Animated Performance: Bringing Imaginary Animal, Human and Fantasy Characters to Life (Required Reading Range) 1st Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 13 ratings
ISBN-13: 978-2940373819
ISBN-10: 2940373817
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Editorial Reviews


Animated Performance demonstrates once again that Nancy Beiman is not only a tremendously talented artist, but also an immensely gifted teacher. The Disney artists of the Golden Age would have loved this book. The New Generation will be thankful to have it.
Didier Ghez, Editor of the Walt's People book series

Once again Nancy Beiman has come through for aspiring animators with an inspirational text on what it takes to really be an ‘actor with a pencil’! I've known Nancy for many years as a professional colleague in both traditional and contemporary formats of animated production, as well as an exceptional teacher of this medium. Her new book reaches a very underserved area of publications on this subject, and should be on the reference shelf of every student, as well as the current new generation of animator 'pros' in our industry.
Bill Matthews, Training & Recruiting Manager, Walt Disney Feature Animation (Retired)

Veteran animator Nancy Beiman has harvested a lifetime of lessons from her Hollywood mentors, added inspiration from her favorite entertainers, a pinch of her own illustration, and distilled it all down into a wonderfully whimsical yet concise how-to of the animator’s art. A must-have for the serious student of animation.
Tom Sito, animator, author of Drawing the Line: The Untold Story of the Animation Unions from Bosko to Bart Simpson

This book feels like a seriously helpful companion for animators be they student or professional. As an animator I am a visual thinker so this book immediately catches my eye for its simple clear design. It is well referenced throughout with strong examples of work from across the animation sector; I particularly like the historical illustrations of T.S. Sullivant, A.B. Frost etc, showing the art of caricature and emotion... I would strongly recommend this book to our students and to anyone interested in animation.  
Professor Peter Parr, Reader in Animation, The Arts University College at Bournemouth, UK.

 ‘Animated Performance by Nancy Beiman is an instant classic. Beiman’s new book concentrates solely on character animation and she knocks it out of the park. It is a thorough, step by step examination of the art, aimed at the advanced student or professional animator who already knows the basics. The principles she discusses can apply to any technique (CG, Flash, stop motion, etc.) and she has packed the book with ample examples of her own animation, as well as classic comic strips, commercial art and movie stills to illustrate her points.’
Jerry Beck,

‘A beautiful 234-page instructional text that should inspire both beginners and long-term experts in animation. Packed with amusing illustrations, inspiring anecdotes and lively examples, Beiman’s book acts as the kind of teacher we all wish we had in school.’
Animation Magazine, October 2010

‘Nancy Beiman's new book Animated Performance should find a place on the bookshelf of anyone who creates character based work, whether it's animation, illustration, comic art, writing or portraiture.’
Elliot Cowan,

‘If I had to select one book, today, that I would recommend people read to learn about the art of animation, I’d probably pick Nancy Beiman’s latest tome. It’s a bona fide gem. This book does as its title suggests, it shows you how to get a *performance* out of your characters.’
Michael Sporn,

‘Nancy Beiman's Animated Performance is a personal, professional and historical introduction to the animation process. It's top notch primer. In fact, I would recommend first time animation students begin with this text (and Miyazaki's Starting Point) before proceeding to Tony White or Halas & Whittaker and then Williams. Right there you'd have a solid three year course of study.’
Asterisk Animation, August 2010

'Animated Performance offers a comprehensive study of movement in animation. The book covers basic concepts, such as lip sync, character analysis and motivation, but also delves further into topics of contemporary concern, such as varying languages and their effect on mouth movement, as well as approaches to masculinity and femininity. Highly recommended for all film libraries and readers high school level and up.'
Animation Journal, Volume 18, 2010

'[Nancy Beiman's] imagination-based exercises are where this book really shines. They're great. Every five or 10 pages, Nancy adds a clear, concise, well-planned and thoughtful exercise that directly relates to the preceding text. They are the kind of exercises that appear to have been developed by an excellent teacher after years of hands-on knowledge in the classroom. I'd love to try them all.'
Fran Krause, Animation World Network, October 2010

‘Toon town veteran and animation teacher Beiman delivers a well-designed (both aesthetically and functionally) and indispensable resource in this primer volume. In its 200-plus pages you’ll find tons of information on the study of movement in animation, from lip synching to character analysis and motivation. Beiman guides you through the principles of designing motion with a level of care and knowledge you’d be hard pressed to find in many how-tos – grab a pack of gold star stickers to keep on your desk and you may as well have a personal toon tutor.

Animation magazine

Book Description

Animated Performance discusses the fascinating process of bringing animated characters to life. This unique introduction to the art of animated performance explores the power of animation to portray an almost unlimited variety of characters.


Animator Nancy Beiman demonstrates how animators need not be constrained by the bodily limitations that restrict human actors. Students will learn how species, weight, and design affect character actions, so that no two character performances are ever alike.


The book also examines the ways in which an individual character’s movements vary with the emotional or narrative context. Hundreds of thumbnail drawings show how cloth, paper, wood, stone, animal, invertebrate, winged, aquatic and mechanical beings can live and move without losing their non-human qualities.


Product details

  • Item Weight : 2.76 pounds
  • ISBN-10 : 2940373817
  • Paperback : 232 pages
  • ISBN-13 : 978-2940373819
  • Product Dimensions : 8.72 x 1 x 11.81 inches
  • Publisher : AVA Publishing; 1st Edition (September 15, 2010)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13 ratings

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Reviewed in the United States on October 18, 2010
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Top reviews from other countries

James W. McCue
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute gem of a book that every animator should have.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 18, 2012
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2 people found this helpful
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