Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 263171
Loughborough University

Enterprise Awards 2014

Cultural Impact

An illustration of quaker women

Animation Academy – promoting innovation in the animation industry

Loughborough experts
Paul Wells, Andrew Chong
Animation Academy Research Group
Arts, English and Drama
External partners
National Media Museum, Bradford; Mackinnon & Saunders Ltd; Tim Burton Productions; Cosgrove Hall; Komixx; Association of British Animation Collections

From children’s cartoons to subversive shorts, adverts on mobile phones to box office smashes, the animation industry is thriving. Keeping it this way calls for innovative ways to reach the widest possible audience.

Loughborough’s Animation Academy supports the development of students and practitioners both in the UK and internationally, through its practice-led research which includes leading major collaborations that showcase the work of British animators. The Academy has produced a documentary series featuring visionaries including Geoff Dunbar (Ubu, Lautrec, The Adventures of Peter Rabbit), Oliver Postgate (The Clangers, Bagpuss, Ifor the Engine) and John Coates (The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine, Father Christmas, The Snowman).

For its most recent work, the Academy was granted full access to the studio, staff and archives of Mackinnon and Saunders (Frankenweeine, The Corpse Bride, Mars Attacks, The Fantastic Mr Fox, Bob the Builder). Award-winning film-maker, Tim Burton, participated in the documentary and facilitated support from Warner Bros and the Walt Disney Company, whilst Komixx and Cosgrove Hall supplied archive material.

The documentary was commissioned by the Bradford Animation Festival at the National Media Museum, to celebrate Mackinnon and Saunders’ Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013.

The documentary series is part of the on-going project established by the Association of British Animation Collections to preserve and celebrate the heritage and legacy of British Animation practitioners. The work is exhibited at festivals worldwide, stimulating lectures and events which promote excellence in the animation industry, and engage the public in its activities.


  • Mackinnon & Saunders: A Model Studio has been invited to the Holland Animation Film Festival, the International Festival of Animation in Zagreb, and Animafest in Varna and the Society of Animation Studies International Conference in Toronto.
  • Following its premier at the Bradford Animation Festival, the documentary prompted a collaboration in which previously unknown material from 1930s has been conserved, ultimately to be placed with the British Film Institute.
  • The series has attracted significant international attention in the animation community, securing support to preserve art-work and skill-sets and historical materials, evidencing national legacy in animation and its affiliate creative disciplines.

Useful Links

Frame from video Play video Extract from Mackinnon & Saunders:
A Model Studio, 2013

Frame from video Play video Tim Burton receives BAF Fellowship Award, 2013

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