Faculty / School of Media : Culture : Design

Alex Topete

Adjunct Faculty, Department of Animation

I’m from the San Francisco Bay Area, and moved to Los Angeles in 1977 after graduating from San Jose State University (BA, Illustration). I’ve worked at Animation House, Hanna Barbera Studios, Filmation, Richard Williams, Ralph Bakshi, Bill Melendez, Duck Studios, Nickelodeon, Kroyer Films and twenty years at Walt Disney Feature Animation as a lead key clean up animator from 1984 through 2004 (The Black Cauldron through Home On The Range).

I was Head of Clean Up Animation on Fantasia 2000. The last two years I taught Animation Principles at Laguna College of Art & Design. I’ve been teaching Traditional Animation Basics (Paper & Pencil) at the Animation Guild in Burbank, CA since 1992, and conduct weekly workshops called “El Grupo Animation Workshop” the last 10 years.
Favorite animation assignments include The Horned King (The Black Cauldron), Ursula (The Little Mermaid), Tito (Oliver & Company), Hyenas (Lion King), Wolves & Beast (Beauty and the Beast), Joanna the Lizard (Rescuers Down Under), Guards and Rajah the Tiger (Aladdin) and the entire Fantasia 2000 project.

My mentors were “Golden Age” animators from Disney, MGM, Fleischer, Warners and even silent cartoon artists. My “old school” approach to traditional animation may seem like an anachronism in this computer age, yet I believe that a pencil & paper approach fills a void and fulfills a need lacking in many of today’s technically focused schools and studios.


BA, Illustration, San Jose State University

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