Toronto Animation Film Festival

Toronto Animation Industry Conference

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Where: Toronto Reference Library & Online

When: November 2-4, 2023

Previous Events:

Toronto Animation / VFX Job Fair


Justin Sklar

Head of Animation, Walt Disney Animation Studios

JUSTIN SKLAR (Head of Animation) joined Walt Disney Animation Studios in 2011 after graduating from Ringling College of Art and Design with a degree in animation.

During his junior year at Ringling, he came to Burbank, California, to work as a summer animation trainee at Disney Animation, where he and his fellow trainees completed a short film called “Chalk.” Born in Baltimore, Maryland, and raised in nearby Owings Mills, Sklar went to George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology, a magnet school for gifted and talented students, where he took an intensive art program. Around that time, several of his friends were experimenting with a 3D computer graphics software toolkit called Blender. Driven by an intense desire to understand how the program worked, he became obsessed with it and mastered it. During that time, he also honed his artistic side by drawing massive super realistic charcoal drawings. His love of challenges and puzzle solving led him to pursue a career in animation because he found it hard and interesting.

Hired by Disney Animation as a trainee in 2011, he got his first feature film experience animating crowds for “Wreck-It Ralph.” He was promoted to an animator on “Frozen” and went on to other assignments on “Big Hero 6,” “Zootopia” and “Moana.” In his role as supervising animator on “Ralph Breaks the Internet,” Sklar helped to guide the character of Ralph, and played a key role in creating the “Ralphzilla” character (who was nominated for a VES Award). For “Frozen 2” he worked with the team on the characters of Kristoff and Matthias and on “Raya and the Last Dragon” he supervised the character of Namaari. He observes, “the cool thing about animation is that each movie is like a new puzzle to figure out. It’s changing all the time, and no matter what you’ve done, there’s always something new to learn.”

7:30PM - 8:30PM

Online: Crowdcast

Exploring Strange World: An Animator Q&A

Join Strange World Heads of Animation Amy Smeed and Justin Sklar for a behind-the-scenes look at the inspiration and animation style of Walt Disney Animation Studios' upcoming action-packed adventure film.

Strange World introduces a legendary family of explorers, the Clades, as they attempt to navigate an uncharted, treacherous land alongside a motley crew that includes a mischievous blob, a three-legged dog and a slew of ravenous creatures. The film opens in theatres November 23.

With Amy Smeed Head of Animation, Walt Disney Animation Studios Justin Sklar Head of Animation, Walt Disney Animation Studios

Moderator: Karen Jackson Chair, TAAFI


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