With the rising success of cartoons like Adventure Time and the emergence of anime as a respectable medium of animation, everyone wants to be an animator. To do that, young animators must acquire an animation degree. Seth MacFarlane and Pendelton Ward did just that on the way to their successful shows and many of DreamWorks’s famed animators pass through USC’s halls to get there.
Following is the line of lineage for both MacFarlane and Ward with a look into the Jeffrey Katzenberg Center at USC.
Seth MacFarlane will forever be known as the man who brought the world Family Guy. The multi-tooled voice actor, animator, director has been criticized for overly crude material, but his success is not to be questioned. So how did the crude, yet elegant, voice of MacFarlane get formed? Where did he learn his craft? The Rhode Island School of Design is where MacFarlane received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and where he studied animation.
Founded in 1877, the Rhode Island School of Design has specialized in the fine arts for years. Annually ranking in the U.S. News rankings as one of the best fine arts schools in the nation, it is easy to see how MacFarlane perfected his craft. While a little more specialized, the college consistently produces solid animation students.
Pendelton Ward is best known for his explosive Cartoon Network hit, Adventure Time. The show features some of the most interesting character designs on television and is a hit amongst both children and adults. Ward was a graduate of the Calfornia Institute of the Arts (CalArts) Animation Program, which turned out to be a major factor in his success.
CalArts was where he befriended J.G. Quintel (another star animator for Cartoon Network) and it was where Eric Homan, vice-president of animation company Frederator Studios, saw Ward’s work and hired him.
The California Institute of the Arts was founded in 1961 by Walt Disney himself. His vision was to create a “CalTech” for the arts and his school has created some of the most talented artists of our time. Tim Burton (Nightmare Before Christmas), Rich Moore (Wreck-It-Ralph), and John Lasseter (Chief Creative Officer of Pixar) are all graduates of the CalArts program. What more is there to be said?
Jeffrey Katzenberg Center
Jeffrey Katzenberg is the CEO of one of the biggest animation studios that continues to compete for the top spot, Dreamworks Studios. Dreamworks Studios is responsible for films like Kung Fu Panda, Shrek, and How to Train Your Dragon. Katzenberg is a veteran of the animated film industry and is one of the most influential names in said industry, so when an entire building at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts is named after him, you know it’s big news for animation majors.
The Jeffrey Katzenberg Center for Animation represents another step in the growing arts programs at USC. Classes dedicated to both 2D and 3D animation are housed within the building that Katzenberg hopes produces a new flock of animation students he can hire at Dreamworks Studios.
Any student looking for an animation degree can look up to these great icons and follow in their footsteps by attending an animation college.
Get information on animation degrees using the form on this page. School representatives will guide you through the process and answer any questions you may have about the various programs that are available to help you earn your animation degree.
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