Saturday, February 25, 2012

Bernard Garbutt

Bernard Garbutt  was an animator during the Golden Age at Disney, where he also taught animal drawing.
I found this info about him online:
Bernard Garbutt (1900-1975) Born: Ontario, CA; Bernard Garbutt was born in Southern California and grew up in the Los Angeles area. After finishing high school he was hired as a staff artist for the Los Angeles Times to cover country fairs, horse races and farming events to produce drawings for the Sunday supplements.
Bernard Garbutt was an extremely versatile artist. He wrote and illustrated a number of children’s books, Including Timothy the Deer. The Walt Disney Studio hired him to work on the animated film productions of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Bambi. During WWII he was an artist for Screen Gems Productions in Hollywood and during the 1950s and 1960s, he taught at the Chouinard Art Institute.

Garbutt was no expert in personality animation, but he animated realistic and believable animal locomotion beautifully.
His draughtsmanship is top notch. The following pages show that he was able to sketch complex animal poses with great ease. Frank and Ollie said that his Vis. Dev. work on "Bambi" was invaluable for everybody.
The last three images are examples of how he handled deer anatomy and motion for that film. 
With a touch of poetry, if you ask me.


  1. There is so much life in these drawings...just beautiful!

  2. It's really impressive. I get the feeling this guy could have drawn a skeleton over any of those poses and it would have been dead on (pun slightly intended).

    I'm definitely adding his name to people to look at and refer back to.

  3. Awesome to see how the observational work translates into the animation drawings...I need to observe MORE!!! :)

  4. Fantastic Sketches!!!

  5. Oh my god, those are some beautiful animal drawings! :D

  6. This is great Andreas! A funny personal story of mine, because I am a Garbutt myself,...... growing up I used to joke that because of my peculiar last name that no one would ever put "Garbutt" on screen in credits because it sounds rather vulgar (especially a on Disney movie! :) ) day in a history of animation class....i saw Bernard's name on the front credits of Snow White and my fears were relinquished....i've always wanted to know more about him and ask myself if we are distant relatives....very cool to see this synopsis of his contributions! I have a Bambi drawing class pdf thats been floating around the internet of his studies...its pretty great! hope there are more to be shared! :)

  7. Beautiful work!!! Thanks for posting.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. I have never heard of Bernard Garbutt until now. I've heard Rico LeBrun's name over and over again in terms study contributions to Bambi. (Which I can't believe was actually 70 years ago!) LeBrun's work is very informative -- but I love this organic shorthand that Garbutt has for animals.

    I easily would have gladly paid money for access to the Garbutt drawings you posted.

    Thank you SO much for sharing. Very informative and inspirational.

  10. I just came across this and, unfortunately, it is the wrong photo for Bernard Garbutt. This is actually a photo of my father, Wilbur Streech, who was also at Disney's at the same time. My father was not there that long (later 1930s until beginning of WWII). My father had this photo because he said it was the only one of him (except for the group photo of the horse drawing) that he had from his time at Disney's. I just started doing more research on my dad for a memoir group I'm in and that's how I came across this. My dad passed away in 1986.