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Hannah Halliwell – fulfilling animation dreams on Disney films


  • Student Journal
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  • Animation Production


I looked at a lot of universities, but out of all of them AUB was the friendliest, and it has a great reputation. I also think the fact that you could try out 2D, stop motion and CG animation was a big reason for choosing the course, as I’d always been interested in all three and could never decide which one I'd prefer to work in. I just knew I wanted to work on a feature film.

I've always been interested in animation since I was young, but I didn't really think of it as a career until later. I enjoyed art and maths at school and wasn't very interested in architecture. The only other thing I could think of that used elements of both, was computer animation. So, I started looking into it more seriously. I did an art foundation course before university, and it helped me to decide for sure that animation was what I wanted to study.

I graduated in 2020, during the pandemic, so it was quite difficult to find a job after my studies ended. It took a while, but I kept applying for things, and eventually I was accepted onto an eight-week course run by Technicolor in VFX animation. At the end of that course, everyone was considered for a job, and that’s how I started working at the Moving Picture Company (MPC). When I first started, I was working in the layout department on The Little Mermaid remake, which is meant to be coming out later this year. I learnt a lot as I hadn’t really done layout before. I worked on that for about five months, before moving onto Disenchanted as a junior animator. 

I leapt at the opportunity to work on Disenchanted, as I loved Enchanted so much when it came out and was very excited about a sequel. I learnt so much, not only from working on the film but also from the fantastic team of animators I worked with. We animated all the VFX characters in the film, including Pip the chipmunk, CatPip and the Scroll character, but not the 2D animated parts. It’s been a dream of mine for a long time to work on a Disney film, so I couldn’t believe that my first project as a professional animator was on one!

The BA (Hons) Animation Production course at AUB prepared me for responding to constructive feedback on my work and to improve my shots. This is essential for a career in animation, as you need to be able to take direction from your leads, supervisors and directors. The whole final year is spent working on a short film, and this prepared me for working in a team and to a schedule. It also gave me good work for my portfolio. I might not have been accepted onto the Technicolor course without it.

I’ve just started a new job and it’s not a project I can say much about yet, but it involves Unreal Engine, which I’m really enjoying learning about. As for my long-term goals, I’d love to carry on working on feature films.

Something to think about

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