Profiles of Animation, 3D Animation, Computer Animation, Cartooning, Illustration, and Web Animation Programs & Schools

Programs to consider:


Our 2014 rankings of the top animation school programs on the East Coast. We define the East Coast as Virginia, Rhode Island, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. 

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Our 2014 rankings of the top animation programs in the Midwest. We define the Midwest as Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota.

For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

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Our 2014 list of the Top 100 Animation School Programs in the US. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

11. California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, California 
When the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music and the Chouinard Art Institute merged in 1961 with the help of none other than Walt and Roy Disney, it became one of the most coveted artist’s communities on the west coast. Dubbed California Institute of Arts (better known as CalArts), the school quickly climbed the ranks to become one of the top ten schools for aspiring animators and America’s top college for students in the arts.

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An introductory note from the editor:  

We started publishing US based regional and national lists in 2012 in response to myriad emails from aspiring animators seeking advice regarding the "best" schools in the US. The US-centric lists have been well-received, so much so that we now receive frequent requests to publish rankings of international animation schools. ACR staff writer and social media manager Tom Fronczak managed and authored this year's Top 100 International Animation Schools rankings. In preparing this year’s list, we considered hundreds of animation schools across the globe. Our end-goal is to give students access to ample information so they can make an informed decision about the school they choose to attend and the program they pursue.  

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Riot Games League of Legends Interview on Champion Animation Process

Rory “RiotLamz” Alderton is a Senior Animator for the League of Legends game developer, Riot Games. After almost six years of working at Jagex Games Studio he joined Riot in April of 2013 as an Animator, and was then promoted to Senior Animator in May of last year. He’s one of the people responsible for making the iconic battle moves for the many playable Champions in their famous MOBA game, which is played by over 27 million gamers from around the world every single day.

We recently ranked Riot Games in fourth place in our 2014 Top 100 Most Influential Video Game Studios list, and last year their Season 4 World Championship reached a prize pool of $2,130,000! To help readers get to know Riot Games better we talked with Rory Alderton about his work at the studio.

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According to the most recent report by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), Texas is home to 252 Title IV degree-granting colleges and universities. This means, the state has the fourth highest number of Title IV schools in the U.S. Texas’s Title IV schools are also among the best in the nation and because they are Title IV, these institutions are eligible for federal financial aid programs. This means, students with financial need have access to all schools—from the most to least expensive.   

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University of Southern California - School of Cinematic Arts

When it comes to living and breathing all things animation, few people can hold a flame to Tom Sito. Since the 1970s, Sito has worked on a slew of memorable TV and feature film animations. From Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids to The Little Mermaid, The Lion King and Who Framed Roger Rabbit, we would be hard pressed to find another animator who hasn’t been influenced by him.

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UCLA’s Animation Workshop

Not every animation student gets to pull up their chair to the very same desk that the first full length cel animated film was drawn on. But MFA students in the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television's renowned Animation Workshop do just that, working on the wooden tables that Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was born from. History isn’t the only reason why some of the best and brightest choose the Animation Workshop, of course.

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Situated in the downtown corridor of sunny San Jose, California, sits San Jose State University- the founding school of the California State University system. Not to be missed for our readers, SJSU’s acclaimed Animation & Illustration program is one to remember. It attracts students from around the world with its comprehensive approach to the craft, a-list guest lecturers and internship opportunities, a challenging curriculum and faculty at the top of their game.

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A Hat in Time is an indie platformer PC game that’s being developed for players who want to explore interesting worlds and collect exciting items much like the famous Nintendo 64 era games that made the genre widely popular. Since then, the demand for these platformer games has remained high, but the supply of titles in the genre continues to dip each year. Then A Hat in Time came along a year ago and started a Kickstarter campaign with the funding goal of $30,000. They got almost $300,000.

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