Tom Bancroft

Tom Bancroft

Tom Bancroft’s Early Career

Tom Bancroft, president of Taught By A Pro, has over 25 years of experience in the animation industry, most of which was for Walt Disney Feature animation where he was an animator for 11 years. He has been nominated for Annie and Rueben awards, spoken at the Kennedy Center and awarded an entry into the Chicago Children’s Film Festival.

While at Disney, Bancroft had the opportunity to contribute animation on 10 animated feature films, 5 animated shorts, and numerous special projects and commercials. Some of the classic films include, “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Lion King,” “Aladdin”, “Mulan”, and “Brother Bear”. He was also a character designer and director for Big Idea Entertainment, makers of the family-friendly “Veggietales” video series.

In 2005, Bancroft had his popular art instruction book, Creating Characters with Personality published by Watson-Guptill Publishers. With “guest” contributors like Glen Keane, Jack Davis, Peter de’Seve, and Butch Hartman, it has already become the most recognized book on designing characters for animation, video games, comic books, and cartooning. Creating Characters with Personality has become a required textbook at many art schools around the United States.

Tom Bancroft’s Character Design Books

Tom’s second character desgin book, Character Mentor came out in April, 2012 from Focal Press.  Character Mentor fills the gap for many people that already have a character design but want to know how to bring it to life for all forms of print media. The book focuses on the three subjects of EXRESSIONS, POSING, and STAGING your characters. While the book is perfect for animators also, it is not an animation book. Character Mentor was created to give tips and instruction on how to bring personality and life to your character in a single drawing.

Bancroft co-founded Funnypages Productions, LLC  in Nashville, TN. and ran it for eight years. Throughout that time and now, he has provided direction, art direction, illustration, character design and animation development for clients like Disney Feature films, Disney Licensing, DC comics, Marvel Licensing, Big Idea Entertainment, Warner Brothers, CBN, Scholastic, NavPress, Thomas Nelson, and Zondervan. He has also illustrated over 50 children’s books. Recently, he provided character art and art direction to help launch the popular kid’s educational website

Tom Bancroft’s Recent Work

After working at Disney feature animation for over 11 years, lecturing at art schools, video game and animation studios, and writing some of the best-selling books on the subject of character design, Tom Bancroft, President of Taught By A Pro, had a few ideas about how WE learn as artists.  His Taught By A Pro character design and animation classes are his way of giving back to the art of animation and character design that he loves.

In addition to running Taught By A Pro, Tom co-hosts the popular Bancroft Brothers Animation podcast with his twin brother Tony Bancroft which has included amazing animators and directors like Glen Keane, Brad Bird, Pete Docter and many others.   Tom is also the creative genius behind the popular webcomic “Outnumbered.”

Currently Tom is works as the Head of Character Design for the international TV series “Superbook” by CTN.  He has designed literally hundreds of characters for TV, Film, Comic Books and Video Games.  He and his family reside in Franklin, Tennessee.

You can see a gallery of some of Bancroft’s work at  See also Tom Bancroft’s deviantArt page and the list of credits on IMDb.

Tom Bancroft’s Online Character Design Classes

  – Introduction to Character Design

  – Designing Animated Women

  – Creating a Character for a Purpose

  – Posing Animated Women