Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Animation Mouseketeers

Here are Freddie, Billy, Fatso, Nutsy and Tipsy ... or as they were better known, Fred Kopietz, Bill Southwood, Ed Solomon, Lou Appet* and George "Nick" Nicholas. Disney, circa 1955. 1955 was a pivotal year for Disney. The studio was still making shorts, still making animated features, and the year before it had shot its first big budget live-action feature "20,000 Leagues under the Sea." It had plunged into television with the prime time "Disneyland" and the late-afternoon "Mickey Mouse Club." And Walt had once again rolled the dice, sinking the studio assets into a few hundred acres of orange groves in Anaheim, California. For an amusement park that had more in common with Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, Denmark than it did with Coney Island, New York. 1955. Definitely a make-or-break milestone in the long history of the Mouse House. * Lou was a layout artist who was active in the Fleischer strike in New York, and forty years later was the President and then the Business Representative of The Animation Guild (then the Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists) in Los Angeles.


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