Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Ollie Johnston - Last of the Red Hot Animators

From Wall Street Journal - 4/22/08

Ollie Johnston was born the same year the Titanic sank. When he died last week in his 96th year -- on the anniversary of the night the ill-fated liner struck the iceberg -- he was the last of a now-vanished breed of 20th-century American artist.

Disney's Nine Old Men, with Johnston fifth from the left, in an early 1950s photo.
For Johnston was a master animator (of the hand-drawn variety) who worked directly with Walt Disney on such pioneering, gold-standard films as "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" (1937), "Pinocchio" (1940), "Fantasia" (1940) and "Bambi" (1942). Later, he became one of Disney's legendary "Nine Old Men," an elite group of animators who maintained the highest standards of animation performance in such later classics as "Cinderella" (1950), "Alice in Wonderland" (1951), "Peter Pan" (1953), "Lady and the Tramp" (1955), "101 Dalmatians" (1961) and "The Jungle Book" (1967)


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