Groundbreaking female animator, and one of my spiritual anchors: Tissa David (1921-2012)

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Tissa David’s work spans 60 years, much of it not archived on the web. Here are just a few examples to give you a sense of her style and artistry, limited by what I know and by what’s available on Youtube:

Her animation of the character Raggedy Ann in the 1977 feature film Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure is her best known work (this link leads to part one; the rest of the film is also on Youtube in parts):

She did work for Nickelodeon’s show Ka-Blam! including this collaboration with the cartoonist Kaz on the music video for They Might Be Giants’s song, “Dr. Worm”:

Here’s a strange Sesame Street segment from the early 70s which Tissa animated called, “Never Invite an M to Dinner”:

Older readers may remember a series of animated commercials for Piel’s beer she did. Here’s one of them:

As an early female animator, Tissa David was not only known for animating female characters in motion, but for animating female characters that weren’t fragile little princesses. The best known is her Raggedy Ann, but this Electric Company segment called “Glad Gladys” is another great example:

And here is part of a Dutch animated film of Felix Mendelssohn’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream” from 1983, with another great female character:

An exception to her untraditional vibrant female characters is this hilarious Bain de Soleil commercial I just discovered, in which Tissa drew bikini-clad high-heel-wearing skinny women, but I feel like maybe she was making fun of them just a little.

You can find more bits of video of Tissa’s work by searching her name on Youtube.

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