Computer animated 3D models have been increasingly used in multimedia presentations because they can be viewed and manipulated directly in 3D. In this paper, we propose a database approach for this problem. Our main objective is to help authors create multimedia presentations by reusing existing animations. In our approach, animations are stored in databases. We define a set of metadata that describe the animations. Authors can search on these databases by issuing queries. A set of motion editing operations are defined and used to manipulate the query results to create new ones according to the requirements of the presentations. We have developed an animation toolkit implementing the approach and the results are promising.