The Greatest Animation Filmmakers of All Time

Even while every animated film requires a group of skilled artists and technicians, the director typically has the most impact on the final product. Many directors, including John Lasseter, of animated films, got their start as animators before being promoted to their current positions.

Animation directors do many different things, and their influence can be seen in every part of their movies. Because of this, directors are usually the most well-known and influential animators. Here you will find some of the top animators in cinema history:

John Lasseter

John Alan Lasseter is an American filmmaker who has worked as a producer, screenwriter, animator, and voice actor. He is currently the head of animation at Skydance Animation. Previously, he served as the chief creative officer of Pixar Animation Studios, Walt Disney Animation Studios, and Disneytoon Studios, in addition to being Walt Disney Imagineering’s Principal Creative Advisor.

He became an animator with The Walt Disney Company. He then worked at Lucasfilm, pioneering CGI animation. After Lucasfilm became Pixar in 1986, John Lasseter directed Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2, Cars, “Toy Story 3,” and “Cars 2” as executive producer. He oversaw all Pixar films and other initiatives.

He has won two Academy Awards for Tin Toy, an animated short film, and a Special Achievement Award for Toy Story. Lasseter was presented with the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 66th Venice International Film Festival in 2009. Other awards that John Lasseter has received include an honorary degree from the American Film Institute, the 2004 Outstanding Contribution to Cinematic Imagery award from the Art Directors Guild, and the 2008 Winsor McCay Award from ASIFA-Hollywood for career achievement and contribution to the art of animation.

Rich Moore

Rich Moore was born in Oxnard, California, in 1963. Moore started working for animation legend Ralph Bakshi after earning his degree. He was responsible for scripting all episodes of “Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures” (CBS, 1987-1988). Moore directed his debut episode of “The Simpsons” (Fox, 1989-), and throughout the show’s first five seasons, he went on to direct a total of 16 further episodes.

In addition to being nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, Wreck-It Ralph, a film he directed, won five Annie Awards, including Best Animated Feature and Best Director for Moore.

Moore’s next animated film was Zootopia. On March 4, 2016, the film grossed $1.023 billion worldwide. It won Best Animated Feature. Moore and Johnston directed Ralph Breaks the Internet following Zootopia. It grossed $529.3 million worldwide. Academy, Annie, and Golden Globe Awards nominated it for Best Animated Feature.

Brad Bird

American film director, animator, screenwriter, producer, and voice actor Phillip Bradley Bird was born on September 24, 1957. His career spans four decades and includes both animated and live-action work.

Bird’s early career was spent as an animator at Disney, where he contributed to movies such as “The Fox and the Hound” and “The Black Cauldron,” before he moved on to Pixar. Following the success he experienced in his early years, he made his debut as a filmmaker with the film The Iron Giant.

Pixar’s The Incredibles, The Incredibles 2, and Ratatouille were all written and directed by him and produced under John Lasseter’s watchful supervision. Although he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Screenplay for both The Incredibles and Ratatouille, the film that gained him the most recognition was The Incredibles 2, which grossed more money than any other animated film in history. In “The Incredibles,” Brad Bird also provides the voice of “Edna Mode,” and in “Ratatouille,” he voices “Ambrister Minion.”


The history of animation goes back to the late 1800s. Today’s animation industry is larger than ever, with more variety and volume than you can wrap your head around. Modern animated films are the medium of choice for the imaginative storytellers of Skydance Animation, who create both vibrant and unique films.