Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Gang

Disney’s top animators got together sometime in 1973 for a photo shoot to promote their latest animated feature Robin Hood. Looks like Woolie just cracked a joke, for some reason only Milt Kahl and Les Clark are not laughing.
Most of the animators were involved in this production except a few. Marc Davis came over from Imagineering, his home since the early 1960s. Ward Kimball and Les Clark were involved in directing a variety of TV and theatrical specials. Eric Larson did a bit of animation on the film, but he started to focus on developing a training program for new talent.
Ollie Johnston loved his assignment to animate Prince John and Sir Hiss, Frank Thomas did not find a fun way to express himself in this film. Milt did beautiful work on Robin Hood and several other characters, but questioned the film’s story structure.
All of them were incredibly gifted artists, highly opinionated and critical. Marc Davis summed it up: ”I think that one of Walt’s greatest achievements was having all of us work together without killing one another.”

In other words they all knew that you had to be a team player in order to make these movies.


  1. -B-

    John Lounsbery reminds me of a young Johnny Cash.
    Thanks for posting Andreas!


  2. What stuff did Frank Thomas do on Robin Hood?

  3. These master artists were so fantastic that is hard to find the good words to describe them. Such a dedication and self-discipline that reminiscence me of renaissance Italy. Working 40+ years in the studio, and they still delivered beautiful, sincere animation in the 1970's films like Winnie the Pooh, Robin Hood or Rescuers, the last films that saw them together.
    They brought joy and laughter to billions of people and generations, yet their memory is so limited. Thank you for your dedication in preserving the heritage of the 9 old men! Everyone should know about them, their lives were more fascinating than an adventure book!

  4. I still feel surprised when I'm reminded that these master animators had drama and conflicting opinions between them, for I could never guess that by looking at their great films.