California Institute of the Arts, or CalArts as it’s known, offers a wide range of programs in art-related disciplines including film, video, dance and theatre. However, arguably the greatest allure is the animation program – after all, this is the school that Walt Disney co-founded. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the school has produced some of the biggest names in animation including the previous and current creative heads of Pixar, John Lasseter and Pete Docter, renowned stop-motion director Henry Selick and traditional Disney line animator and director Gary Trousdale. Other notable alumni include Tim Burton, Brenda Chapman, Brad Birch, and James Mangold.
While it has been said that the facilities could benefit from modernization, the heritage CalArts offers continues to attract students and in 2011 it was ranked as the top school for arts-minded students, based on the exceptional artistic atmosphere on campus. Many animators and alumni of CalArts have even lovingly paid homage to their old classroom, room A113 by inserting the door number into their work. The Easter egg has appeared throughout several Disney movies and every Pixar film!