Industrial Arts and the Marionette Faculty of the Prague Academy of Fine Arts in the 1950s, Jan Svankmajer started working as a theatre director, chiefly in association with the Theatre of Masks and the Black Theatre. He first experimented with film-making after ...
13. Paul Grimault
Director | La bergère et le ramoneur
Paul Grimault was born on March 23, 1905 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine, France as Paul Victor Grimault. He was a director and writer, known for The Curious Adventures of Mr. Wonderbird (1952), The King and the Mockingbird (1980) and The Little Soldier (1948). He died on March 29, 1994 in Le ...
15. Osamu Tezuka
Writer | Tenrankai no e
Tezuka wrote/animated the Japanese TV Series "Jangaru Taitei" that was turned into a USA syndicated series in the 60s called "Kimba The White Lion". This story was then plagiarized by The Disney Company in 1994 and became "The Lion King", the most profitable film of all time, and Tezuka has never ...
18. Yûgo Serikawa
Director | Saibôgu 009
After working as an assistant director in live-action films in Shin-Toho Film Company, he joined Toei Doga Company in 1961. Although his credited first film as co-director was "Anju And Zushiomaru", he only took on the role of assistant director in this film, which was actually entirely directed by...
20. Mamoru Oshii
Director | Innocence
Mamoru Oshii is a Japanese filmmaker, television director and screenwriter. Famous for his philosophy-oriented storytelling, Oshii has directed a number of popular anime, including Urusei Yatsura (1981-1984), Angel's Egg (1985), Patlabor: The Movie (1989), Ghost in the Shell (1995), and Ghost in ...
21. Tex Avery
Director | A Wild Hare
Tex Avery was a descendant of Judge Roy Bean and Daniel Boone, but all his grandma ever told him about it was "Don't ever mention you are kin to Roy Bean. He's a no good skunk!!" After graduating from North Dallas High School in 1927, Avery moved to Southern California in 1929 and got a job in the ...
22. John Lasseter
Writer | Toy Story 2
Although born in Hollywood John and his twin sister, Johanna were raised in Wittier near Los Angeles. His parents were Jewell Mae (Risley), an art teacher, and Paul Eual Lasseter, a parts manager at a Chevrolet dealership. His mother's profession contributed to his interest in animation and ...
24. Stephen Quay
Director | The PianoTuner of EarthQuakes
The identical twin Brothers Quay (the other being Timothy) were born near Philadelphia in a town with a large European immigrant population, which fuelled their interest in European (especially Eastern European) culture. They moved to London in the late 1960s to study at the Royal College of Art ...
25. Timothy Quay
Director | The PianoTuner of EarthQuakes
The identical twin Brothers Quay (the other being Stephen) were born near Philadelphia in a town with a large European immigrant population, which fuelled their interest in European (especially Eastern European) culture. They moved to London in the late 1960s to study at the Royal College of Art ...
26. Lev Atamanov
Director | Snezhnaya koroleva
Lev Atamanov is Soviet Russian animated film director. People's Artist of the Russian Federation (1978). Atamanov was born in 1905 in Moscow, in Armenian family. In 1926 he graduated from the First State Film School (workshop of Lev Kuleshov) with a film director diploma. From 1928 he worked as an ...
27. Aleksandr Petrov
Director | Rusalka
He studied art at VGIK (state institute of cinema and TV). He was a disciple of Yuri Norstein at the Advanced School for screenwriters and directors (Moscow).
After making his first films in Russia, in Canada he adapted the novel The Old Man and the Sea (1999), resulting in a 20-minute animated ...
28. Tim Burton
Producer | Edward Scissorhands
Timothy Walter Burton was born in Burbank, California, to Jean Rae (Erickson), who owned a cat-themed gift shop, and William Reed Burton, who worked for the Burbank Park and Recreation Department. He spent most of his childhood as a recluse, drawing cartoons, and watching old movies (he was ...
