MEL SHAW, born december 19, 1914, in brooklyn moved to L.A. in 1928. after an art education at the otis art institute he joined the HARMAN-ISING studios as an animator, character designer, story man and director. during that time he had a chance to work with ORSON WELLES storyboarding a live action/animation version of THE LITTLE PRINCE. WALT DISNEY hired mel personally after he saw him play in a polo match. before WWII interrupted mel’s career he worked on FANTASIA, BAMBI and WIND IN THE WILLOWS. after the war he started the ALLEN-SHAW productions together with former MGM animator BOB ALLEN, where he created toys and architectural masterplans like century city in california, as well as the illustrations for the first BAMBI children book for disney. mel told me the story where he was involved in the ( stone by stone ) move of the 1831 built LONDON BRIDGE from london to LAKE HAVASU CITY, ARIZONA, in 1968. the bridge was dismantled, every stone numbered and then shipped and trucked via long beach to arizona. what a project! in 1974 mel shaw returned to the disney studios where he helped the new artists on productions like RESCUERS, FOX AND THE HOUND, GREAT MOUSE DETECTIVE, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST and THE LION KING. I met mel during our pre-production work for BEAUTY AND THE BEAST in london in the fall of 1989 and had a chance to witness ( and videotape ) his incredible charcoal technique and the birth of dozens of beautiful paintings.
© disney enterprises, inc / mel shaw