Program Faculty

Maija Burnett

Maija Burnett

Maija Burnett is the Director of the Character Animation Program at CalArts. 

Originally from Montreal, Canada, Maija obtained an M.F.A. in Animation from UCLA, as well as degrees from McGill University in Film Studies. Her animated work has been featured in film festivals and museums around the world, including Comic-Con (San Diego), Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles), Chicago International Children’s Film Festival (Chicago), Sprockets International Film Festival for Children (Toronto), and Viewfinders International Film Festival for Youth (Halifax). Her screen credits include Curious George (Warner Brothers/Universal), 9 (Focus Features), Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties (20th Century Fox), Ed, Edd ‘n’ Eddy (Cartoon Network), and more. 

Maija represents CalArts at various international events; she was a jury member at SICAF (Seoul), Animation Block Party (New York), and is an Associate Jury Member of the Webby Awards. Maija has spoken on panels at SIGGRAPH (Vancouver), Comic-Con (San Diego), and for Women in Animation (Los Angeles). She served as a board member of the GLAS Animation Festival (Berkeley), and is a member of its Advisory Committee. 

Maija currently teaches shorter-than-short-form animation (loops, digital stickers, and more) using Flash/Adobe Animate; her past classes include “Animation and ‘the Body,’” “Surfing the Web: Theorizing Art and Animation on the Internet,” “Superheroes: Inside the Bat Cave,” and “Animation and Transgression.”

Maija was named Animation Educator of the Year by Variety in May 2017.