32. Karel Zeman
Writer | Baron Prásil
Karel Zeman was born on November 3, 1910 in Ostromer u Nové Paky, Bohemia, Austria-Hungary. He was a writer and director, known for The Outrageous Baron Munchausen (1962), Bláznova kronika (1964) and The Deadly Invention (1958). He died on April 5, 1989 in Prague, Czech Republic.
33. Taiji Yabushita
Director | Hakuja den
Along with Kenzô Masaoka and Sanae Yamamoto, Yabushita (at the beginning of his career credited as "Yasushi Yabushita") was a pioneer of Japanese animation. After World War II, he changed his work from animator and inbetweener to producer and director. In 1949, he co-directed his most famous short ...
34. Roman Kachanov
Director | Stories from My Childhood
Roman Kachanov was born on February 25, 1921 in Smolensk, Smolensk uyezd, Smolensk Governorate, RSFSR as Roman Abelevich Kachanov. He was a director and writer, known for Stories from My Childhood (1998), The Mystery of the Third Planet (1981) and Starik i zhuravl (1958). He died on March 4, 1993 ...
35. Yoshiyuki Tomino
Yoshiyuki Tomino was born on November 5, 1941 in Odawara, Kanagawa, Japan. He is a writer and director, known for Mobile Suit Z Gundam: A New Translation - Heirs to the Stars (2004), Mobile Suit Z Gundam 2: A New Translation - Lovers (2005) and Gundam Reconguista in G (2014).
37. Katsuhiro Ôtomo
Writer | Akira
Katsuhiro Ôtomo is a Japanese manga artist, screenwriter and film director. He is best known as the creator of the manga Akira and its animated film adaptation.
In 1979, after writing multiple short-stories for the magazine Action, Otomo created his first science-fiction work, titled Fireball. ...
38. William Hanna
Producer | ABC Afterschool Specials
William Hanna was born on July 14, 1910 in Melrose, New Mexico, USA as William Denby Hanna. He was a producer and director, known for ABC Afterschool Specials (1972), The Flintstones (1994) and Scooby-Doo (2002). He was married to Violet Blanch Wogatzke. He died on March 22, 2001 in North Hollywood...
39. Joseph Barbera
Producer | ABC Afterschool Specials
Joseph Barbera was born on March 24, 1911 in Little Italy, Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA as Joseph Roland Barbera. He was a producer and director, known for ABC Afterschool Specials (1972), Scooby-Doo (2002) and Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004). He was married to Sheila Holden and ...
Director | Zhitel nyeobitayemovo ostrova
Although his name nowadays means very little except to animation buffs (and even they have to be pretty well informed), Wladyslaw Starewicz ranks alongside Walt Disney, as one of the great animation pioneers, and his career started nearly a decade before Disney's. He became an animator by accident ...
43. Brad Bird
Writer | The Incredibles
Phillip Bradley "Brad" Bird is an American director, screenwriter, animator, producer and occasional voice actor, known for both animated and live-action films. Bird was born in Kalispell, Montana, the youngest of four children of Marjorie A. (née Cross) and Philip Cullen Bird. His father worked in...
44. Chuck Jones
Actor | Gremlins
Starting as a cel washer, Chuck Jones worked his way up to animator and then director at the animation division of Warner Bros. He is famous for creating such beloved cartoon characters as Wile E. Coyote, Henery Hawk, Pepé Le Pew, Marvin the Martian, Ralph Wolf, Road Runner, Sam Sheepdog, Sniffles,...
47. Eduard Nazarov
Writer | Zhil-byl pyos
Eduard Nazarov was born on November 23, 1941 in Moscow, RSFSR, USSR as Eduard Vasilevich Nazarov. He is known for his work on Once Upon a Time there Lived a Dog (1982), Travels of an Ant (1983) and Gora samotsvetov (2005). He died on September 11, 2016 in Moscow, Russia.
50. Fyodor Khitruk
Director | Ostrov
Fyodor Khitruk is Soviet and Russian animator, director, screenwriter, teacher, translator. People's Artist of the USSR (1987). Fyodor was born in 1917 in Tver, in 1924 the family moved to Moscow and in 1931 to Stuttgart, Germany where the future animator was engaged in an art and craft school. In ...
