James Baxter (animator)

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James Baxter
James Baxter PNG.jpg
BornMay 1967 (age 53)
Bristol, England
Years active1987–present
EmployerWalt Disney Animation Studios (1988–1996, TBA)
DreamWorks Animation (1997–2005, 2008–2017)
Netflix (2018–present)

James Baxter (born May 19, 1967) is a British character animator. He was first known for his work on several Walt Disney Animation Studios films, including various characters in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Belle in Beauty and the Beast, Rafiki in The Lion King, and Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

After The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Baxter moved over to DreamWorks Animation, where he worked on films such as The Prince of Egypt, The Road to El Dorado, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, Shrek 2 and Madagascar. Early in 2005, Baxter left DreamWorks and set out on his own as an independent animator. He became the head of his own studio, James Baxter Animation, in Pasadena, California, where he has directed the animation for the 2007 film Enchanted and the opening credits to DreamWorks' Kung Fu Panda, for which he received an Annie Award. After the release of Kung Fu Panda in 2008, Baxter closed his studio and returned to DreamWorks as a supervising animator. While at DreamWorks, Baxter worked on films such as Monsters vs. Aliens, How to Train Your Dragon and The Croods. In 2017, Baxter left DreamWorks once again and went to work for Netflix.

In May 2013, Baxter was a guest animator for an episode of the fifth season of Adventure Time entitled "James Baxter the Horse".[1] The episode's story focused on the lead characters trying to emulate a horse who can cheer everyone up by neighing his name (James Baxter) and balancing on a beach ball. Both the horse's animation and voice were provided by Baxter. The episode's title card features a drawing of the horse drawing a horse on a beach ball, while sitting at an animation table. A second episode focusing on the character's origins, "Horse and Ball", aired during the show's eighth season, with Baxter once again animating and voicing the character.

In 2018, Baxter, along with fellow animators Stephen Hillenburg (months before his death), Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby won the Winsor McCay Award at the 2018 Annie Awards.[2]


Year Title Credits Characters
1988 Who Framed Roger Rabbit Animator
1989 Tummy Trouble (Short) Animator
The Little Mermaid Character Animator Ariel
1990 DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp Character Animator
The Rescuers Down Under Character Animator Joanna, Rescue Aid Society Mice, Insects, Wilbur
1991 Beauty and the Beast Supervising Animator Belle
1993 The Making of "The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy" (Video documentary) Additional Animator
1994 The Lion King Supervising Animator Rafiki
1996 The Hunchback of Notre Dame Character Designer/Visual Development Artist / Supervising Animator Quasimodo
1998 The Prince of Egypt Animator Moses
2000 The Road to El Dorado Senior Supervising Animator Tulio
2002 Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron Senior Supervising Animator Spirit
2003 Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas Supervising Animator Sinbad
2004 Shrek 2 Supervising Animator
2005 Madagascar Additional Supervising Animator
2006 Curious George Animation Supervisor: James Baxter Animation
2007 Enchanted Animation Supervisor: James Baxter Animation
2008 Kung Fu Panda Animation Director: Dream Sequence, James Baxter Animation
Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Furious Five (Video short) Special Thanks
2009 Monsters vs. Aliens Animator
2010 How to Train Your Dragon Animator
Kung Fu Panda Holiday (TV Short) Animator
2011 Adam and Dog Animator
2012 Gravity Falls (TV Series) Additional Animator – 2 Episodes
Rise of the Guardians Concept Artists – Uncredited
2013 The Croods Head of Character Animation and Animator: 2D Sequence
Adventure Time (TV Series) Voice / Animator – 2 Episodes and Character Designer – 1 Episode James Baxter the Horse
2014 How to Train Your Dragon 2 Supervising Animator Valka
2016 Trolls Additional Animation
2017 Regular Show (TV Series) Additional Animator – 1 Episode
Samurai Jack (TV Series) Additional Animation - 1 Episode
2018 Mary Poppins Returns Animator
2019 Steven Universe (TV Series) Additional Animation - 1 Episode[3][4] Steven Universe
Klaus Animator[5]
2020 Close Enough Main Title Animation[6]
Wolfwalkers Animator


  1. ^ Ward, Pendleton (6 May 2013). "Tonight. Featuring the work of guest animator… James Baxter". Pendleton Ward's Cartoon Tumblr. Frederator Studios. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  2. ^ ASIFA Hollywood, Annie Awards 2018 - The Winsor McCay Award - James Baxter, retrieved 30 January 2019
  3. ^ Rodriguez, Nicole (21 January 2019). "James Baxter!". @Shnikkles (in Dutch). Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  4. ^ Thurm, Eric (28 January 2019). "A really, truly epic hourlong Steven Universe nearly spells the end of everything". CBR. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  5. ^ Milligan, Mercedes (22 March 2019). "Netflix Plans Oscar-Qualifying Release for Original Feature 'Klaus'". Animation Magazine. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  6. ^ "TV Films 3", Annecy Festival Online, 15 June 2020, retrieved 15 June 2020

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