Esteemed Disney Animators/Directors Brenda Chapman & Kevin Lima visit VFS

By VFS, on March 6, 2024

One of the many perks of being a Vancouver Film School student is the regular guest lectures they receive from creative industry professionals. Not only is having guest speakers who have worked on big-name Hollywood productions unbelievably cool, but it allows our students to learn firsthand what it’s like working in the industry and discover the different avenues they can pursue after graduation.

SPARK Animation Festival Producer and VFS Instructor Keith Blackmore quickly became everyone’s favourite teacher when he surprised his students in the Animation Concept Art and Classical Animation programs with the chance to chat with one of Hollywood’s hit animated couples: Brenda Chapman and Kevin Lima. (Aspiring animators! If you’re interested in training for the booming animation, 3D, and VFX industries, learn all about VFS’s award-winning programs at our School of Animation Program Preview on March 14!)

Disney Animators/Directors Kevin Lima & Brenda Chapman added their signatures to VFS's Wall of Fame.

If you’re unfamiliar with these titans of industry, you’ll definitely recognize their films. Brenda began her career as a story artist with Disney in 1987 (a time Gen Z can only dream of) and worked on classics like The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. She became the first woman to be Head of Story for an animated feature film – everyone’s favourite, The Lion King. She later joined Pixar Animation Studios where she wrote and directed Brave, again becoming the first woman to win the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. Kevin also worked extensively with Disney as an animator and director, with directing credits on A Goofy Movie, Tarzan, Enchanted and more!

The two spent time discussing the importance of character & story in animation and then opened the floor to student questions, signed autographs, and of course, added “Goofy” signatures to VFS’s Wall of Fame.

The students found this experience invaluable, as one student said they “enjoyed hearing about their process and small anecdotes through the making of the films they worked on [and] learned how important design and personality of the characters are to the plot of the stories and how their objectives drive the storytelling. So glad we had the opportunity to ask questions and discuss various aspects of some of our favourite films.”

All of us at Vancouver Film School were enchanted to host Brenda and Kevin for an afternoon and we are extremely grateful for the advice and expertise given to our animation students!

Aspiring animators can learn about the #1 Global Animation School at VFS’ upcoming program preview.

Looking to become a fully trained animator and join a thriving $400B industry? On March 14, VFS is hosting its first School of Animation Program Preview of the year. This online event is your opportunity to discover why VFS is ranked #1 Global Animation School, gain career tips & insights from the Head of Department, and learn how you can join an alumni that’s worked on Barbie, The Last of Us, and Game of the Year-winner Baldur’s Gate 3! Register here for FREE.


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