The Animators

The Animators

A Novel

eBook - 2016
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"In their first year of college, two young women, one from a Florida swamp, the other from a Kentucky holler, both outsiders at their prestigious east coast college, meet in "Introduction to Sketch" and become instant best friends. A decade later, Mel and Sharon's lives remain intertwined, but so much else has changed. Now a semi-famous New York filmmaking duo, they draw upon their own pasts to make intimate animated movies, a process that has left their personal lives--including their friendship--in tatters. When tragedy strikes, Mel and Sharon must return to their home states to confront long-buried secrets and try to restore damaged relationships with their families, lovers, and each other" -- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Random House, [2016]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780812989298
Characteristics: 1 online resource (372 pages)
Call Number: eBook

Related Resources


From Library Staff

Best Debut Goodreads Author Finalist

lindab1111 Apr 29, 2017

Great first novel. Whitaker is an author to watch.

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Apr 24, 2018

In my mind, The Animators is in the same genre as The Boys in the Boat, H is for Hawk, and Barbarian Days. That is, it explores a consuming calling in the characters’ life, and that calling is wholly outside of my field of knowledge or interest. In The Boys in the Boat, the calling was crew; in H is for Hawk, it was falconry; in Barbarian Days, surfing; in The Animators, animated film. These books didn’t result in my taking up any of those pursuits, but they did remind me of my respect and admiration for the people who devote themselves so deeply to whatever it is they choose to pursue.

The Animators is the only one that is fiction. The story is interesting, the characters are real and they grow, but the facet of this book that pushed me across the line between four and five stars was the intense and intimate depiction of their creative process in developing their animated films. Mel and Sharon were misfits in college, from disadvantaged and difficult backgrounds now in an Ivy League school, who found each other and became friends and artistic/business partners. They unearthed their own and each other’s most deeply buried events and feelings about their growing-up years and put them into their films (to critical and public acclaim). They were relentless in their demand for honesty in their work; every nuance had to be right and feel true.

Everyone knows that high achievement in anything is preceded by hard work; The Animators is a reminder of that and demonstrates what hard work looks like, what it demands of you. This is probably not what the author had in mind for her readers to get from her book, but I found it inspiring as well as interesting, and a worthwhile read.

May 28, 2017

Loved this book for the plot and action between the two main characters-

lindab1111 Apr 29, 2017

Great first novel. Whitaker is an author to watch.

KateHillier Mar 28, 2017

Mel and Sharon have been animation partners since meeting in college. Mel is wild and crazy and seems to have all the ideas while Sharon is the one who makes sure that the project actually gets finished. They're riding the wave of their first major success when Mel gets some devastating new and Sharon is sidelined by an unforeseen curveball. I'm trying very badly not to give those things away.

Sharon is already questioning her own value to the partnership when these things happen, and a trip to her home state of Kentucky with Mel in tow seems primed to be a hilarious and awkward comedy but it's really just painful. Mel's childhood is not happy but Sharon's isn't super happy either.

It's really a great book until the middle, and then the Big Thing happens and it honestly sort of peters out from there. It may have been a bit more compelling had the big event happened earlier and we had some room to build up into something. Or if that Big Event was something else entirely.

Didn't love it. Didn't hate it.

MGBustillo Mar 24, 2017

A whirlwind story of two women bound by art and a lifetime of friendship tragically cut short. Two misfits who find a kindred spirit and passion for animation/cartoons/movies.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further


Subject Headings


Find it at DCL

To Top