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About the Rotoscopers

Rotoscoping is an animation technique used in all forms of animation. An animator traces over live-action footage, creating very simple and easy animation. Essentially, as animation fans, we are figurative Rotoscopers: we aren’t creating the films, but we do go over every line and detail in our discussions, news articles, podcasts and posts. Hence, the Rotoscopers!

The Rotoscopers is the name for the collective group of us animation addicts–it’s like our band name. We are obsessed with animation in all its forms, whether its 2D, CGI, stop-motion or anything else. So if you’re an animation addict like us, then you’re a Rotoscoper too!

We started a few years ago as a bunch of friends who just wanted to get together and talk about the animated films we loved. So we formed the Animation Addicts Podcast and the Rotoscopers were born. Since then, we’ve grown into a full-blown animation hub: the Internet’s #1 place for animation, news, reviews, views, and interviews–for fans, by fans.

Podcast Hosts

MORGAN STRADLING: Rotoscopers Editor-in-Chief

Morgan-stradling-rotoscopers-photoMorgan is a Arizona native and desert rat who loves the heat–she doesn’t even turn on the AC in her car in the middle of the summer! She loves big eyeliner, Lady Gaga, Survivor, and of course, animated films.

Morgan grew up watching, devouring, and quoting animated films. Her favorite animated films are Aladdin, The Iron Giant, Sleeping Beauty and Ratatouille.

She recently graduated from Arizona State University with her MBA in Marketing. If she could have one job in animation, she would want to work as the Director of Marketing, creating the promotion and buzz for the films that she loves so much.

CHELSEA ROBSON: Reader. Writer. Hiker. Yodeling Superstar.

Chelsea Robson ProfileChelsea Robson studied studio engineering and is always on the move. She speaks Portuguese fluently, loves being outdoors, hiking small mountains, riding horses, traveling, and talking about human nature.

Watching, quoting, and learning about all animated movies makes her amazingly happy but Chelsea’s favorite films are made of all things musical! One of her dreams is to voice and sing in an animated movie.

 

MASON SMITH: Animator. Redneck. Pokémon Master.

Mason is a grad student in Texas A&M’s Visualization program studying Character Technical Direction. He currently works as an animator for Triseum Games.
Ever since he first saw Toy Story in theaters, Mason has been an animation addict. Although he was raised on the Disney classics, he has adopted the philosophy of finding the good in all animation. His hobbies include drawing, watching old Godzilla movies, developing games, and making people laugh.
Follow him and his animated adventures on his blog: This Animated Life and check out his portfolio.

News Writers

Gary Wright

Rotoscopers-Gary-Wright-About-Me-PicGary has been watching animated movies all his life. In fact, the first movie he ever saw was Aladdin, when he was a year old. He immediately learned “A Whole New World” and would sing it everywhere he went. He still breaks into that song at random moments.

Some of Gary’s favorite animated films are Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Incredibles, Wreck-It Ralph and Frozen. “Animated movies make you think differently. They take you to worlds beyond your imagination and fill you up with emotion. Everything I do- be it writing, singing or drawing- is inspired by animation in some way or other.”

When he’s not playing Pokémon X (he started with Fennekin), he enjoys reading, seeing new places and going for random long walks.

Check out his blog: www.garywrightonline.blogspot.com and follow on Twitter: @IAmGaryWright

Blake Taylor: Introvert. Magic-maker. Arendelle Ice Harvester.

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Blake studies Electronic Media and Film at Appalachian State University. His love of animation stems from a love of Disney, which was sparked by a handwritten letter sent to him at age 11 from Mickey Mouse apologizing for a lost autograph book. That demonstration of commitment to excellence from an invisible platform began a fandom and career inspiration.

The Lion King, the Toy Story films, and black-and-white Mickey Mouse shorts are Blake’s favorite pieces of animation. Blake loves exploring Walt Disney World, especially with first-time guests. In his free time, he enjoys vlogging and being part of Elevation Church’s App State Extension. You can follow Blake at his Disney blog, www.BlakeOnline.com, or on Twitter @olddirtyblake.

