The Animators – Survival kit -Richard Williams

Richard Edmund Williams is a Canadian-British animator, voice artist and writer and started his career as film animator on 1957. This book relates Williams work experience as animator with great animation experts like Milt Kahl, Art Babbitt, Ken Harris, Ollie Johnston, Frank Thomas. Williams express his opinion about the famous animated films like Disney and how it urged him to learn more about animation.



Irrepressible ambition made me change my opinion that they alone could attain such heights; I figured, I think correctly, that given talent, experience, persistence plus the knowledge of the experts- why  should everything not be possible? (Williams, 2001,  p. 5)


In Richard Willliams Solo Square Studio, London, 1973
From left – Ken Harris, Grim Natwick and Art Babbitt, with students Richard Purdum and Richard Williams.


Williams further studied more about animation by the teachers he had hired. In which, Williams interprets that mastering a skill under the supervision of a good mentor expands the wide range of learning. He had first hired Art Babbitt as his mentor and collaborator.

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   Animation is a lot of really simple things strung together doing one part at a time in a sensible order (Williams, 2001, p. 9)

This defines that combination of all small things bring up a beautiful art work. Animation is all about imagination and creativity. These unique skills can be only learnt when we clearly get used to the basics and try to understand the concept of the skill we are learning.Williams brings out the necessity of talent in animation by stating the story of a zen master and his disciple.

“This book is the ninety-nine tricks. The hundredth trick is called talent. “(Williams, 2001, p.10)

Williams then brings the history of the animation and how the evolution of animation had changed. This book illustrates that the goal is to master the basics to bring out the perfect new skill. Covering up the history of the animation to the current trend of animation, there has been a lot of difference in these years which technology made it much easier.

This book clearly brings out how much hard work and dedication it takes for a person to represent a skill. The special thing which adds on motivation is some of the heart warming messages given by Milt Kahl during the training period. They describe how the work needs to be original and to be done with total dedication. This book gives us an inspiration that any skill can be greatly achieved by anyone with focus, and a good knowledge of the basics and with a good mentor.

References :

Williams, R. (2001). The animators survival kit.


Happy Birthday Art Babbitt (October 8, 1907- March 4, 1992). (n.d.). Retrieved October 21, 2017, from (n.d.). Retrieved October 21, 2017. (n.d). Retrieved October 21, 2017.










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