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"The Only Woman Animator"

By Mindy Johnson

Bessie Mae Kelley & Women at the Dawn of an Industry

Manitou Productions
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In the earliest days of the animation industry, one woman animated and directed alongside the men who later became titans of the artform, yet her name and work have been lost — until now. The discovery of this pioneer changes everything.

In a landmark premiere, this ground-breaking artist, and her surviving films, are finally introduced to the world, marking the debut of the earliest-known hand-drawn animation — animated and directed by a woman.


Author/historian Mindy Johnson once again transforms our animated past with the pivotal discovery of “the only woman animator” in the earliest days of animation as well as other women artists at the dawn of an industry.

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