54. Gisaburô Sugii
Director | Arashi no yoru ni
He was born in Numazu City. Between 1958 and 1961 joined Toei Doga as animator. Here he became a close friend of reputed animation director Osamu Tezuka, and when Tezuka left the company to create his own, Mushi Production, he called Sugii to work with him. So Sugii joined Mushi until 1967. Here ...
56. Ryan Larkin
Animation_department | En marchant
As a teenager, Ryan Larkin studied at the Art School of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts under the tutelage of Arthur Lismer, and clearly showed sharp talent for character and figure drawing. In the early 1960s, he was hired by the National Film Board of Canada, and was immediately recognized by ...
57. Ralph Bakshi
Director | Wizards
Ralph Bakshi worked his way up from Brooklyn and became an animation legend. Born on October 29, 1938, in Haifa, Bakshi grew up in Brownsville after his family came to New York to escape World War II. Bakshi attended the Thomas Jefferson High School and was later transferred to the High School of ...
59. Ishu Patel
Animation_department | Paradise
Ishu Patel is an acclaimed Indian animation film director, producer and educator who has devoted his life to animation and photography.
Born in Gujarat (india), Patel graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Baroda, completed his graduate studies in Visual Communication at the ...
61. Lee Unkrich
Editor | Coco
Lee Unkrich is an Academy Award-winning director at Pixar Animation Studios. He most recently directed Disney.Pixar's critically-acclaimed "Coco", which received the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and Best Song.
As the director of Disney.Pixar's "Toy Story 3," Lee was also awarded an ...
62. Winsor McCay
Writer | Gertie the Dinosaur
Like many pioneers, the work of 'Winsor McCay' has been largely superseded by successors such as Walt Disney and Max Fleischer but he more than earns a place in film history for being the American cinema's first great cartoon animator. He started out as a newspaper cartoonist, achieving a national ...
66. Eiichi Yamamoto
Director | Kanashimi no beradonna
Graduated in the Kyôto Prefecture. After several years working as animator in Ryûichi Yokoyama's animation Studio Otogi, Yamamoto joined Osamu Tezuka to found Mushi Production in 1961 and since until 1973 worked as producer, supervising director or director of a dozen of animation productions from ...
69. Hiroyuki Okiura
Animation_department | Innocence
Okiura left high school at the age of 16 and entered the animation industry as a member of the studio Anime R, where he studied under Moriyasu Taniguchi and which Taniguchi superintends.He is known for his detailed effects animation in, for example, the chopper attack scene in Patlabor 2: The Movie...
70. Oskar Fischinger
Cinematographer | Frau im Mond
Although the Guggenheim Foundation specifically requested a cel animation film, Fischinger made his Bach film Motion Painting No. 1 (1947) as a documentation of the act of painting, taking a single frame each time he made a brush stroke-and the multi-layered style merely parallels the structure of ...
72. Richard Williams
Animation_department | Who Framed Roger Rabbit
Richard Williams was born on March 19, 1933 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada as Richard Edmund Williams. He is known for his work on Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), A Lecture on Man (1962) and The Thief and the Cobbler (1993). He is married to Imogen Sutton. He was previously married to Margaret French ...
74. Hiroyuki Yamaga
76. Ivan Ivanov-Vano
Director | Secha pri Kerzhentse
Ivan Ivanov-Vano was born on January 27, 1900 in Moscow, Russian Empire as Ivan Petrovich Ivanov-Vano. He was a director and writer, known for The Battle of Kerzhenets (1971), Snegurochka (1952) and The Humpbacked Horse (1975). He died on March 25, 1987 in Moscow, Russian SFSR, USSR.
77. Dusan Vukotic
Director | Gosti iz galaksije
First animator from former Yugoslavia (Montenegrin from Bosnia and Herzegovina, living and working in Croatia) to win an Oscar (and also the first foreigner to do so). One of the best animators of Zagreb Film (Croatian film-producing company from Zagreb, founded in 1953) animation style, better ...
