Thursday, March 29, 2018

Eric

Eric Larson working -obviously- on 101 Dalmatians. I am not sure when this photo was taken. Perhaps during production or after the movie was finished. 
Everybody loved Eric. When interacting with animation students or newcomers to the studio during the 1970s and 80s, he was a very good listener. He wanted to know your background, your history.
His advice was always encouraging. Eric was fascinated by student's individual talents. 
And he always stressed the value of Walt Disney's approach toward entertainment. Bringing audiences up to what they didn't expect. 
When the studio got into TV animation, Eric was heartbroken. He stressed that Walt always wanted top quality, no matter what format. I read between his lines that Walt would have insisted on top quality for the then new Disney Chanel content. The Illusion of life, which it wasn't.

Compromise was not something Eric supported. He loved his old boss and tried to communicate to some of us that superior quality was an excellent business model that would always win.

That kind of philosophy stayed with me ever since Eric conveiged it to us. 
Perhaps I can convince John Musker ( who had great interactions with Eric) to host a full blown Academy Tribute on Eric's animation work as well of his teachings. This is so overdue.




7 comments:

  1. I always love these production publicity photos. They're a chance to see the animators "at work" alongside walls of production art that awe and inspire. Thanks for the spotlight on Eric Larson, and that he was a kind soul with an affinity for mentoring new talent. I've heard that he unfortunately took a hit for his perfectionism on directing the forest sequence in "Sleeping Beauty", which to me is one of the two iconic animation highlights of that masterpiece.

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  2. Eric has always been my favorite Disney animator. I love hearing about his twilight years.

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  3. Of course, Eric was right about television. Walt always insisted animation at his studio would be the best. We traveled down a dangerous path once we adopted, "Saturday Morning" television.

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