character model department

19 09 2008

this is a photo of disney’s CHARACTER MODEL DEPARTMENT artists headed by JOE GRANT. I found the picture in JOHN CANEMAKER’S book BEFORE THE ANIMATION BEGINS. the picture was taken in 1939 when they were working on FANTASIA. I have added the names and even found out about an unknown artist – FINI LITTLEJOHN – on the right. she is married to BILL LITTLEJOHN and I met them both when I lived in L.A. it must be her, I am sure. FINI is from austria and escaped the nazi terror early enough. she told me she worked with JOE and did mostly costume designs.

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3 responses

19 09 2008
Nancy Beiman

Wow, Hans. Thanks for identifying these people. Is this Earl Hurd the same one who produced “bobby bumps” and oh, yeah, patented ‘the cel’?
And was Campbell Grant related to Joe?

19 09 2008
Nancy Beiman

I miss Joe.

20 09 2008
David

I don’t think Campbell and Joe were related, but I do believe Bill Jones was related to Bob Jones. Bob started-up the Model Department with Grant. I believe Bob came from the Camera Department. He was a master puppeteer. There are so many great artists in that photo – Earl Hurd who I think invented the cel, Albert Hurter who could bring any inanimate object to life, the great Kay Nielsen – his early work on Little Mermaid and his art from the unproduced sequence of Ride of the Valkyries from Fantasia are beyond gorgeous, and Helen Nervobig who painted the beautiful maquettes created by sculptor Charles Cristadoro. Just a great image!

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