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Former student is part of Oscar winning Frozen team

A former student has tasted Oscar success as part of the animation team for the smash hit Disney movie Frozen.

A former student has tasted Oscar success as part of the animation team for the smash hit Disney movie Frozen.

Effects Animator Thomas Wickes has also worked on Wreck-It Ralph, Big Hero 6 and is now working on the hugely awaited Frozen 2.

Mr Wickes, who lives in Burbank, California, said: “On Frozen, I got to work on a number of fun effects - I animated the boat and the ocean that killed Anna and Elsa's parents. I also created all the fjord freezing effects when Elsa is fleeing the castle. There's a number of other effects, but they're my favourites.”

He added: “It's been an absolute pleasure working for Disney over these past three years. There's always new challenges and I'm learning new things every day.”

The animator, who studied here from the mid -1990s (when the school was called The Queen’s School) became hooked on digital animation after taking a Multimedia Design course in Bath.

He said: “After I finished college, I spent a few years doing different jobs - nothing too glamorous - data entry and night shifts monitoring computers while working on my animation skills in my spare time. Eventually I had gotten enough personal animation work together to make a portfolio and I landed a job at Sony Computer Entertainment, a games studio in London as a VFX Artist. I spent two years there, then moved to the States and worked at Ready at Dawn Studios, another games company in Southern California. After two years there, I applied to a number of film and animation studios as that was always my goal. Disney took a chance on me and I've been here for just over three years now.”

Mr Wickes job as an Effects Animator means that he is involved in creating anything that moves which is not a character – such as smoke, fire, water, snow. He is currently working on a new film called Zootopia, which will be released next year.

Asked to give advice to our students who may also want to pursue a similar career he said: “Don't be afraid to try something new - and don't be afraid to be bad at something - it takes time and practice to learn a new skill. If you find something you enjoy doing, stick with it and try and be the best you can be.”