Walt Disney's Nine Old Men and the Art of Animation

Overview

Noted film historian John Canemaker brings to life the team whose combined individual genius defined the art of character animation. Think of your favorite moments and characters in Disney films from the thirties to the seventies and chances are most were animated by one of Walt Disney's "Nine Old Men." Through the span of their careers, these nine highly skilled animators exhibited an unparalleled loyalty to their employer. This book explores their artisitic breakthroughs, failures, and rivalries, and their ...
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Overview

Noted film historian John Canemaker brings to life the team whose combined individual genius defined the art of character animation. Think of your favorite moments and characters in Disney films from the thirties to the seventies and chances are most were animated by one of Walt Disney's "Nine Old Men." Through the span of their careers, these nine highly skilled animators exhibited an unparalleled loyalty to their employer. This book explores their artisitic breakthroughs, failures, and rivalries, and their individual relationships with each other and with Walt.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Walt Disney and the animation studio he built are synonymous with animation, and certainly with feature length animation. His contribution to the art form was to create beautifully executed characters that really breathed, with depth and emotion. To accomplish these goals he relied on a group of animators whom he dubbed "the nine old men." The nine men were not necessarily old at the time there were given this nickname, which came from President Roosevelt in reference to his Supreme Court. Disney's old men were Les Clark, Wolfgang Reitherman, Eric Larson, Ward Kimball, Marc Davis, Milt Kahl, Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnston and John Lounsbery. A brief introduction sets the stage; the depression of the 1930s had put the wolf at many an artist's door. Disney was hiring and they gladly joined his crew, all staying for their entire careers. Each animator's life and work with Disney is examined in a chapter of this hefty 300-page coffee table book. Of course, the illustrations are an incredible treat. Many are the line drawings of well-known Disney characters, but also included are photos of the artists and stills from the final film animation. A fairly homogenous group, these men brought different strengths to the Disney productions. Wolfgang Reitherman was likely to get the action-oriented assignments, while Eric Larson was the timing expert. The men's personal stories are of interest, but the process they used to create the animated films is the real gem in this publication. A great deal of research and experimentation went into their work and they worked extensively with actors they would film and copy. This was not only true for the human characters. There is a photo of Frank Thomas feeding adeer while doing research for Bambi. It is pointed out that the animators were actors with pencils, and their ability to "be" their character was what made their work successful. Added bonuses are reproductions of several of the artists' family Christmas cards, just another sample of their creativity. Apparently Disney was not the easiest person to work for, but his genius was in getting what he wanted and the brilliance of that vision. 2001, Disney Enterprises,
— Kristin Harris
Library Journal
During the 1930s, Walt Disney dubbed the most prolific animators at his studio "The Nine Old Men." This book is the story of each, their individual styles, the animated characters they created, their inspirations, and their dealings with their boss and each other. A chapter is devoted to each man, and in the end we view their collective impact upon the Disney studio. Lavishly produced, this oversized book is filled with rare and important reproductions of animation cells and candid pictures of the men and their associates, all printed on heavily coated paper to bring out the full luster and detail. Canemaker, an internationally recognized animator and animation historian as well as the director of the film animation program at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, is the author of several other significant books on animation. His book will be of considerable interest to anyone concerned with the creative forces that shaped some of the most recognizable characters and sequences from Walt Disney Productions' most famous animated films. Highly recommended for any library. David M. Lisa, Wayne P.L., NJ Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786864966
  • Publisher: Disney Editions
  • Publication date: 10/28/2001
  • Series: Disney's Classics
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 310
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.25 (w) x 12.25 (h) x 1.25 (d)

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