Founded in 1931, Ringling College of Art and Design is a private institution with an exquisite campus that sits on 49 acres. It is greatly regarded as one of the top design schools in the world and both students and alumni from the program are heavily recruited by most of the big animation studios, not only in the United States but also around the world. Organizations such as Pixar and DreamWorks have Ringling grads working on most of the top animated movies we see in theaters today.
The 2014 animated short romantic comedy Feast was directed by Ringling alumni Patrick Osborne, class of 2003, and produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios. The animation won an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film as well as an Annie Award for Best Animated Short Subject.
Osborne joined Disney in 2008 as an animator for the film Bolt and has also worked on such titles as Wreck-It Ralph and Tangled. He was also part of the team that produced the 2012 Oscar winning short Paperman.
The 2014 3-D computer-animated, American superhero action comedy Big Hero 6, led by Ringling graduate Jason Figliozzi, won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film. Figliozzi oversaw a team of about 80 animators, with 28 of them being fellow Ringling alumni all contributing to the feature film’s success.
The picturesque Ringling campus includes 111 buildings and nearly 1,400 students from 44 states in the U.S. and 50 countries. The students, faculty, and staff of Sarasota’s Ringling college of Art and Design don’t usually get excited when films that their alumni have worked on win awards. Although it may sound shocking, this is because the graduates work on most of the top animated movies around the world. School officials say, out of the 25 highest-grossing animated films of all time, Ringling grads have worked on 24 of them. The Ringling program only graduate approximately 50 students each year, so that really is impressive.
The only of the top 25 highest-grossing animated films that Ringling grads didn’t work one were Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2.