Animator and story man Mel Shaw has been called one of Disney’s “elder statesmen” of animation. Walt Disney, who personally recruited Mel to join his team, observed another side.
During his early polo playing days, Mel recalled first meeting Walt at the field, who announced, “You ride like a wild Indian!” And thus, the door opened for Mel to infuse his passion into Disney animation.
Born in Brooklyn on December 19, 1914, Mel discovered his artistic bent at age 10, when selected as one of only 30 children from the state of New York to participate in the Student Art League Society. Two years later, his soap sculpture of a Latino with a pack mule won second prize in a Procter & Gamble soap carving contest, earning the young artist national notoriety.
In 1928, his family moved to Los Angeles, where Mel attended high school and entered a scholarship class at Otis Art Institute. But, the teen had an itch to become a cowboy and ran away from home to work on a Utah… read more