Animation History

Deja View

Run by legendary Disney animator Andreas Deja, this site is still being updated with treasures he shares from his 30 years at the studio, including frames of animation (if you scroll fast enough they move!) as well as a lot of production art, behind the scenes photos, and promotional images. It’s amazing to see someone so steeped in the industry still have such a seemingly strong connection and love for its history. Deja has also been working on a personal short for a long time, so occasional updates on that are always a welcomed sight.

The Blackwing Diaries

I first stumbled on Jenny Lerew’s blog when I was trying to learn what kind of pencils Disney animators used. This was a very, very long time ago–Blackwings had ceased being made and I was sad I may never get to draw with one (but don’t worry, they’re back!). Lerew has a background in storyboarding on features, as well as writing “The Art of Brave,” so she is basically who I want to be when I grow up. The site is an amazing collection of photos and artifacts graciously shared, along with commentary from Lerew, who (like Deja) clearly hasn’t lost her appreciation for the history of the medium.

Mindy Johnson Creative

Mindy Johnson is an American animation historian. Her latest text is Ink and Paint: The Women of Walt Disney’s Animation, and it is one of the best animation history books I’ve ever read. I had the fortune of getting to meet her when she gave a wonderful presentation of her book at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, and again at 2019’s San Diego Comic Con where she was a panelist and signing books. Her blog is a fun mix of stuff, largely propelled by her long career in animation (at Disney specifically) as well as her groundbreaking research on women in animation.

Cartoon Research

Run by American animation historian Jerry Beck, I enjoy checking out this site almost daily because you never know what topics or historians are going to be featured. It's not a news site, so much as an 'interesting tidbit of the day' site. I do have to warn you to avoid the Facebook group (which bears the same name) at all costs, as it's honestly pretty toxic. But I really enjoy whatever interesting insights come up on the main site.