Academy Award Winner Brenda Chapman Visits Sheridan to Share Storytelling Strategies

Writer, animation story artist and director Brenda Chapman recently visited Trafalgar campus to speak to Sheridan Bachelor of Animation and Computer Animation students about the techniques and strategies of visual storytelling. That evening, MacDoanld-Heaslip Theatre was packed with artists eager to learn more Brenda’s words of wisdom despite a blizzard brewing outside.

Most recently known for her work on Disney/Pixar’s Brave, for which she became the first woman to win an Academic Award for Best Animated Feature, Brenda’s credentials extend far back in the animation industry. In 1998, Brenda became the first woman to direct an animated feature from a major studio during her work with DreamWorks Animation’s The Prince of Egypt. Brenda was also the first woman to serve as Head of Story for a feature film from a major studio for her work on The Lion KingHer credits also include noteworthy films such as Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Beauty and the Beast, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Brenda entered the theatre to thunderous applause from the students and faculty, and they were not disappointed. Her talk was a mix of advice on how to craft a compelling story, personal tales of what it takes to work with a team, and fantastic behind the scenes clips of storyboards and leica reels. A highlight was the sing-a-longs to classic theme songs from Little Mermaids and Beauty and the Beast, with students demonstrating their ability to animate is matched by their ability to sing.

Angela Stukator

Associate Dean, Animation and Game Design, Faculty of Animation, Arts and Design


Thanks to Brenda and all the students who braved the storm for joining us.

Sheridan began offering animation courses in 1971 and we’ve been leaders in the field ever since. Visit our website to learn more about our programs. 

Photos courtesy of Aldines Zapparoli. 

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