Okay time for questions related to Disney! I’m answering these based on my opinions and experiences and not through the opinions of The Walt Disney Company.
@Anon1: Yeah I wouldn’t really put their copyright characters into your portfolios, there are probably a few issues there including legal. However, if you’re doing your own adaptation of one of their stories it’s fine. So long as the scenes and characters don’t resemble too closely to their animated film version.
@Anon2: I improved my skills by drawing as much as I can, learning from others, observing and getting as much as I could out of my classes. I got into Disney through hard work, determination, perseverance and the skills I acquired through my whole existence.
@Emilierayne: Ooh I just answered a questions a bit similar to this and I recommend online courses because I’ve seen success stories come out of it. Here’s the link.
@Amardiyah: I took foundation classes in the beginning like figure drawing and later on I took visual development, environment painting, background for animation, character design, storyboard, color theory, graphic design for illustration, dynamic sketching and a couple other illustration classes. If your school has classes on film and storytelling I would recommend taking those as well.
@refrigerator-art: Character Design is probably the most wanted position but also the hardest to get into at a feature animation studio. Everybody is competing for it, even professionals who’ve worked in the industry for years so chances are they will give the job to them rather than to someone who just graduated college or doesn’t have as much experience. Being a character designer for games, tv animation or non-feature films is a little easier to break into but still requires skills. It’s good to also be versatile in other skills like prop design, storyboarding, background or animation. Of course, your portfolio shouldn’t be a mash of every single thing you can do, but put your focused field as 70% of your portfolio and the rest is other things you’re good at and enjoy doing. You can start small and make your way up to a character design position, a lot of great character designers today didn’t even start off as character designers, they were just really great illustrators or animators and later ended up in character design. I hope that didn’t scare you away from being a character designer haha, If that’s what you want to do then go for it! Apply anywhere you can for character design or even just as a concept artist or art intern even if the position isn’t currently open. Go to comic-conventions and animation expos and network and let recruiters and other artists know what you’re interested in and how you can get into the field. I did a lot of that haha.