Jess Española

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Jess Española

Jesus “Jess” Española is a Philippine animator based in the United States who works on the long-running TV series The Simpsons. He is known for being the first Filipino to receive an Emmy Award.


Personal background and education

Jess Española grew up in an impoverished area in Central Luzon as the son of a single mother. He relied on his imagination to cope during the frequent occasions when he did not have enough to eat.

Highly talented, he managed to stay at the top of his class while growing up. He was given a scholarship to the University of the Philippines where he enrolled in the College of Fine Arts, majoring in painting and studio arts. He was awarded a scholarship by UP Fine Arts Alumni Foundation & Melquiades M. Castro Scholarship Foundation. He supported himself by working while completing his degree. He graduated from the university in 1984.


His early stint in animation began in 1985 at Burbank Animation Inc. as an in-betweener, clean up artist, and animator. In 1988, he became an animation group leader and key animator of the Hanna-Barbera subsidiary Fil-Cartoons Inc. in Pasig for several television shows. Later on in 1994, he moved to Los Angeles, California with his family and achieved permanent United States residency status for being a “person with exceptional ability.” From 1995 to 1997, Española worked on CD-Rom game/edutainment at 7th Level Inc., a combination of traditional animation and computer technology. In 1997 he worked at Film Roman, Inc. as character layout artist and assistant director for King of the Hill. He was hired as an assistant director for Rough Draft, Inc., working on the animated television series Futurama in 1998 for 20th Century Fox Television Network. Futurama was awarded an Emmy in 2002 for the episode "Roswell That Ends Well", but Española was not cited as at that time assistant directors were not included in the awarding. On June 2006, he started working as an assistant director in charge of checking character and background layouts for The Simpsons at Starz Film Roman.

Aside from animation, Española has also ventured into a parallel career in commercial photography and photojournalism with Press Photographers Philippines, USA from 2002-2007. He is the treasurer of a group of professional journalists, artists, and photographers called the Photo-Reporters Guild.


Fil-Cartoons (subsidiary of Hanna-Barbera)

  • The Greatest Adventure, Stories from the Bible
  • Captain Planet and the Planeteers
  • Don Coyote
  • The Dream Stone
  • Fender Bender
  • Droopy and Dripple
  • Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventures
  • Fantastic Max
  • The Flintstone Special
  • Hallmark's Timeless Tales- The Ugly Duckling, The Elves and the Shoe Maker, The Emperor's New Clothes
  • Smurfs
  • Snorks
  • Spyke and Tyke
  • Super Ted
  • Tom and Jerry Kids
  • The Addams Family
  • The Jetsons Family Special
  • Johnny Quest
  • Monster in my Pocket
  • Paddington Bear
  • The Pirates of Darkwater
  • Police Academy
  • Robin Hood
  • Podunk & Possum
  • Scooby Doo & the Reluctant Werewolf
  • Yogi Bear
  • Daisy-Head Mazie
  • Sledge Hammer
  • Halloween Tree

Burbank Animation Studio

  • Alice Through The Looking Glass
  • Defenders of the Earth
  • Hiawatha
  • Odyssey
  • Gem
  • My Little Pony
  • Perzeus
  • Peter Pan
  • Timberwood Tales
  • Where Did I Come From?

L.A. Animation

  • The Mighty Kong Show

7th Level Studio

  • Arcade America
  • Battle Beast
  • The Universe According to Virgil Reality
  • Ace Ventura (CD-ROM Game)
  • Disney's Timon & Pumbaa
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • Microsoft's Barney & Friends
  • Howie Mandel's Great Word Adventure
  • Howie Mandel's Great Math Adventure
  • Howie Mandel's Reading Adventure
  • Kidsworld Online

Cloud 9 Interactive Studio

  • I Can Be An Animal Doctor

Warner Brothers

  • Baby Blues

Film Roman

  • King of the Hill
  • Simpsons

Rough Draft Studios

  • Futurama


  • Academy of Television Arts & Sciences
  • Animation Guild and Affiliated Optical Electronic and Graphic Arts
  • Rotary Club of Historic Filipino Town
  • MOTHER Movement USA
  • Gawad Kalinga
  • Order of the Knights of Rizal


  • 2008 Outstanding Animated Program (for programming less than one hour) in the 60th Annual Creative Arts Emmy Awards for the The Simpsons episode “Eternal Moonshine of the Simpson Mind,” for which he was assistant director.
  • Pamana Award 2000; Reflection XII Award 2000; Celebrity Chronicles Award 2001; Pampanga Day Celebration Commission Professional Excellence Award 2008; FASGI American Dream Award 2009
  • MOKA - Most Outstanding Kapampangan Awards 2010

External Links


  • Casuco, David. “Española, first Filipino to win an Emmy Award.” In Good News Philippines, October 6, 2008. [1] . (Accessed January 23, 2009).
  • ”The Simpsons.” In TV. Com. [2] . (Accessed January 23, 2009).
  • Villaroman, Rene. “FilAm is first Emmy recipient in animation.” In Asian Journal, September 26, 2008.[3]. (Accessed January 23, 2009).
  • Simpsons' animator is a pinoy, d'oh! February 13, 2009 | Author: Pasckie Pascua, Philippine News



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