Tuesday, September 04, 2007

1977 Mouse House

Still more from the '77 Disney recruitment booklet (c) 1977 Walt Disney Prods...

Larsen, Thomas and Husband

Above, top: Eric Larson, unknown. Above, bottom: Frank Thomas and Ron Husband.

By the time I arrived at WDP, Eric Larson had stopped working in production and was tutoring up-and-coming talent. For a brief time, he was slated to direct The Small One, but that gig ended up going to Don Bluth.

Frank Thomas, on the other hand, was still animating, like he had for forty-plus years. He was then working on a lengthy sequence involving Tod and Copper (the leads in The Fox and the Hound). Frank retired from animation in '78. Here he takes time to go over animator Ron Husband's work...

Lotsa Disney artists

Above, left to right: Don Bluth, John Pomeroy, Jim George, Heidi Guedel (Garofalo), Dave Spafford, Glen Keane, Emily Jiuliano. Below, left to right: Ron Clements, Tad Stones, Mel Shaw, Gary Goldman.

The top picture shows Don Bluth holding forth to a rapt audience of young animators and assistants. Don was always a compelling speaker in front of a group. When I was a trainee, he had a number of Disney's newer staff working on Banjo the Woodpile Cat at his house on weekends.

Artist Mel Shaw, returning to the studio after a lengthy absence, was one of the first artists Walt put on Bambi. Here he expounds on some of his early development artwork for later features.

I remember Mel telling me how hard the design and background crew worked to build the right color palette for Bambi so that it helped propel the story from sequence to sequence. Mel was at this time (1977) working on a host of projects. A group of Mel's pastel studies for The Rescuers became the visuals for that flick's title sequence.


Jenny Lerew said...

These have been fun to see, Steve--thanks.

Anonymous said...

That's Rebecca Rees with Eric.

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