Monday, October 31, 2011

The Rudy Cataldi Interview -- Part I

Rudy Cataldi was born and reared in Newark, New Jersey, and came out to California's milder climate during World War II. As Rudy tells it ...

TAG Interview with Rudy Cataldi

Find all TAG Interviews on the TAG website at this link

I started in the business on November 1, 1943 as a 16-year-old in the Disney Studios traffic department. For three months my 9:00 a.m pickup was at the front gate entrance on Buena Vista. I was lucky to meet Walt Disney each morning at that time and walk into the animation building with him as a starry-eyed kid. At about the second week, I asked him for an autographed photo of himself. He told me he would have it for me at 10:30 a.m. I went up to his office ... There was Walt, with his photo in hand ... He showed me around his office, which looked more like an apartment ...

Three months into my career, I was given a chance to try out for inbetweens. I tried, had pomise, and started picking up from Johnny Bond, another gem of a person. In no time I started assisting ... I still remember the first scene I worked on. It was Donalde Duck hanging by the collar on the side of a cliff in a short called "Commando Duck."

Disney's, however, was just the first studio at which Mr. Cataldi worked in a fifty-seven year long career.


Tom Ruegger said...

I had the honor of working for Rudy Cataldi as an assistant animator at Hanna-Barbera in 1978-79. He was a class act, a great animator, and a genuinely nice man. During the gas crisis back then -- I was in my fedorah phase -- one night I was filling up my car at a gas station in Sherman Oaks when the Channel 2 News crew drove up and pointed a camera at me and asked my opinion. I offered up some complaint about the prices and the lines, standard stuff. The next day at work, Rudy Cataldi came up and said, "Hey, I saw you on the news last night. Great hat!" Rudy was the only one who saw me on the news.

Chris Sobieniak said...

Cool story Tom!

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