James Baxter (born May 1967) is a British character animator. He was first known for his work on several Walt Disney Animation Studios films, including various characters in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Rafiki in The Lion King, Belle in Beauty and the Beast, and Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
After Notre Dame, Baxter moved over to DreamWorks Animation, where he worked on films such as The Prince of Egypt, The Road to El Dorado, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, Shrek 2 and Madagascar. Early in 2005, Baxter left DreamWorks and set out on his own as an independent animator. He became the head of his own studio, James Baxter Animation, in Pasadena, California, where he has directed the animation for the 2007 film Enchanted and the opening to Kung Fu Panda, for which he received an Annie Award. In summer of 2008, James Baxter Animation has closed and Baxter returned to DreamWorks Animation as a supervising animator. Although not credited in the film, James worked on early concept art Rise of the Guardians.
In May 2013, Baxter was a guest animator for an episode of Adventure Time entitled James Baxter the Horse, the plot of which mirrors the relationship between the show's creator Pendleton Ward and Baxter. The episode's story focused on the lead characters trying to emulate a horse who can cheer everyone up by neighing his name (James Baxter) and balancing on a beach ball. Both the horse's animation (which is visually distinct from the other characters) and voice were provided by Baxter. The episode's title card features a drawing of the horse drawing a horse on a beach ball, while sitting at an animation table.
- The Croods (2013) (Head of Character Animation, Head of Traditional animation department, animator)
- How to Train Your Dragon (2010) (animator)
- Monsters vs. Aliens (2009) (animator)
- Kung Fu Panda (2008) (animation director - dream sequence: James Baxter Animation)
- Enchanted (2007) (animation supervisor: James Baxter Animation)
- Curious George (2006) (animation supervisor: James Baxter Animation)
- Madagascar (2005) (additional supervising animator)
- Shrek 2 (2004) (supervising animator)
- Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas (2003) (supervising animator: "Sinbad")
- Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002) (senior supervising animator: "Spirit")
- The Road to El Dorado (2000) (senior supervising animator: "Tulio")
- The Prince of Egypt (1998) (animator: "Moses")
- The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996) (visual development, character designer, supervising animator: "Quasimodo")
- The Lion King (1994) (supervising animator: "Rafiki")
- Beauty and the Beast (1991) (supervising animator: "Belle")
- The Rescuers Down Under (1990) (character animator)
- DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp (1990) (animator)
- The Little Mermaid (1989) (character animator)
- Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) (animator)
- Adventure Time with Finn & Jake (2013) (animator: James Baxter - episode: James Baxter the Horse)
- Made in Hollywood: Teen Edition (2013) (The Creative Team Behind 'The Croods' - Himself)
- Kung Fu Panda Holiday (TV short) (2010) (Animator)
- Adam and Dog (2011) (Animator)
- Tummy Trouble (1989) (Animator)
- Becoming enchanted: A Classic Comes True (2008) (Video documentary short - Himself)
- 100 Greatest Cartoons (2005) (TV special documentary - Himself)
- The Making of Disney's 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' (1996) (TV documentary - Himself - Supervising Animator, 'Quasimodo'
- The Making of 'Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy' (1993) (Additional Animator)
- The Making of 'Beauty and the Beast' (1991) (TV documentary - Himself)