Aaron Hartline

Author: Aaron Hartline, animator at Pixar Animation Studios

Feature Film Credits: Brave, Cars 2, Toy Story 3, UP, Ice Age 1-3, Horton Hears a Who and Robots

Letters of Note featured Aaron Hartline’s letter to Willie Downs in September of 2010, which went viral within the creative corners of the internet. Aaron shared on his blog about the overwhelming positive response he received from others who read his letter. This viral exchange sparked the idea from which The Animator Letters Project was born.


Hi Willie –

Thank you for the kind words! Reading your letter, all I could think was DON’T GIVE UP! If you really love it, then don’t let anyone tell you it’s too hard, that you will fail.

When I took a tour at Disney right out of Highschool, I showed the tour guide/animator my work. She said ‘It’s easier to get a job as a professional basketball player than getting a animator position at Walt Disney Studios‘. My mom said ‘Are you sure you want to do this?’ I was so angry. So motivated. I knew if I worked hard that one day..some day..I could do it! Took me 14 years of trying but it happened.

You can do it Willie!!

Work hard and really want it!

Check out www.animationmentor.com. I teach there. It’s a great school w teachers who are professional working animators at the major studios.

Hope to be working with you one day.