A Conversation with Animation Luminaries

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A Conversation with Animation Luminaries

Join us for a unique event featuring Willie Ito, Floyd Norman, Jane Baer and Enid Denbo-Wizig, followed by an industry mixer.

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The Colony Theatre Company 555 North 3rd Street Burbank, CA 91502

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About this event

From the earliest explorations of animated movement, a wide array of pioneering talent—women, Asian, African American, Latina, LGBTQ+—have played a vital part in transforming a cinematic novelty into a powerhouse industry. The event, moderated by author and Academy scholar Mindy Johnson, will talk with animation luminaries who each have uniquely advanced diversity within the animation industry and contemplate new solutions moving forward.

Following the conversation, we will host a reception and industry mixer with refreshments. Cash bar only.

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Jane Baer began her animation career in 1955, working alongside the “Nine Old Men” of Walt Disney Studios. She continued to work as an animator, storyboard artist, layout artist, writer, director and producer before co-founding Baer Animation, which created the iconic Toontown sequences for the landmark film, Who Framed Roger Rabbit. She is a founding member of Women in Animation.

Floyd Norman has spent more than six decades working in animation, beginning in 1956 at Walt Disney Studios. He was one of the studio’s first African-American animators and has been inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame. Recognized as a Disney Legend, he is a recipient of the Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Cartoonists Society.

Willie Ito joined Walt Disney Studios in 1954 as an assistant to animation legend Iwao Takamoto. Following a stint with Chuck Jones at Warner Bros., he arrived at Hanna-Barbera, where he worked on layouts and backgrounds for The Flintstones and The Yogi Bear Show, as well as designing title characters for other popular programs.

Enid Denbo-Wizig lost her hearing at 6 months; she became a pioneer in mainstream education for deaf students. As a young woman, her artistic talents brought Enid into the animation industry and once again, her pioneering spirit paved the way as she became one of the early women at Schlesinger Studios who transitioned from Ink & Paint into animation.

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