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Moonsung Lee Brings Prehistory to Life with Ice Age 2

Alumnus Moonsung Lee learned a lot about the craft of animation at the Academy of Art University, both within the School of Animation & Visual Effects and in the core foundation classes that are fundamental for all of the Academy's students. Now he is putting his education to use. He recently worked as an animator on the film Robots, and recently his work on the film Ice Age 2 shined on movie screens across America.

Moonsung took a break from his busy new career to speak a bit about his work and his time at the Academy:

Moonsung Lee worked as an animator on Ice Age 2
Moonsung Lee worked as an animator on Ice Age 2.

Can you describe your path from the Academy to working on Ice Age 2?

I spent the last thirteen months at the Academy creating my short film, Bert. I sent it to festivals and put it up on the Web for the exposure. One of the animators at Blue Sky Studio saw it and emailed me to find out if I was interested in joining their new project, Robots. I interviewed with them a few months later, and was hired as an animator in February of 2003.

Have you had a chance to see the film?

It is always exciting to see my work on the big screen, especially with my colleagues who put the film together. While we actually work on the project, we as individual artists tend to focus on the very specific moment to which we were assigned. When you see it as a whole, on the big screen, it gives you an amazing feeling. The sum of all our effort becomes something you couldn't even imagine before. And of course, it's always nice to see your name in the credits!

Do you strive to create a personal style in your work?

I think it is too early for me to even think about personal style as an animator. I am still learning, and try to absorb as much as I can about the art and craft of animation.

Moonsung Lee’s animation work was also featured in the film Robots
Moonsung Lee’s animation work was also featured in the film Robots.

How do reflect on your time at the Academy?

I'm glad that I took traditional animation classes even though I knew that I wanted to become a computer graphics animator. The Academy's figure drawing classes were very well designed, and the teachers were very helpful. I spent two solid years on foundation classes like figure drawing and illustration, and they were invaluable for me as an animator. That basic knowledge still applies to my day-to-day work.

The Academy's Pixar Character Animation program was very important for me. I learned to understand the core of character animation and filmmaking. Many of my coworkers are also from the Academy, and they all agree that the Academy's Pixar Animation classes were very helpful. My "Short Filmmaking" teacher was an animator from Pixar, and I learned so much from him about filmmaking. He is now a director on our next project at Blue Sky, which is called Small World.

What are your plans for the future?

If time allows, I'd like to keep making my own short films. I will continue to try to learn as much as possible and to grow as an artist.

For more information on our Animation and Visual Effects program, please visit our Animation and Visual Effects School pages.

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