On June 20, 2014, Blake was dubbed Official Ice Harvester of Arendelle by Queen Elsa.

Mayra Amaya

mayra-amaya-rotoscopers-writerMayra Amaya is a New York City based thespian and filmmaker. She graduated from the Herberger Institute at Arizona State University with a B.A. in Theatre. Her body of work includes a dynamic display of material and film production positions, such as being a producer/writer for the Mexican/American political drama, Sacrificios, producer for a child fantasy film El CuCuy, and assistant director for both a period piece drama Good Injuns, and a highly emotional drama, The Blue Water Tale. Mayra has a diverse work in stage having created and performed a solo political piece titled, Stat(US) about the identity crisis of a border baby struggling between two halves of two different nationalities; and directing a production of Screens, a satire based on Spanish novelas.

Though the bulk of Amaya’s work consists of live action film and theatre, she loves animation like Dobby loves socks! Amaya’s first memory of the cinema is watching Pocahontas with her family but her fondest memories are childhood summer Saturdays spent watching everything from Tom & Jerry at 5am with her dad, to watching the Disney channel and Nickelodeon cartoons.

Amaya loves Harry Potter, Cats, Studio Ghibli, chocolate, and all things animation.

Pablo Ruiz: Writer. Optimist. Ravenclaw. Secretly a Toy.

Pablo-ruiz-rotoscopers-writerPablo Ruiz is a Colombian who loves film and TV almost as much as he loves his dog. And that’s a lot. He went through the Vancouver Film School Writing for Film and TV program in order to learn screenwriting and hopes to one day write something as perfect as Toy Story 3.

He has always loved animated movies such as The Lion King, Aladdin or Mulan and he’s been offended from an early age when people assume that Anastasia is a Disney movie. He spent his childhood watching Disney movies and shows like Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?, Avatar: The Last Airbender or Dexter’s Laboratory. He still watches these shows and laughs more than with any other comedy series, except perhaps Arrested Development.

His passion for animation exploded around 2008, when he saw Wall-E and realized it had been made by the same people as Toy Story, Monsters, Inc, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles and Ratatouille (I love you, Brad Bird). He read every book about Pixar that was available and became an aspiring future Pixarian.

Alissa Roy: Reader. Amateur Coffee Enthusiast. Klutz.

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Alissa is a student at the Rochester Institute of Technology, studying Media Arts & Technology. Her hometown is in the Middle-of-Nowhere, NY, where winter is approximately 6 months of the year, and Canada is closer than NYC. She is extremely nerdy, and loves all things animated, literary, or Harry Potter related. Her older sister spawned her love of animation by dragging her downstairs at 2 a.m. every morning and making her watch various films until their parents took them back to bed. Some of her all-time favorite films include Mulan, The LEGO Movie, Up, Tangled, and The Lion King. She also collects old Peanuts comic strips, and spends her free time reading, writing for the Rotoscopers, and working a variety of jobs. You can follow Alissa on Instagram and Twitter: @ThisAlissa.

Max den HartogArtist. Fanboy. Chef at Gusteaus. 

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Max is an animation addict from The Netherlands. He grew up having an obsession with a man called Walt Disney which resulted into an obsession with everything animation related, from animated movies to animation studios to all the talented people involved in the making of these films.
Max grew up watching a lot of animated films, his favorites include Beauty and the Beast, Ratatouille and Pinocchio. Besides animation he is also obsessed with The Hunger Games series, Sherlock, Orphan Black and plenty more!
Max is currently studying visualization in Rotterdam in The Netherlands in the hope to one day work in the art department for a major animation studio. In his spare time he loves watching movies and TV series, reading, doing fun stuff with friends, he collects art books and he is currently working on his own webcomic.

Dallin Tippetts

rotoscopers-dallin-tippettsDallin is a lifelong fan of animation and Star Wars (even better when the two are combined!). He enjoys barbecues, sunshine and books about Vikings. In addition to writing for the Rotoscopers, Dallin is also the editor of the reads section at www.LumberjackLounge.com.

