Sheridan Animation alumni shine in Disney’s Moana

Six former students from Sheridan College’s Trafalgar campus have ties to the new Walt Disney Animation Studios film Moana. 

The 2016 3D computer-animated musical fantasy adventure film tells the tale of an adventurous teenager who sails out on a daring mission to save her people. During her journey, she meets the once-mighty demi-god Maui, and together, they traverse the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous fiery creatures and impossible odds.

Doug Bennett was an animator on the film. From Toronto, Bennett attended Sheridan and has worked on Chicken Little, Wreck it Ralph, Big Hero 6, and was the head of animation on BoltMoana lighting supervisor Gregory Culp is originally from St. Catharines and worked with the lighting director to establish initial colour and lighting in a sequence.He has also worked on Zootopia, Big Hero 6, Feast, Frozen and TangledMoana character animator David Stodolny, originally from Brampton, graduated from Sheridan and has been with Walt Disney Animation Studios for six months. Zootopia was his first film at Disney Animation. Zubin Wadia was an effects animator on Moana. Originally from Toronto and Mumbai, India, Wadia has been with Walt Disney Animation Studios for five years. Geoff Wheeler was also an animator for Moana and has been with Disney Animation for three years. His credits include Zootopia, Big Hero 6, Frozen and Wreck-it-Ralph.  Lastly, Kitchener-bred Chris Williams worked as co-director of the film. Williams studied art at Waterloo’s Bluevale Collegiate and the University of Waterloo before training as an animator at Oakville’s Sheridan College. Williams previously won an Oscar in 2015 for directing Big Hero Six.

Moana hit theatres on Wednesday, Nov. 23.

What makes Sheridan a lead institution in the field of animation? Angela Stukator, Associate Dean of Animation and Game Design at Sheridan, attributes this longstanding success to a number of factors, including the program’s deep roots in classical animation, its “phenomenal” faculty who bring their own industry experience to the classroom, and close ties with industry that help keep curriculum current. “Rather than just training students to work as craftspeople, we encourage them to be aspirational storytellers, directors and producers,” she says.

To learn more about our Animation program, visit the program page.

Sheridan Oakville alumni showcase skills in Moana via Brampton Guardian

Moana’s hidden Canadian connection in co-director Chris Williams via Toronto Star

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