Subject:John Laurence Collins (also know as John Collins and John L. Collins)

Birth:

Occupation/Title:
Animator, Animation Director, Animation Supervisor, Posing Director, Visual Effects Animator, and Visual Development Artist

Bio Summary:
John Laurence Collins is a Canada-based animator who started his professional career in animation in the late-mid 1970s.

Early Life/Family: Canada-based artist.

Education/Training:

Career Outline:
Collins’ first professional work was animating on a short called A Cosmic Christmas, released in 1977. For the next several years, Collins continued to work as animator on various shorts and television specials.

Eventually Collins got hired onto his first feature film, which was also his first job as a visual effects animator, on the Canadian animated film Rock & Rule, released in 1983. Collins then returned to animating on television specials and television series until 1985’s The Care Bears Movie, on which he served as animation director and visual effects animator for. Despite receiving mixed, though somewhat positive, reviews, The Care Bears Movie was extremely successful at the box office, even beating out Disney’s The Black Cauldron, released that same year.

Following The Care Bears Movie’s success, Collins began working on more animated feature films as an animation supervisor, animation director, and occasionally as a director. During this time, Collins worked on the now-classic films Ferngully: The Last Rainforest, 1992, Once Upon a Rainforest, 1993, and A Goofy Movie, 1995.

In 2000, Collins began directing the Canadian animated series Eckhart, which ran for thirty-nine episodes, finally concluding three seasons later in 2002. And in 2014 Collins directed the animated film Mumfie’s Quest: The Movie, based on one of his earlier works from nearly twenty years prior.

Comments on Style:
John Laurence Collin’s style of animation and direction is warm, innocent, and unthreatening. Because of this, the films he worked on are well-suited and specifically targeted toward young children and toddlers. A lot of the time, with a few exceptions, the animation style and art direction in his work is very limited, as most of the work was done with small studio budgets. Despite this, some of the films he worked on went on to receive mixed-to-positive reviews, some even going on to become classics, such as A Goofy Movie, Ferngully: The Last Rainforest, The Care Bears Movie, and Once Upon a Rainforest.

However, a 1989 Chicago Tribune article (check bibliography) on one of the films Collins served as animation director for, the film is described as ordinary, dull, and flatly executed, with the art direction being criticized for consisting of black outlines without shading or weight, and the animation being jerky and comparable to Saturday morning television animation; this particular film, Babar: The Movie, came at the beginning of what could be seen as the peek of Collin’ career.

Filmography:

Mumfie’s Quest: The Movie (2014) as director

Eckhart (series, 39 episodes, 2000 to 2002) as animation director

Britt Allcroft’s Magic Adventures of Mumfie Christmas Story (series, 1995) as animation director

A Goofy Movie (1995) as visual effects animation supervisor

Once Upon a Rainforest (1993) as animator

Ferngully: The Last Rainforest (1992) as animator

The Wish That Changed Christmas (1991) as animator

Babar (series, 39 episodes, 1989 to 1990) as animator

Babar: The Movie (1989) as animation director

The Wild Puffalumps (short, 1988) for director’s notes

The Care Bears Adventure in Wonderland (1987) as animation director and animator

The Care Bears Family (series, 13 episodes, 1986) as posing director

Asterix in Britain (1986) as animator

The Great Heep (1986) as animation supervisor

Droids (series, 13 episodes, 1985) as animation director

The Care Bears Movie (1985) as animation director and visual development artist

The Edison Twins (series, 1 episode, 1985) for animation production

Strawberry Shortcake Meets the Berrykins (short, 1985) as animator

Strawberry Shortcake and the Baby Without a Name (short, 1984) as animator

The Get Along (series, 1 episode, 1984) as animator

Strawberry Shortcake: Housewarming Surprise (short, 1983) as animator

The Special Magic of Herself the Elf (short, 1983) as animator

Rock & Rule (1983) as visual effects animator

Take Me Up to the Ball Game (short, 1980) as animator

Easter Fever (short, 1980) as animator

Intergalactic Thanksgiving or Please Don’t Eat the Planet (short, 1979) as animator

Runaway Robots! Romie-O and Julie-8 (short, 1979) as animator

The Devil and Daniel Mouse (short,

1978) as assistant animator A Cosmic Christmas (short, 1977) as animator

Honors:
The Care Bears Movie won 1985’s Genie Awards Golden Reel Award and was nominated for 1985’s Young Artist Awards for Best Family Animation or Series

Related Links:
IMDB – http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1141081/

Bibliographic References:
The Animated Movie Guide (pages 28 and 47, 2005) by Jerry Beck
“Boring ‘Babar: The Movie’ misses the flavor of book series” by Dave Kehr, Chicago Tribune (July 28, 1989) http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1989/07/28/page/168/article/boring-babar-the-movie-misses-the-flavor-of-book-series

Contributors to this Listing:
Juan Bugarin

Animators Hall of Fame