Home News TAAFI Offers Puppetry Training for Animators

TAAFI Offers Puppetry Training for Animators


(July 5, 2017 – Toronto, ON) The Toronto Animation Arts Festival International (TAAFI) has announced a partnership with Skyship Entertainment to host an exclusive workshop called Puppetry for Animators: Animating the Inanimate. Led by industry veterans Trish Leeper (The Muppets, Fraggle Rock, Sesame Street) and Kathryn Durst, who has worked with Pixar Animation Studios, the workshop runs from 9AM to 5PM on Saturday, July 22nd and will be hosted at Skyship Entertainment’s studio space.

“This year is different for TAAFI and with the industry constantly shifting and growing, we wanted to find a way to train animators differently,” said Ben McEvoy, executive director, TAAFI. This workshop is a natural fit for the industry says, Skyship Entertainment executive producer Morghan Fortier, “Working on both animation and puppeteering content at Skyship, we discovered that there’s a natural transfer of skills between animation and puppeteering. Our workshop connecting these two worlds will be an interesting way to expand the animation skill set into a more physical art form. And it’s really fun!”

With only 25 spots, this exclusive, hands-on workshop will involve various exercises with puppet manipulation – from acting to the use of props. Puppetry for Animators covers strategies that animators can use to master the illusion of effort and weight by exploring basic puppetry technique while still applying the principles of animation. As well, the workshop strives to train attendees to hone their skills in crafting characters through physical puppets.

In addition to the credits mentioned above, renowned puppeteer Trish Leeper, was also an animatronic puppeteer in Short Circuit II (1988), Tommy Boy (1995) and The Santa Clause (1994). Kathryn Durst has worked on various children’s entertainment, publications, and media. Both artists are currently working with Skyship Entertainment on puppet content for the Super Simple TV, YouTube channel. With over 6.5 billion YouTube views, Skyship is now home to some of the most well known and most loved children’s content on YouTube.

Tickets are limited and animators are encouraged to register online early.