Lipscomb’s Animation Program Ranked Among Top in Nation and Top in Tennessee


Lipscomb’s animation program is quickly becoming known as one of the best programs of its kind.

The Lipscomb University animation program has quickly developed a reputation as one of the best programs of its kind and was recently recognized as one of the best programs in the nation.

Animation Career Review has ranked Lipscomb’s Bachelor of Arts in animation program No. 22 in the nation and the top in Tennessee. Included in the ranking with Lipscomb are University of Southern California, UCLA, The Ohio State University, the University of Florida, California State University Los Angeles and the University of Connecticut among others. Lipscomb was the only institution in Tennessee to make this ranking.

Lipscomb’s program launched in 2015 as Tom Bancroft brought a vision to life for the George Shinn College of Entertainment & the Arts to offer a unique academic program to prepare students who want to pursue careers in animation. What he has created is a program whose faculty and guest lecturers include former and current Disney animators, Big Idea Production artists and numerous other industry-proven leaders and that has at its core a faith-based perspective. It is a very specialized program that approaches animation education with an infusion of fundamental art techniques such as perspective, figure drawing, film elements and movement.

“The word is out that Lipscomb University is a place to seriously study animation from some of the best artists in the industry,” said Bancroft, a 25-year industry veteran and former Disney animator whose credits include four animated shorts and eight feature films include Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Aladdin, Pocahontas, Mulan and Brother Bear. “Students are coming from across the country to be part of this program.”

Mike Nawrocki works with an animation student.

For the undergraduate degree ranking, Animation Career Review evaluated animation schools and programs based on academic reputation, admission selectivity, employment data, depth and breadth of program faculty, value as it relates to tuition and indebtedness and graduation rate.

“I am incredibly proud of the recognition of our animation program. It is a testament to the vision, creativity and hard work of Tom Bancroft,” said Mike Fernandez, dean of the College of Entertainment & the Arts. “As great as this ranking is, we are only just getting started and in the years to come we will build on this success by adding programs that will benefit creatives in the animation, game design, interactive, and metaverse industries. It is truly an exciting time to be a student in the College of Entertainment & the Arts at Lipscomb University.”

Tom Bancroft has built the animation program to one of the fastest growing academic programs on campus.

The animation program is one of the fastest-growing academic programs at Lipscomb due, in part, to a faculty full of top-of-the-line industry experts Bancroft has built. In addition to Bancroft, Lipscomb’s animation faculty includes Mike Nawrocki, co-creator of VeggieTales and co-founder of Big Idea Entertainment; and former Disney animators Tony Bancroft (Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, Mulan),  John Pomeroy (The Rescuers, Pete’s Dragon, Pocahontas), Jim Elston (Mulan, Tarzan, Lilo and Stitch) and Tim Hodge (Mulan, Brother Bear, Lion King) among others.

Housed in Lipscomb’s School of Theatre & Cinematic Arts, the CEA offers Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in animation as well as a Master of Fine Arts in animation.

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