American animator Glen Keane gives a master class at Ballyfermot Senior College in Dublin which has a growing reputation as an animation school.

Ballyfermot Senior College in Dublin is one of the most highly regarded animation colleges in the world. It is one of two European animation schools, and one of 12 worldwide, chosen by Disney for a special training relationship that includes internships, master classes and even jobs.

Walt Disney Animation Studios classical animator Glen Keane visits Ballyfermot Senior College to give master classes to students and tutors of the animation department.

Glen Keane is known for his work on the Disney feature films 'Aladdin', 'Pocahontas', ‘The Little Mermaid’ and ‘Beauty and the Beast’. He explains the process behind the beast’s transformation scene in ‘Beauty and the Beast’. He describes the inspiration behind the creation of his Disney characters,

Just showing really the process for developing characters and for animating.

Head of the Animation Department Thelma Chambers believes Disney is attracted to Balllyfermot Senior College because,

The programme here has the strength and the academic quality that Disney were probably looking for.

Understanding the form of animal and human bodies is central to animation, so life drawing classes are an integral part of the programme. Life drawing tutor Mary Avril cannot overestimate the importance of studying the human form and being able to express action and movement in drawing,

An animator must be somebody who almost can draw as easily as they breathe.

Another side to Balllyfermot Senior College’s programme is computer animation. Computer animation student Bill Sweeney sees the potential in designing graphics for computer games,

If you get into the games you can usually lead to films or any other aspect of computers.

For student Gary Ronaldson studying in Balllyfermot Senior College fulfils a lifelong passion for animation,

I love it; I know it’s just what I want to do.

Animators trained in Ballyfermot are in demand around the world. According to Thelma Chambers graduates follow the work and often emigrate. However they return when opportunities arise in Ireland.

A ‘Nationwide’ report broadcast on 26 May 1997. The reporter is Diarmuid Peavoy.