Monday, February 22, 2016

The Animation Guild Golden Award Interviews #12 -- Wilma Baker and Jay Gould

Jay Gould*, who started his career at the Fleischer Studio in New York, moved to California in the last half of the thirties, doing a stint at Leon Schlesinger's shop before settling in for a 42 year career at Walt Disney Productions.

What makes this particularly remarkable is that Jay went out on strike in '41 and stayed on to tell the tale. Mr. Gould didn't seem to go on Walt's naughty list like other, more senior employees who hit the bricks. (Being an inbetweener and under the radar is sometimes helpful in the longevity department. He doesn't mention the strike ... or his participation in it ... in the interview here.)

Wilma Baker, who retired from Disney as a final checker in 1983, began her career at the studio as a painter on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs during the final, frantic rush to get the picture completed.

Ms. Baker is still alive and active, even as she nears the age of 100.

* Jay Gould the animator is not related, so far as we know, to Jay Gould the railroad tycoon and robber baron. But if by chance he is, that would go a long way to explaining why Walt didn't lay him off after the strike. Who would want to mees with the Gould family?


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