Opening with songbird Frances Langford crooning “Once Upon a Wintertime” over beautiful frosty scenes, this charming follow-up to Make Mine Music fuses wonderful Disney animation and contemporary music from 1948, the year the film was released. The anthology continues with a blend of nature and musical images set to “Bumble Boogie,” and Donald Duck reunites with his cigar-smoking pal José Carioca in “Blame It on the Samba.”
Walt Disney first came to rely upon Wilfred Jackson’s genius and sense of perfection, the year Mickey Mouse was born, 1928. At that time, Walt had conceived the notion of marrying music and animation during what was the age of silent movies. Then a new kid in the Studio’s animation department, Wilfred devised a method of synchronizing animation with music, by using a metronome to mark time that could then be converted to a music track. The innovation, which was featured in Mickey Mouse’s debut film “Steamboat Willie,” revolutionized the entertainment medium and competing studios spent more than a year trying to figure out Disney’s production “secret.”
Walt quickly promoted “Jaxon,” as he was called, from animator to director. And as Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston wrote in their book, “Disney Animation: The Illusion of Life,” — "Jaxon was easily the most creative of the directors, but he was also the most “picky” and took a lot of kidding about his thoroughness."
Born… read more
Animator/director Clyde Geronimi got his start as an animator at the Hearst studios in New York. He was hired by Disney studios in 1931 and directed his short cartoon, Beach Picnic in 1938. Eventually Geronimi began working on Disney animated features and helped direct such classics as Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Alice in Wonderland and went on to win an Oscar for helming the Disney animated short Ugly Duckling. In the ’50s and ’60s, he moved into directing Disney television shows. —AllMovie guide
Jack Ryan Kinney (March 29, 1909 – February 9, 1992) was an American animator, director and producer of animated shorts.
Jack Kinney attended John Muir Junior High School in Los Angeles, California (1925), and attended John C. Fremont High School (1926 – 1928) there with Roy Williams. Both Fremont football players, they would later be hired by Walt Disney in 1930 to work at the Walt Disney Studio on Hyperion Avenue. Often referring to himself as Kinney’s best friend, Williams would go on to star as the “Big Mooseketeer” with head Mouseketeer Jimmie Dodd on the classic 1950s television program, “The Mickey Mouse Club” (1955 – 1958).
Kinney began his long career in cartoons at the Walt Disney Studios in 1931 as an animator on several shorts, including Santa’s Workshop (released on December 10, 1932), The Band Concert (released on February 23, 1935), and Moose Hunters (released on April 17, 1937). He then became a director of cartoons at Disney… read more
Ham Luske, a business major, with no formal art education, was the first animator cast by Walt Disney on his daring new project, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” the Studio’s first full-length animated feature film. In a memo dated late 1935, Walt wrote, “From now on Ham Luske is definitely assigned to Snow White.”
As the film’s supervising animator, Ham was responsible for the most difficult character of all – Snow White. The audience had to believe in her for the picture to be a success, which led to the use of such groundbreaking techniques as live-action reference films. Ham adeptly directed live-action model (actress Margie Bell) on film, which artists then referred to as they brought the character to life.
Animator and fellow Disney Legend Ollie Johnston recalled, “Ham’s careful planning and shooting of the live-action footage, always with the idea in mind of how it would be used in animation, resulted in a very convincing character.” So much so that Snow White… read more