The Big Picture with Disney Animator Trent Correy

The Big Picture


​Fifty WSD students spent two days brainstorming with a Disney animator as part of MAniJam: the Manitoba Animation Jam.

Sisler High School hosted the special event, which was held March 6and 7. Trent Correy, who has worked on major animated films such as Frozen, Big Hero 6, Zootopia and Moana, led the event.

Along with celebrating animation, students learned about Mr. Correy’s career path and opportunities in the industry. Participants also worked on animated projects for the “jam” portion of the event and covered essential skills such as pitching stories and drawing.

“From caricature drawing to shot breakdowns to portfolios and demo reels and making connections, it’s been very rewarding for students to take part in this event,” said Sisler Interactive Digital Media head Jamie Leduc. “If you are passionate and never stop learning, the sky is the limit.”

Mr. Leduc actually taught Mr. Correy in high school years ago, while both were living in Ottawa.

“Having a former student take the time to give back to these younger students is awesome,” Mr. Leduc said. “He’s giving back to the next generation of animators.”

Mr. Correy said students must adapt to the role of perpetual learners; software is always evolving and the industry is marked by continual change.

“It feels like every couple of months, I’m learning a new tool or program. In animation and technology in general, you just have to stay up to date on everything,” he said, adding that today’s students have a level of fluency with technology that goes beyond anything seen previously.

“These kids will be rock stars. They’re growing up with iPads and iPhones, they’re playing games younger and younger. So they have that hand-eye coordination and they’re used to interfacing and learning new technology all of the time.”

Students said Mr. Correy’s visit has sparked their imaginations and given them an idea of what is possible in the industry.

“It’s so inspiring to come face-to-face with someone who actually made it to Disney—it gives hope for all of us,” said one Sisler student.

The student added it was nice to see traditional artistic skills, like drawing, still having value in the animation field. “Trent is all about old school skills, he said if he could, he would do pencil drawing all of the time.”

In an industry that is characterized by change, those traditional skills are also the most timeless and useful.

“Drawing is the quickest and easiest way to learn about animation, everything else is just a different tool…a computer is a more elaborate pencil,” Mr. Correy said.

The MAniJam (Manitoba Animation Jam Out Session) is a creative experience brought to you by Sisler IDM, Disney Animator Trent Correy, Tangent Animation Studios and Manitoba Film & Music. Over 120 student film-makers, animators & artists learned about the real industry and how to get there.  In addition to the wonderful talks & workshops, students were challenged to create an animation starting and ending in a circle on a stage using any medium, such as: paper & pencil, Adobe Flash, Adobe After Effects and/or Adobe Photoshop in just 3 hours. We had a blast!

Here is what we covered:

March 6:

  • 9:00 – 10:15: Presentation: Trent’s Path to working at Disney/Portfolio
  • 10:30 – 11:45: Animation Jam begins
  • 12:45 – 2:00:  Animation Jam (continued) – Submit exported animations at 3:30.
  • 2:10 – 3:10:  Pitching a story to executives and how to start an animated short film

March 7:

  • 9:00 – 9:45: The Animation Pipeline & How to get into the animation industry talk
  • 10:00 – 10:20: Animation Jam Showcase of student work compiled as one short film
  • 10:30 – 11:45: How to Draw Caricature Workshop
  • 12:45 – 1:30: Hands-on workshop on Appeal & Solid Drawing (Principles of Animation)
  • 1:40 – 2:30:  Showcase of Animation Pipeline/Portfolio to special education students

Here are the work-files: