Subject:John Laurence Collins (also know as John Collins and John L. Collins)
Animator, Animation Director, Animation Supervisor, Posing Director, Visual Effects Animator, and Visual Development Artist
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.
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.
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
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
IMDB – http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1141081/
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:
Animators Hall of Fame