YouTube Recommendations

Some of my favorite channels to learn about narrative, film conventions, and more.

Lindsay Ellis

Forty+ minute deep dives, some about Disney films. Also a great film theory series using the Michael Bay Transformers series. Every video (even the Bright one) is worth watching.

Every Frame a Painting

The definition of video essays and my absolute favorite YouTube channel. Years later I'm still sad they ended. There're 3 fantastic animation vids; everything's must-watch.

Lessons from the Screenplay

While each video offers a deeper look at a popular film, it also sheds light on the narrative devices in each film. A great way to learn core concepts in storytelling, screenwriting, and world-building.

Jenny Nicholson

Her "script doctor" videos are understated but so, so insightful. I especially appreciate how much she clearly loves so much of what she talks about, but still critiques it and wants better.

Surviving Animation

Generous information from a 30+ year industry veteran. Eric Calderon offers insights into development and pitching at the studio level.


Princess Weekes's videos often explore representation in popular media. She's unafraid to call out issues she has with shows or character arcs, and is able to articulate her feelings in constructive, educational ways.


Tariq's videos often explore Black representation in animation, but he also does general deep dives into older and popular animated shows and films. His videos range from 4 minutes to an hour, to multi-video series.

Jean-Denis Haas

Fantastic character animation critiques and breakdowns. He also has segments where he highlights some popular work on twitter. As an artist at ILM and teacher at Animation Mentor, he knows his stuff.

Yhara zayd

Very unique taste, tone, insight, and curation of subjects. She tends to focus on films aimed more at girls and women, but regardless of subject you'll be sure to learn from her.


Great if you're a theme park history nerd like me, particularly Disney ones. Yesterworld and Fastpass Facts are two other Disney-centric theme park channels I recommend.


Very quirky presentation and tone, but great insight from someone who used to be a narrative designer on AAA video games. Their older work is worth diving into.

Royal Ocean Film Society

Varying topics but always enjoyable. Great animation-related essays and fun super-cuts. They have a particularly fun multi-video series about UPA that's worth a watch too!