80. Nobuhiro Aihara
Animation_department | Sayônara, ginga tetsudô Surî-Nain: Andromeda shûchakueki
81. Leiji Matsumoto
Leiji Matsumoto was born on January 25, 1938 in Fukuoka, Japan as Akira Matsumoto. He is a writer and director, known for Captain Harlock and the Queen of a Thousand Years (1985), Uchû senkan Yamato (1974) and Saraba uchû senkan Yamato: Ai no senshitachi (1978). He is married to Miyako ...
82. Noboru Ishiguro
Director | Chôjikû Yôsai Macross: Ai Oboeteimasuka
Noboru Ishiguro was born on August 24, 1938 in Tokyo, Japan. He is known for his work on Super Space Fortress Macross (1984), Uchû senkan Yamato (1974) and Space Cruiser Yamato 2 (1978). He died on March 20, 2012 in Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Japan.
85. Will Vinton
Producer | Claymation Easter
Will Vinton was born on November 17, 1947 in McMinnville, Oregon, USA as William Gale Vinton. He was a producer and director, known for Claymation Easter (1992), Martin the Cobbler (1977) and Moonwalker (1988). He was married to Gillian Allred and Susan Shadburne. He died on October 4, 2018 in ...
86. Keiichi Hara
Director | Kappa no ku to natsu yasumi
Born in Tatebayashi city. After working in a PR firm, joined Shin'Ei Animation Company in 1982. After doing animation tasks for the TV series "Doraemon" (created by Fujiko-Fujio), he was promoted to chief director with others TV series of the same creators, "ESPer Mami" (1987-88) and "21-Emon" (...
87. Charles Eames
Charles Eames was born on June 17, 1907 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA as Charles Ormond Eames Jr. He was a director and writer, known for 'Where Did You Go?' 'Out.' 'What Did You Do?' 'Nothing.' (1960), The Lick Observatory (1968) and Diatoms (1969). He was married to Ray Eames and Catherine Woermann...
88. Ray Eames
Ray Eames was born on December 15, 1912 in Sacramento, California, USA as Ray-Bernice Alexandra Kaiser. She was a director and producer, known for 'Where Did You Go?' 'Out.' 'What Did You Do?' 'Nothing.' (1960), Decorator Crab (1969) and The Lick Observatory (1968). She was married to Charles Eames...
90. Jonas Odell
Director | Tussilago
Jonas Odell specializes in making films mixing live action and various mixed media animation techniques. He has also scripted, co-scripted and written the music to a number of productions. In some of his more recent short films he has explored a mix of documentary, staged and animated elements.
94. John Hubley
Director | A Doonesbury Special
John Hubley was born on May 21, 1914 in Marinette, Wisconsin, USA. He is known for his work on A Doonesbury Special (1977), Of Stars and Men (1962) and A Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass Double Feature (1966). He was married to Faith Hubley and Claudia Ross. He died on February 21, 1977 in New ...
95. Ray Harryhausen
Visual_effects | Clash of the Titans
When it comes to motion picture special effects, there is only one name that personifies movie magic--Ray Harryhausen. From his debut films with George Pal to his final film, Harryhausen imbued magic and visual strength to motion picture special effects as no other technician has, before or since.
97. Faith Hubley
Animation_department | Yes We Can
Faith Hubley (née Faith Elliott) was born in 1924 in the Hell's Kitchen area of Manhattan. She left home without completing high school to go to Hollywood to pursue a career in filmmaking. She began as a messenger at Columbia Studios, but eventually worked as a sound-effects and music editor. ...
Director | The Orchestra
Zbigniew Rybczynski (Rib-chin-ski) was born on January 27, 1949, in Lodz, Poland, but was raised in Warsaw, where he attended an arts high school and was trained as a painter. He went on to study cinematography at the world-renowned Lodz Film School, where he began experimenting with the film ...
99. Terry Gilliam
Writer | Brazil
Terry Gilliam was born near Medicine Lake, Minnesota. When he was 12 his family moved to Los Angeles where he became a fan of MAD magazine. In his early twenties he was often stopped by the police who suspected him of being a drug addict and Gilliam had to explain that he worked in advertising. In ...