"There were no female animators at Disney's in the Golden Age (except for Retta Scott)."
I've heard this statement from men and women --many of whom should know better.
"We had a lot of female assistants," one younger animator said to me once. The thing is that if you were assisting at Disney's in the Golden Age, you were also animating. If your animator allowed you to accumulate 70 feet of footage on approved scenes, you would be promoted to animator...and how easy it was, under this system, to not count scenes as 'animation' so that the promotion would forever be in the future.
I hope to have some information on some of the unknown women of The Golden Age At Disney Animation in future posts.
Meanwhile, I can write about a few working today whom I know personally.
Ellen Woodbury (supervising animator, ZaZu in THE LION KING, Pegasus in HERCULES) is currently a sculptor in Loveland, Colorado. Ellen's stonework reflects her animation training--some of them really do seem to be alive! Her work can be viewed at the Creative Talent Network. While you are at it, check out the work of the many other talented women and men there.
Carole Holliday was an animator on THE GOOFY MOVIE while I was a supervisor in France. I told my superiors that Carole's animation was good, and that her storyboards were even better. This might have influenced their putting Carole into the Story department after GOOFY MOVIE wrapped. She was, I believe, the first African American woman to work there.
Carole has just informed me that she has added another string to her bow; she has produced a short live action film with her own production company (Crowded Metro Films)
The film, WITT'S DAUGHTER is a lovely looking and beautifully photographed little film. I look forward to seeing the entire film and hearing how it does on the festival circuit.