July 17, 2008 |
WHEN "Sleeping Beauty" was released in 1959, the lavish Walt Disney animated fairy tale failed to attract audiences or impress the critics -- even though it featured music from the Tchaikovsky ballet and was shot in a widescreen format called Technirama. But over the last five decades, its reputation has grown considerably.
October 26, 1988 |
Eric Larson, one of a closely knit and creative group of animators whom Walt Disney dubbed his "nine old men," died Tuesday at his home in La Canada Flintridge after a long illness. Larson, whose drawing credits date to Disney's first full-length feature, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," had retired two years ago after 53 years with the studio. His death at age 83 brings to four the number of artists remaining from the original nine Disney assembled in the early 1930s.
February 15, 2002 |
Walt Disney synergy is in full bloom this week with the arrival of the video and DVD of the "Peter Pan Special Edition," timed to the release of the feature film sequel to the 1953 original, "Peter Pan: Return to Never Land." The Disney team didn't miss a trick: Specially marked DVDs and videos include a free movie ticket to "Return to Never Land." There is also a preview of the new movie on the VHS and digital editions of "Peter Pan."
December 27, 1992 |
Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston are not brothers but they might as well be. They have been friends and colleagues for five decades. Their mothers came from the same town. Their fathers grew up on farms and later became educators. They shared the same philosophy of what's right and what's wrong. And as animators for the Walt Disney Studios they gave the world some big thrills. And they're still lively and full of fun after all these years. "Ollie's the one with the best feelings," Thomas said.
October 20, 1995 |
Think of Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston as the eighth and ninth of Snow White's amiable dwarfs. Or, from a darker point of view, as the miscreants who killed Bambi's mother. But whatever your perspective, to encounter them in the sprightly documentary "Frank and Ollie" is to understand what the phrase "charmed lives" means.
October 8, 1999 |
"The Hand Behind the Mouse: The Ub Iwerks Story," a documentary by the artist's granddaughter, Leslie Iwerks, which opens today at the El Capitan Theater for a one-week run, offers viewers a rare look at one of the unsung giants of animation and film technology. Born in 1901, Iwerks was still a teenager in Kansas City when he met another ambitious young artist, Walt Disney. The two friends taught themselves animation at night, while working as commercial artists.
September 13, 2003 |
Among the latest batch of old films making their DVD premieres is one of the Disney studio's animated classics, "Sleeping Beauty." And just in case you've already purchased it on videotape, this edition comes laden with extra features. Produced in 1959 for the then-staggering cost of $6 million, "Sleeping Beauty" ($30) is one of the most unusual of all the animated films that were made during Walt Disney's lifetime.
August 16, 2011 |
Walt Disney famously said, "I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing — that it was all started by a mouse. " For the Pixar artists, it was all started by a lamp. Twenty-five years ago (Aug. 17, 1986), "Luxo, Jr.," a short depicting the misadventures of a rambunctious little desk lamp and his weary father, premiered in Dallas and did something no computer-animated film had done before: It made audiences laugh. The first film from Steve Jobs' newly formed company Pixar and the second from director John Lasseter, "Luxo" launched the most successful and innovative animation studio since Walt Disney's heyday in the 1930s.
October 17, 2011 |
There were the Nine Old Men, Walt Disney's famed founding animators, and then there was visual stylist Mary Blair. Along with such legends as Marc Davis, Ollie Johnston, Frank Thomas and Wolfgang Reitherman, Blair worked on the studio's animated features for more than 20 years — the only woman to have such a prominent role at Disney. "She influenced the tone of the picture with her use of color and design," said Michael Giaimo, art director on Disney's 1995 "Pocahontas" and visual development artist on 2004's "Home on the Range.