 

Brandon Smith

brandon-smith-rotoscopers-writerI’m 19 years old and a lover of all things nerdy (games, comics, anime/manga, etc). Despite being born in Ohio, I lived most of my life in North Carolina. I live with my family and I’m currently attending college at CCCC. I also like reading and writing and I plan to be an author someday. A long time ago, I used to be an amateur haiku poet (ah, old hobbies).

For as long as I can remember, I have always been interested in animation. When I was growing up as a child, I always tuned in to a plethora classic TV cartoons. I even had aspirations of being a cartoonist for a long time. Even as I grew up and my aspirations shifted, I still had a major love of animation. I even took an animation class in high school! It’s for these reason that I now write with great passion and curiosity about the ever-shifting landscape of animation.

MJ Edwards

MJ-Edwards-Rotoscopers-WriterI’m a writing and film graduate who loves to relax with scented candles and herbal teas. I’m a dog-walker by day and a pie-maker by night. I love movies starring Christopher Reeve and my favourite animated film is Meet the Robinsons and anything that LAIKA and Tim Burton comes out with.
I count my lucky stars that stop-motion is still around in our computer-based world and I hope traditional animation will make a grand comeback one day. I’m in awe of anything William Joyce draws and I plan to be as good an artist as Glen Keane one day if I practice for just a few more decades.

Contributors 

Mark Brown: Muslim. Animation Addict. Disney Fanatic.

Scar-Villain

Hey everyone, call me Mark! I’m currently a university student in my early 20s pursuing a degree in computer science. When I’m not supposed to be studying, I enjoy watching films, my favorite genre being animation. I’ve been an ardent fan of animation and animated films for as long as I can remember. I grew up on many of the films from the Disney Renaissance which further fueled my passion for animated films (as well as for Disney itself). And as a result of that, my favorite animated film of all time is Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

Stephen Erlandsen

stephen-erlandsenStephen was born in Phoenix, Arizona, and has been watching animated films for as long as he can remember. His family took annual trips to Disneyland, and seeing his favorite characters jump off the screen and into reality is a distinctive memory — filling up the autograph books with characters’ signatures was always the best part.
Stephen’s favorite animated films include Beauty and the Beast, Tarzan, Sleeping Beauty, and his favorite, Tangled. He loves animation because “It’s a gorgeous way to convey emotion and story.  It allows the most beautiful imagery to be put on full display that would not be possible otherwise.”
Currently, Stephen lives in California where he studies Mass Communication and Journalism at Fresno State University. He still visits Disneyland often and makes it a point to see as many animated films as he can.

Kyle Ostrum

Kyle-Ostrum-rotoscopersKyle has been a huge fan of animation since he was young. At an early age, he was fascinated with the Disney animated classics and frequently drew. Once he started seeing the behind the scenes specials of Disney films, he had dreamed of having a career in animation as a writer and director. He has a passion for Disney history and all the things that go into the making of animated features and productions. Knowing that animation was an art form from the start, he never grew out of it nor did he grow out of Disney.

He remains a big Disney geek and also has a huge admiration for Pixar whilst respecting the work of other studios. He also collects Disney videocassettes, as he presents the collection and many other things on his YouTube channel such as rambles on upcoming animation, reviews and other things. A passionate writer and animation fanatic, he’s always talking and thinking about animation, as he collects his thoughts and rambles on his blog, Kyle’s Animated World.

Whitney Grace

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Whitney Grace holds a BA in Hispanic Language and Studies as well as a Master’s in Information Sciences.  She’s professional writer, reviewer, and editor with over fifteen years experience with a specialized interested in comic books, animation, and geek culture.  Her work has appeared in Animerica  and Comic Buyer’s Guide. She hosts the brand new Toon-In Talk podcast, your rendezvous for animation interviews.  She also reviews comic books and interviews comic creators for FanboyNation.com.  Her work can also be seen on ToughPigs.com and the Rotoscopers.com  Whitney recently signed a book deal with McFarland Publishing and continues to work on her young adult graphic novel Blood, Feather, and Stone.

