Animation Mentor

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Coordinates: 37°50′47.8″N 122°17′34.13″W / 37.846611°N 122.2928139°W / 37.846611; -122.2928139

Animation Mentor
Typefor-profit university
FoundersBobby Beck, Shawn Kelly, and Carlos Baena
PresidentBobby Beck
Academic staff
Location, ,

Animation Mentor is an online animation school that teaches students character animation skills. Headquartered in Emeryville, California, the school offers a 6 core animation courses in addition to Creatures and Maya Workshops where students are taught by “mentors,” experienced animators who are professionals working in the animation industry. Animation Mentor is a distance learning school at which animation professionals teach character animation to students in over 105 countries. [1]


The school was founded in 2005 by three working animators: Bobby Beck, who is the CEO and president of the school, Shawn Kelly, who is a working animator at Industrial Light & Magic, and Carlos Baena, who is a working animator. The school opened on March 27, 2005, with 350 students and 5 employees.


Animation Mentor is an online learning institution and operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The program includes live Q&A sessions with mentors from the animation industry, and mentors provide audio-visual critiques of weekly assignments. Graduates of the program receive a Certificate of Completion in Character Animation and create a demo reel.


The school has won several awards, including the 2006 Best Practices in Programming Award Gold Level, 21st Century Distance Learning Award from the U.S. Distance Learning Association, and was an honoree at the 10th Annual Webby Awards.[2]

The school won the 2008 PRSA Bronze Anvil Award for its white paper "Behind the Characters: Job Satisfaction, Career Outlook, and Salary Survey Report" and was again named an official honoree at the 13th Annual Webby Awards. In 2008, Sony Pictures Imageworks awarded its top scholarship to Luis Rodrigo Huerta to earn a Master’s Degree at Texas A&M and participate in online animation courses at Animation Mentor.[3]

Notable Animation Mentor alumni and productions[edit]

Students who have graduated from Animation Mentor have worked on box office features, including Frozen, Inside Out, How to Train Your Dragon, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Peanuts, Horton Hears a Who!, Pirates of the Caribbean, Bee Movie, Monsters vs. Aliens, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, Kung Fu Panda, Bolt, Garfield: The Movie, Transformers, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and others.


  1. ^ "Animation Mentor". Movie Maker. February 5, 2007. Archived from the original on June 9, 2008.
  2. ^ "Animation Mentor Garners Leading Distance Learning Awards". AWN.
  3. ^ "Sony Pictures Imageworks Awards $50,000 in Scholarships". Business of Cinema. Archived from the original on 2009-08-19.

Further reading and listening[edit]

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