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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 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 is a professional singer by trade and studied studio engineering. She 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.

Follow her music and adventures by checking out her website for the most up-to-date info on upcoming shows and music videos! She can also be found on YouTube,  Twitter,  &  Instagram.

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 a rigger-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.

Copy Editors

Hannah Wilkes: Disneyland Lover. Animation Addict. Believes in the Plausible Impossible.

hannah-wilkes-rotoscopers-teamHannah, an animation addict currently living in Southern California, works in production in the animation industry. When she’s not working, she likes to spend her time watching movies with friends, listening to podcasts, and going to Disneyland.

Hannah has loved the medium of animation her entire life and is always excited to learn about new projects in development and production. Some of her favorite animated movies are Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, and Frozen. Some of her favorite animated short films include The Dam Keeper, Lava, Paperman, Prologue, Piper, Duet, The Blue Umbrella, and Inner Workings.

You can find her on Instagram and Pinterest (where she spends way too much time).

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/

Kajsa Rain Forden

Kajsa-Forden-Rotoscopers-editorKajsa is a writer from San Francisco, now living in sunny LA. She spends most of her time writing, reading, and watching classic movies. After earning a BA in English from UC Santa Barbara, Kajsa has worked in social media and content management but her favorite work is writing & editing for Rotoscopers.

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 stop-motion.

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.

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.

News Writers

Brandon Smith

brandon-smith-rotoscopers-writerLover 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.

Max den Hartog

Max is a student and artist from The Netherlands. He currently studies illustration and interns at an animation studio in The Netherlands. In his spare time he enjoys to explore the world of art, film, music, illustration and a wide range of animation.


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


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.

Gary Wright: Dreamer. Magizoologist. Literature Nerd.

Gary 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, much to the chagrin of those around him.

Some of Gary’s favorite animated films are Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Incredibles, Wreck-It Ralph and Frozen. Aside from animation, he is obsessed with the Harry Potter books and films, YA novels and literary classics.

When he’s not catching Pokémon out in the wild, he enjoys reading, drawing, visiting new places and searching for our place in the universe. Literally.

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

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.

Jonathan North


Jonathan North is writer, photographer, video editor, and animation fan from Iowa. A Disney fan since his earliest memory, Jonathan grew up on Fantasia, Bambi, Aladdin, Lilo and Stitch, Tarzan, and anything else he could find at the library. These days he’s a fan of so many different things, Star Wars, DC & Marvel, Studio Ghibli, Doctor Who, and more, but Disney (and of course Pixar) will always be first in his heart. Currently, his favorite animated films are Fantasia, Wall-E, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, and Rango; but he also loves Jurassic Park, all the Muppet films, Speed Racer, and Signs. Yes, the much maligned M. Night Shyamalan film, that Signs.

Jonathan is also a huge fan of animation on television, and most of his reviews for the Rotoscopers revolve around television animation. He grew up watching Looney Tunes, Batman (and Superman) the Animated Series, Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, and so many others. Today he is a huge fan of Gravity Falls, Steven Universe, Adventure Time, and Star Wars Rebels, just to name a few.

Jonathan studied advertising and design at Iowa State University, and also has degrees in multimedia and art. You can find a lot of his work on his blog, and in addition to his work for the Rotoscopers, he also runs a YouTube channel, where he reviews all manner things, including (almost) every version ever of Alice in Wonderland. His favorites are the 1999 version starring Tina Majorino, and of course, the 1951 Disney version. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr, @jonjnorth.

Mark Brown: Muslim. Animation Addict. Disney Fanatic.


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.

Rachel Wagner

Rachel loves all things animation and is excited to be a member ofotoNation. She grew up with mainstream classics like The Little Mermaid and The Simpsons but also loves indie and anime fare like Song of the Sea and Your Name. Most important to her is discussing all kinds of film and TV shows with her friends and all of you.

Follow Rachel on Twitter and on her blog.


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.

Angelo Thomas

Angelo Thomas is a writer, filmmaker, graphic designer, and pop culture enthusiast. In addition to writing for Rotoscopers, he writes for The Royal Blog of Oz and is the co-host and producer of the Extra Butter podcast.