Alex Parker

Alex-Parker-Rotoscopers-WriterI’ve loved cartoons since I was old enough to figure out which end of the Snow White tape to put in the VCR, and I haven’t changed much! If I’m not cooped up in the Viz studio I’m probably either having an embarrassing jam session, photoshopping something, or asleep. Considering I grew up with a doctor for a dad and a doc kit with my name literally engraved on it, my life has made a bit of a 180 in the career direction, but I’m going at it at full speed and loving every minute of it! I would like to say that some God-given artistic talent carries my through my classes like nobody’s business, but I’m usually just trying to make it look like I didn’t pawn my art projects off of a four year old’s refrigerator. Computer animators and (traditional ones alike) are my type of celebrities, Toy Story still makes me cry, and I still marvel over the absolutely brilliant use of color in Pocahontas. Maturing and growing up are two completely different things, and I hope as I keep doing what I love that I can avoid the latter as much as possible. (And maybe the first one just a little…)

Megan Young: Daydreamer. Storyteller. Artist. Cosplayer.

megan-young-rotoscopers-writerMegan is obsessed with all things animation, as anyone who knows her knows. A single comment can launch her into a lengthy discourse on the emotional depth of Kung Fu Panda or the nuances of the character animation in Big Hero 6.
Megan is a senior in high school and has been homeschooled her entire life.Though she’s always had a more-than-normal passion for watching animated films, she didn’t consider anything beyond that until the fateful day that she came across the posters for Rise of the GuardiansShe went home and watched the trailer thirty times, becoming increasingly enamored with everything about it (mostly Jack Frost). She found the blogs of some of the storyboarders and concept artists who’d worked on the film, leading to an epiphany that this was what she wanted to pursue as a career. Since then, she’s been working constantly to develop her art style and learning all she can about animation. She plans to continue her studies in college soon. Follow her on her tumblr meriyo97.tumblr.com.

Cole Millions: Nerd. Linguist. Pro Traveller.

Cole-minions-rotoscopers-writerCole is a born and raised Canadian whose love of animation has taken him all around the world. Cole is a recent university graduate with degrees in both English and Linguistics, and he has recently made a move to the current capital of hand-drawn animation: Japan. Currently, Cole’s favorite animated movies are Alice in Wonderland (1951) and Kiki’s Delivery Service.Cole’s connections to animated movies started in a rather generic way: through the Disney renaissance. For more than half of his life, he maintained the opinion that they were not only the best Disney movies, but the best animated movies of all time.
However, as Cole grew older and his film tastes grew with him, a love of world cinema also developed. It was because of this attraction to world cinema that Cole eventually discovered the different animated outputs of countries like Japan, India, Korea and the United Kingdom. It was a life changing moment for him and he has never looked back.When he is not watching animation from all over the world, Cole likes to read novels and ‘Art of…’ books, so that he can sit in awe of the talent of so many great animators. Additionally, Cole likes to explore his new city of Osaka and look at Japan’s fascination with Disney animation and their often strange anime industry. Cole hopes that his recent move to Japan and his new writing position with the Rotoscopers will only make his love for animation grow larger and larger.

Alex Hatch: Idealist. History Nerd. Fangirl Extraordinaire.

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Alex is a University of Wisconsin marketing student. She is part pop culture enthusiast, part history/politics nerd. Her biggest obsessions include Harry Potter, Wes Anderson films, Downton Abbey, The Office, inspirational quotes, all of Cassandra Clare’s books, Sherlock, Taylor Swift, The Colbert Report, animated films, and pretty much every tragic historical fiction novel ever written. Her biggest struggle in life is having too many interests and too little time.

Her love affair with animation started before she can remember, and has yet to falter. Although she holds a deep respect for Pixar, Dreamworks, LAIKA, and the other major animations studios, her heart has belonged to Disney from the very beginning. She especially loves Disney’s musicals because they merge gorgeous music with stunning visual art and an always fantastic story. She has watched Aladdin and The Little Mermaid more times that many would believe to be possible in her 18 years of life.

Alex considers her curiosity and sense of wonder to be her greatest assets and hopes that they will help her achieve her dream of someday marketing in the entertainment industry.

