JOE GRANT was born may 15, 1908 in new york city. his father worked for one of randolph hearst’s newspapers, so it was natural that joe started in the same business. he became pretty successful with his celebritry caricatures beginning of the 1930s for the LOS ANGELES RECORD. walt disney was a big fan of his work and asked his artists to copy joe’s style for the characters in a 2 1/2 min ‘PARADE OF THE NOMINEES’ in the 1932 OSCAR presentation. it featured MICKEY MOUSE for the first time in color! pretty soon, in 1933, disney hired joe grant who designed as his first job all the celebrity characters in MICKEY’S GALA PREMIERE. by the mid-thirties he was in charge of the character development department at disney and every single character and model sheet had to be approved by him. for SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS he created the queen/witch, he co-wrote DUMBO and was responsible for the story development of FANTASIA and PINOCCHIO. in 1949 he left the studio and started his own ceramic tile and business card business. it took until 1989 when he returned to disney to work on all the feature films until his death in may 2005.
in a later post I will have some more about joe grant.
following are two pictures, with him, walt disney and dick huemer during FANTASIA, and one from a christmas party in 2003 with ollie johnston and franck thomas.
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