Saturday, November 30, 2013

Women in Animation

What Walt Disney said shortly before the 1941 strike:

“If a woman can do the work as well, she is worth as much as a man,” Disney said, according to studio archives. “The girl artists have the right to expect the same chances for advancement as men, and I honestly believe they may eventually contribute something to this business that men never would or could.” ...

Despite the sentiment, there weren't a lot of women in creative positions during Walt's lifetime.

Hell, there weren't a lot of women in creative positions in the '79s or '80s. Or now, for that matter. We're finally getting more women in higher creative positions. The trend was started by Jeffrey Katzenberg when he was at Disney; of late Walt Disney Animation Studios has been following along.

Quite a few women in administration positions, but they make up 17% of Animation Guild membership. This ins contrast to Cal Arts, where they occupy 50% of the school's animation seats.


Elana Pritchard said...

In 1938 Disney had a policy that did not allow women to do any of the creative work involved, and limited them to the ink and paint dept.

I believe at the time of that quote women were still allowed very few creative jobs at Disney, and not allowed to be animators at all.

Steve Hulett said...

We've put up a few of the same letters here.

This was the second letter of this type that we posted. You will note some of the testy responses in comments. (Lots of comments in those days, as it was easy to be anonymous.)

Anonymous said...

I recently interview Margaret Dean on this issue (on my blog: and her advice to women is to "not settle to be the housekeepers or mothers of animation but to take up the creative reins."

I'm glad that women like Margaret are using their success in the industry to pave the way for more women in animation.

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