A self-described storyteller, Brenda Chapman became the first woman to win an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film. She accomplished this with Brave, in 2013.
Ms. Chapman didn’t just burst onto the scene; she has credits for such blockbusters as The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Toy Story 3, and others.
Retta Scott was the first woman to receive screen credit for animation at Walt Disney Studios, Bambi in 1938.
A Los Angeles transplant from the Seattle area, Scott, in the right time, the right place, and with indisputably superior talent, was assigned to animate scenes leading to the death of Bambi’s mother. She was simply too talented to deny; too skilled to allow perpetuation of a cultural bias.
Retta Davidson was hired as an inker and painter on the massive Pinocchio, Bambi and Fantasia projects. A severe war shortage of male animators placed her in a position to be considered as a substitute. Her talents, as exhibited in her submitted artwork, clinched her spot.
Known as the Goddess of animation voice actors, the diminutive June Foray was the voice of many cartoon characters, including Rocky, the Flying Squirrel. She is the only female, and at 96, one of the few surviving voice artists from what is considered the Golden Age of theatrical cartoons.
Ms. Foray could scare a viewer too. She was the “Talking Tina” doll in a Twilight Zone episode. Scary dolls weren’t her only “foray” into the world of toys; she was also the original voice of Chatty Cathy.
Ginny Tyler is a Native American voice actress who could be heard in many animated films and cartoons in the 1960s and 1970s.
She caught the attention of many by voicing the love struck, heartbroken squirrel in The Sword and the Stone.
Her voice could also be heard as Olive Oyl in Popeye cartoons and, in the restructured Mickey Mouse Club beginning in 1962, this versatile actress became Head Mouseketeer from Disneyland.
Tyler, who died last year, called the Disney years the “most awesome part of her life, a dream come true.”