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Cordell Barker


“People often think storytelling is easy for me. But I really sweat over it: I agonize over every frame, the timing of every action, whether the gag is working or not.”



Cordell Barker has made a reputation for himself as one of Canada’s top animators with two short films under 10 minutes each. For most of his 25-year career, Barker has worked behind the scenes making commercials; however, his shorts The Cat Came Back and Strange Invaders have earned him two Oscar® nominations and renown for his unique hand-drawn style and darkly comic cautionary tales.

Born and raised in Winnipeg, Barker decided to be an animator at an early age. His hometown offered plenty of opportunity for commercial work, and in 1974, in his late teens, he began an animation apprenticeship with Kenn Perkins Animation (where artists such as Brad Caslor and Chris Hinton started out). He worked his way up in the company from an unpaid position to painting cells for Sesame Street and K-Tel ads. After three years, he left in search of work that would allow him to hone his artistic talents.

In Cartoon Capers (1999), a book about animation in Canada, Karen Mazurkewich says… read more


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