When Princess Aurora is born, the entire kingdom is delighted, except for the evil fairy Maleficent, who places a curse on the young beauty that only a prince can break. Sent into hiding for her own safety and protected by fairies Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather, “Briar Rose” lives in the forest, unaware of her royal blood. Yet despite everyone’s caution, the princess’s destiny plays out as she pricks her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel, falling into a deep sleep. It’s up to the daring Prince Philip to brave the fire-breathing dragon and awaken the sleeping beauty with true love’s kiss. –Disney
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
While in high school, Les Clark worked a summer job at a lunch counter near the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio in Hollywood, where Walt and Roy Disney used to eat. One day, Les got up the courage to ask Walt for a job.
He recalled Walt’s reply, “Bring some of your drawings in and let’s see what they look like.” So I copied some cartoons and showed them to Walt. He said I had a good line and why don’t I come to work on Monday. I graduated [from high school] on a Thursday and went to work [the following] Monday."
Les, who was the first of Walt Disney’s legendary “Nine Old Men” (an affectionate term Franklin D. Roosevelt coined for his Supreme Court Justices, which Disney adopted when referring to his key animators), spent the next 48 years of his life animating and directing for Disney.
Born in Ogden, Utah, in 1907, Les attended elementary school in Twin Falls, Idaho, until his family moved to Los Angeles, where he graduated from Venice High School. In 1927, he joined… read more
Toward the end of his enduring career at The Walt Disney Studios, animator Eric Larson became a gentle and devoted mentor to the next generation of up-and-coming Disney artists. One of his former students Andreas Deja, who animated such Disney characters as Jafar in “Aladdin” and Scar in “The Lion King,” recalled Eric as “The best animation teacher ever.” Said Deja, “No one was more concerned with passing on the Disney legacy than Eric.”
In the late 1970s, Eric expanded the Studio’s Talent Program to find and train new and talented animators from colleges and art schools across the nation. This program, which still exists today, came at a crucial juncture in Disney’s history, when many veteran animators were stepping down from their drawing boards. Subsequently, through his close work with young animators, Eric helped preserve the integrity of Disney animation for generations to come.
Born in Cleveland, Utah, in 1905, Eric avidly read comic humor magazines, such as “Punch… read more
Wolfgang “Woolie” Reitherman once described himself as “full of life and ginger” and his animation as having “vitality and … quality.” Indeed, Woolie’s boundless energy and personality spilled over into his animation. With an unusual knack for action sequences, Woolie animated such memorable sequences as the dramatic dinosaur battle in “Fantasia,” the climactic whale-chase scene in “Pinocchio,” and the fire-breathing clash between Prince Phillip and the Dragon in “Sleeping Beauty.”
Born in Munich, Germany on June 26, 1909, Woolie came to the U.S. as an infant and was raised in Sierra Madre, California. Fascinated with airplanes and flying, he attended Pasadena Junior College with the intent of becoming an aircraft engineer and later, took a job at Douglas Aircraft. In 1931, Woolie changed his course of flight, however, when he decided to become an artist and enrolled at Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles to study watercolor. While there, he met an instructor who taught classes… read more
Shout out to Eyvind Earle and Mary Blair! The most gorgeously animated film of all time.