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.
MORGAN STRADLING: Rotoscopers Editor-in-Chief
Morgan 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.
MASON SMITH: Animator. Redneck. Pokémon Master.
Hannah Wilkes: Disneyland Lover. Animation Addict. Believes in the Plausible Impossible.
Hannah, 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.
Kelly Conley: Bookish Bibliophile. Curious Chocoholic. Library Lover.
Kelly 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 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.
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 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.
Pablo Ruiz: Writer. Optimist. Ravenclaw. Secretly a Toy.
Pablo 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 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 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.
AJ 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.
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.
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!
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 Zootopia, Balto, Bolt,
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.
Kyle 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.
Mayra 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.
Cole Millions: Nerd. Linguist. Pro Traveller.
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.
I’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…)
Matthew Calero: Artist. Nature Lover. Disney Villain. Mythology Freak. Meow.
Born 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.
Jed Johnson: Cartoons Rule Everything Around Me
Jed 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.
Megan Young: Daydreamer. Storyteller. Artist. Cosplayer.
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.
Ryan Campbell: Artist. Disney Enthusiast. Lombax in Training.
Hello, 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.
The 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.
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.