Jed Johnson: Cartoons Rule Everything Around Me

jed-johnson-rotoscopers-writerJed is a writer and artist living in Iowa. When he isn’t living in the myriad mythical and fantastical worlds in his head he’s making comics of varying degrees of quality. Growing up on a diet of both Walt Disney and The Brothers Quay, Jed fell in love with animation at an early age. A lifelong student of storytelling and aesthetics, animation has proven an invaluable teacher that has extended it’=s reach far and wide from Pixar and Laika to Ghibli and the works of Jan Svankmmajer. He’s also been known to overanalyze the subtle subtext of Bee Movie.

When he’s not neck­deep in books and movies he’s making stories of his own. Jed’s first self ­published graphic novel, Goodbye Stranger, is due out in 2016.

Matthew Calero: Artist. Nature Lover. Disney Villain. Mythology Freak. Meow.

matthew-calero-rotoscopers-writerBorn and raised in Florida, Matthew has always been that strange little child who never stopped liking things that most people do when they get older. He has always had a love for drawing and is now enrolled in a performing arts school for the visual arts. Also having a love for story telling, he also reads a lot and is a huge mythology freak. Mix art and stories and throw a dash of music and what do you get? Animation! Always knowing that he has wanted to work in animation for as long as he can remember, he now tries to improve his skills until the day he can finally start working on animation. But until that day comes he’ll have to busy himself by talking about animated movies with whoever will listen or just relaxing by drawing, listening to music or watching an animated movie. Preferably with a cup of tea.

Jonathan North

jonathan-north-rotoscopers-writerHello! My name is Jonathan North, and I am a student at Iowa State University, studying Journalism, Design, and English. Someday I would like to work in television news and write books on the side.

I’ve been an animation fan since before I can remember. As a small child I’d watch Bambi and Fantasia at anyone’s house who owned them, since this was before my family owned a VCR. As I got older I moved to television, watching Animaniacs, Batman, Superman, Looney Tunes, Gargoyles, and so many more I can’t remember them all. If it was animated (and on network television) I watched it.

These days I don’t have all the time in the world for TV, but I still keep up with quite a few shows. My favorites are Gravity Falls and Wander Over Yonder.

AJ  Howell

aj-howell-rotoscopers-writerAJ is a southern California native who’s currently living in Utah (and missing the California sun every day!).  He found his calling in life when his mom took him to see The Lion King on a warm afternoon in 1994. He left the theater a different person, knowing what he wanted to do with the rest of his life: make movies. This goal led him to cultivate a love of films of all genres, lengths, and styles, but animation will always hold a special place in his heart as his entrance to the world of cinema.  His favorite animated films include (but certainly aren’t limited to) Frozen, Beauty and the Beast, Surf’s Up, The Bugs Bunny/RoadRunner Movie, and Toy Story 3.

Along with films, AJ also has a passionate love for pop and rock music. One of his dreams is to make a Fantasia-like animated film featuring 1950s/1960s pop music. He also loves hiking, baseball, acting, traveling, comic books, surfing, and writing.
AJ’s currently studying at Dixie State University, majoring in advertising and minoring in film. He hopes to someday become a screenwriter/director and become the first person ever to win both a Best Animated Film and a Best Picture Oscar.

Editor-in-Chief

 Morgan Stradling – Editor-in-Chief

Copy Editors

Kajsa Rain Forden

Kajsa-Forden-Rotoscopers-editorKajsa is a writer from San Francisco currently studying English at the significantly warmer Santa Barbara beach. She spends most of her time writing, reading, watching movies, and studying. Kajsa has worked in social media and content management but her favorite work was writing entertainment articles for her high school newspaper.

While Disney and Pixar will always hold a special place in Kajsa’s heart, her favorite animated films are Castle in the Sky, Anastasia, and Rise of the Guardians. And she will always have a soft spot for Claymation.

Kajsa has written two novels, is currently attempting to teach herself Italian and French, and makes a habit of watching behind-the-scenes featurettes. You can find her on Twitter @TheKajsaRain,on Tumblr at TheWeirdBrunette, or at Disneyland on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.

