The Art and Science of Animation from Disney to Pixar

Animation has become an important art form not only for entertainment in film and television but also in medicine, video gaming with Avatars, and forensics.  This course will first explore the history of animation from the early 20th Century and the work of the Disney Studios through the computer animation technology of the Pixar artists and motion capture technology in video games.  Then a brief introduction to anatomy and human motion for artists will provide the basis for establishing the Twelve Basic Rules of Animation. 

In the 1960’s, Disney introduced “Audio-Animatronics” that paved the way for creative theme park rides but also provided clues to instrumentation for prosthetics.  This course will look at the technology of the audio-animatronic figures.
Finally, the use of animation in medicine from 3-D anatomy teaching software to diagnostic modeling technology and surgery will be explored.
To enhance the learning experience, the class will travel to Walt Disney World and have two guided tours of the Theme Parks through the Disney Youth Education Series to see the use of audio-animatronics in creating an interactive ride and be able to work individually with animators.

Course Format

The course will meet on campus for four days and the student will be introduced to the science and art of animation through its history, methods and scientific basis.  This first week will involve lecture, readings, screening films, and independent projects.  Then the class will travel to Walt Disney World where they will learn from Disney Cast Members how animation and audio-animatronics is use throughout the Parks.  Additional assignments will include viewing and interpreting the use of audio-animatronics in various applications in the Magic Kingdom Park and animation in the Hollywood Studios Park where they will work one-on-one with a Disney animator.  Each student will keep a journal of the Orlando experience. 

Course Requirements

1. Lecture and discussion
2. Reading Assignments from text and distributed handouts
3. Screening of historic animation films
4. History paper of an animated character
5. Development of 1 second (24 pictures) of animating movement
6. Journal of experiences at Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World Tour

• Round trip air transportation with McDaniel College shuttles to and from the airport
• Lodging at the Disney Port Orleans Riverside Resort with Magic Express transportation
• 7-day Park Hopper Passes
• The Disney Dining Plan
• Two Youth Education Series Tours


Contrast Literary Magazine Unveiling
April 24, 2014, 4:30 pm
Graduate Open House
April 24, 2014, 5:30 pm
Screening of 'Reel Bad Arabs'
April 24, 2014, 6:00 pm
Student Chamber Music Ensembles
April 24, 2014, 7:00 pm
McDaniel Dance Company Recital
April 25, 2014, 7:00 pm
Animal House - Decker Auditorium
April 25, 2014, 9:00 pm
Late Night Bowling Party
April 26, 2014, 10:00 pm
Spring Undergraduate Awards Ceremony
April 27, 2014, 12:00 am
Junior Open House
April 27, 2014, 1:00 pm
Children's Chorus of Carroll County
April 27, 2014, 2:00 pm
The Female Army Officer Experience
April 30, 2014, 7:00 pm
Children's Show
May 1, 2014, 6:30 pm
Spooky House
May 1, 2014, 6:30 pm
Laser Battle in the Quad
May 1, 2014, 7:00 pm
Musical Theatre/Opera Workshop
May 4, 2014, 7:00 pm