disney legends 1

15 12 2010

just right for the christmas time I start a new series of posts – the DISNEY LEGENDS. ‘legends’ because a lot of these artists worked on the legendary animation-masterpieces starting with SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS and a bit longer after WALT DISNEY’S death in 1966. I have quite a big collection of production-photographs from magazine and book publications, very interesting remnants of a nearly forgotten time. not too many of the artists from those days are still alive and probably most of you haven’t even heard of some of the names I added in the photographs.

a lot of critics accused walt disney that he was keeping his artists in his shadow. but when I looked through the publication-photo-folders in the disney archives I found it remarkable how many pictures were officially taken by a studio photographer during the production of all these movies, pictures of all different stages and in all departments, of all the artists, even a lot in the ink+paint department. only a few of them have ever been published, but at least they exist. well, during all my years working in the studio I can only remember one occasion before the release of MULAN when publicity pictures were taken of some of the artists, pictures where we had to stage some faked presentation. but there was never anybody around to document our work in our thousands of meetings or to look over the shoulders in our rooms/cubicles.

look at the footage in the background of the recent documentary of WAKING SLEEPING BEAUTY. most of it is amateur-film-material, except when there were major voice-acting stars in the studio, or a documentary team came in from the outside. interesting, isn’t it? no wonder that the WAKING SLEEPING BEAUTY documentary is just about the clash of the titans, they were on camera whenever possible. that small powerful group made the public believe that they were the heart of the studio, – who would want to witness the boring artistic struggle to create the artwork that kept them in their positions. in my series there will not be anything from recent years, i want to concentrate on the REAL ‘GOLDEN ERA’ of animation, the time and its images that made me want to work in animation and that is now once and forever history.

© disney enterprises, inc



9 responses

15 12 2010
Colin Stimpson

Great post Hans, I really enjoyed seeing these photos.

15 12 2010
michael sporn

Thanks for posting these, Hans. Many of the photos, of course, are in the Bob Thomas book, but he doesn’t identify the people (other than a few). You IDs are invaluable. I look forward to more in the series.

16 12 2010
Vitaliy Shushko

Amazing post!!! thanks ))))

16 12 2010
Andy Latham

Great! Really looking forward to the series! These photos are wonderful to look at, especially with the names attached. Thanks for doing this 😀

16 12 2010

You really do wonder if these men and women realised how much they would be revered by future animation artists. great post!

17 12 2010
Joakim Gunnarsson

Great to see those unsung Disney people identified. Looking forward to upcoming posts!

23 12 2010
Floyd Norman

What an amazing group. Most were still around when I started at Disney in the fifties. Lucky for me, I got to meet most of them, including the old man himself. We did walk among giants.

25 02 2011
Floyd Norman

Thanks for posting these, Hans. I was lucky enough to work with, or at least know most of these guys because I came to Disney during the last years of the Golden Age.

I also like your comment about the “Titans” always wanting to be “on camera,” and take credit for all the hard work being done by the artists.

8 01 2014

I found a very interesting short film, experimental created by WD and Salvador Dali (‘Destino’-1946): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GFkN4deuZU

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