Angelo is currently studying Film & Video at the Columbus College of Art & Design (where he also works as a Marketing & Communications assistant) in Columbus, Ohio, but was raised in Louisville, Kentucky and born in Guadalajara, Mexico. His favorite film of all time is The Wizard of Oz, which has influenced much of his personal and professional work. Angelo has been professionally involved in six feature films, several of which were Oz-inspired, in various capacities, from screenwriting to internet marketing. In terms of his love for animation, Tangled and Frozen aren’t just some of the best animated films in his opinion — they’re some of the best films ever made, and he’s always prepared to give and defend his opinions when it comes to film and animation! Angelo actively uses social media to engage in pop culture and to be as “in the know” as possible on everything happening in film, animation, and anything and everything Disney. He can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr @imangelothomas.

Kohya Lu

At his core, Kohya is a  diehard Disney fan first when it comes to animation, but recognizes that there are a lot of great films and shows out there showcasing the best in animation talent. Growing up in Japan as a kid, he’s been very fortunate to have a unique worldview and grew up on such animated classics like Doraemon and read countless manga series (Detective Conan/Case Closed, Slam Dunk, and, of course, Dragon Ball to name a few) right along with comic books (all hail X-Men; Age of Apocalypse anyone?). He is a self-proclaimed pop culture geek and lover of all things movies/TV/music/etc. and having the opportunity to get to write ties in two things that he is very passionate about and he is beyond excited to join the Rotoscopers team!

Animation can take you away to worlds unknown, into the lives of characters minds, and most importantly tug at your heartstrings in a way that you wouldn’t have otherwise thought possible. In some ways a lot of the films and shows out there offer more for adults than its intended audience and he is looking forward to being able  to look at both sides of the coin when writing on different pieces.
In his spare time he is always up for trying new places to eat, catching the next Netflix TV show to binge, reading, and planning his next trip to NYC. 2017 highlights thus far include seeing Hamiltonmeeting various celebrities by chance in New York, seeing his favorite band in concert for the first time, and a recent trip back home to Japan (yes, there was much time devoted to Disney there).

Hannah Ortega

A long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away Hannah found Star Wars, Disney, and Marvel, and a fangirl force was awakened inside her. Hannah’s favorite animated movies are Beauty and the Beast and Pocahontasbut her all time favorite is Aladdinshe wore a Jasmine costume everywhere when she was little. She didn’t grow out of her costume phase, however, as she now has a Rey costume that she wears to cons in her area. Hannah is also a Disney World veteran and has gone every year since she was five. If she could live in Cinderella’s Castle, she would.
When Hannah isn’t fangirling, she can be found writing. Writing is her biggest passion, and she is an aspiring author and journalist. She often finds inspiration for her work in animated movies’ beautiful storytelling. Hannah is a Christian, a horseback rider, and a cross country runner.

Karl Smith

Deep down in New Zealand, Karl “Karlamon” Smith is a Kiwi who is passionate in animation, seeing it as an artistic medium that expresses vast creativity and brings unique characters and worlds to life. Whenever an animation-related fact pops up, it will more than likely be cemented in his brain for a long time. Some of his favourite animated movies include ZootopiaBaltoBolt, Over the HedgeThe Fox and the Hound, the How to Train Your Dragon series, The Iron Giant, and The Prince of Egypt.

Prior to contributing to Rotoscopers, Karl has served as a bureaucrat on Ice Age Wiki, and a moderator/site builder/news reporter on Animation Source. Karl is also a Computer Science graduate who is now studying Digital Design in university. That, and with his additional fascination in aviation, he hopes someday to be both an animator and a pilot (if that is even possible).



Alissa Roy: Reader. Amateur Coffee Enthusiast. Klutz.


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.


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.

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.


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.

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.


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.


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

The Animation Addicts Podcast opening and closing theme songs, “RotoRag” and “Ragimation”, were both written and produced but the very talented Paul Koch. Check out his IMDB to see what else he’s done! If you are interested in hiring Paul for his musical talents, send him an email. Find out how to get these songs as your ringtone here!

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

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