Kelly Conley: Bookish Bibliophile. Curious Chocoholic. Library Lover.

kelly-conley-rotoscopers-writerKelly Conley identifies herself as a lifelong bookworm, aspiring writer and editor, chronic chocoholic, and animated movie lover. She also enjoys playing volleyball with her family and friends. Kelly is currently studying Professional Writing and Information Design at Cedarville University, Ohio.

Kelly’s lifelong passion for animated films started when she was a little girl. As a former military brat, Kelly moved around the world roughly every two years. One of her few constants during that time was animated movies. The entire animation process, whether it was by pencil and paper or CGI, appeared magical to her. Even as an adult, Kelly is still entranced by the concept of making new worlds and characters through the simple means of colors, music, voices, and a good story.

Her favorite movies growing up included Disney’s famous Beauty and the Beast, Pixar’s delectable Ratatouille and The Incredibles. As Kelly’s animation ardor has matured, she has discovered wonderful gems such as From Up on Poppy Hillfrom the legendary Studio Ghibli and A Cat in Paris from a French animation studio called Folimage. On most days, family and friends can find Kelly reading the latest animated movie reviews, admiring movies’ concept and fan art, and waiting impatiently for the next exciting animated film.

Check out her portfolio: http://kellyconleyportfolio.weebly.com/

Hannah Wilkes: Disneyland Lover. English Major. Believes in the Plausible Impossible.

hannah-wilkes-rotoscopers-teamHannah is an animation-lover who is currently studying English and working as a PR and social media intern in Portland, OR. While she has lived in Oregon all of her life, she’s dreamed of moving to California and working for The Walt Disney Company for as long as she can remember. When she’s not working, she likes to spend her time watching movies with her friends or perusing her collection of art books.

Her favorite animation studios include Pixar, Disney, and LAIKA. Her favorite movies are Up, Mary Poppins, and Beauty and the Beast. Like many people, she is STILL not over Frozen!

Hannah is a huge fan of the Disney theme parks and has visited Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Tokyo Disneyland, and Disneyland Paris (Disneyland is, by far, her favorite). She loves nothing more than spending the day at Disneyland, sipping a Dole Whip Float and watching the evening fireworks. You can find her on Instagram at hannahelizabethx92.

Graphic Designers

Ryan Campbell: Artist. Disney Enthusiast. Lombax in Training.

Ryan-campbell-rotoscopers-teamHello, my name is Ryan and I’m a Graphic Designer from Ohio. To say that I’m an animation lover would be a complete understatement. Animation is my passion! My interest in drawing and animation began at a young age and continues to this day. All my life I loved cartoons and would study everything I could about the animation process. I was absolutely fascinated with it. Because of this, I grew up on a healthy diet of Saturday morning cartoons, the Disney Afternoon and Disney Features. I found myself becoming not only an animation enthusiast, but even more so, a Disney enthusiast! Those who know me will tell you that I’ve been known to get into lengthy discussions about Disney history with the random Disney Store employee.

When it comes to animated movies I love Disney and Pixar, and even though they are high on my list of favorites, I’m also a huge fan of DreamWorks and many others. Some of my favorite animated films include Beauty and the Beast, Tangled, The Incredibles, Toy Story, The Prince of Egypt, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon, and of course The Lion King.

When I’m not watching animated movies, I also enjoy gaming. Some of my favorite games include anything with Super Mario Bros or Sonic the Hedgehog in the title, and one of my all time favorite gaming franchises – Ratchet and Clank. I also enjoy listening to music – movie scores really inspire me, spending time with my family, my dog Daisy, and my wife, who thank goodness, also shares my love for Disney! Be sure to follow Ryan on his Twitter.

Logos

Animation-addicts-podcast-with-the-rotoscoprs_Album_CoverThe Animation Addicts album art was designed by the talented graphic designer, Naybeth Diaz. If you’re interested in hiring Naybeth for design work, send her an email. You can also check out some of her other work on her tumblr and flickr accounts.

Theme Songs

Our theme songs come from Chris Calabrese’s CD “Ragtime at the Magic Kingdoms.” The opening theme song is called “Castle Salute”. Our outro theme is called “Snow White Medley.” You can purchase this CD on Amazon.

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