A wee bit of nostalgia: Here's a shot of the Disney Florida Animation Studios, brought to you from the collection of Carl Bell.
It's the opening ceremony of some big, sparkly building at the Disney-MGM Studio in Florida, back in the go-go eighties. Roy Disney is officiating in the back there, with Ward Kimball (in the black ball cap) Marc Davis, Ollie Johnston, and Frank Thomas.
Also a lot of balloons.
And down front is Mark Henn, Barry Temple, Dave Stephan, and two animation artists whose names I should know but don't. (Arrrgh.) ...
The Disney Feature Animation facility in Orlando was a nifty little studio that, at its peak, wasn't so little.
It started as a small production shop attached to an amusement park attraction. Nothing fancy. Early on, it produced some Roger Rabbit shorts and did a bit of support work for the features being produced in Burbank, California. Its staff and ambitions were small.
Over time, both grew. Disney Animation Florida was creating its own features in the latter half of the nineties (Mulan, Lilo and Stitch.) By that time, Burbank was giving support. But after Brother Bear was rolled out, the studio was shuttered, and a large and talented staff went its separate ways. My Peoples, the CG-hand-drawn feature that was in mid-flight at the time of the studio's closing, was never completed.
Over the years, I hopped down to the Florida Studio quite a lot. There was always a great vibe in and around the place, with lots of tropical sunlight streaming through large windows. The artists working there were enthusiastic about their work. Disney Animation Florida might have been a sideshow to the Burbank operation, but it was a facility that produced quality product.