From the eloquent palette of Mary Blair, capturing the Headless Horseman for Ichabod... Truly a Treat!

Animated Longevity!

Happiest 104th Birthday to the legendary animator and early champion of women animators, Don Lusk! The artist behind Cleo the goldfish from Pinocchio and the mesmerizing fish dance from the "Nutcracker Suite" in Fantasia, Don worked with Retta Scott on her first lead animator sequence in Bambi. "She was doing the dogs that were chasing Bambi," Don recalled, "No doubt about it, she knew how to draw dogs!" Don's animation career began in 1938 on Ferdinand the Bull and he later animated sequences on Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Sleeping Beauty, Lady & the Tramp, 101 Dalmatians and...yes, tiny Tinker Bell for Walt Disney's Peter Pan! Bea Tamargo, Jane Fowler Boyd, Retta Davidson and many ot

A Martini in the Window...Celebrating the Brilliance of Mary Blair

10/21/1911 - Mary Robinson-Blair was born! One of the many remarkable women of Animation, Mary is perhaps best remembered by another Disney Legend, Alice Davis... "Mary Blair was an extraordinary artist and my very dear friend. Mary could put colors together that no one would think to combine, and when mixed within Mary’s brush, they worked beautifully. She was a very hard worker and a talented artist, but few people realize Mary wrote clever poetry, played poker and had a marvelous sense of humor. One of my favorite memories of Mary was a visit where Marc and I were greeted with a pitcher of martinis and two frosted glasses sitting in the window with a pink ribbon tied around it that trail

Mother Nature & Disney Educational Films

To keep the Studio going during the challenging rebuilding years of the late 1940s, Walt and his artists utilized their experience producing training films during the war to create instructional films and materials with an entertaining appeal. Delivered on 10/18/46, "The Story of Menstruation" was one of the earliest projects from the newly formed "Educational Films" division created at Disney Studios. Produced with the Kotex Corporation, this classroom classic has been seen by generations of health education students! Though directed by a man (Ed Benedict), Story Artist Sylvia Holland created extensive concept artwork for this timeless short, and a variety of drybrush, airbrush and inking t

M.J. Winkler & The Birth of Walt Disney Studios

On October 16th, 1923, contracts were signed between a young unknown animator in Hollywood named Walter Disney and M.J. Winkler, the successful distributor/promoter of the early animated novelties 'Out of the Inkwell' and 'Felix the Cat.' M.J. Winkler was in fact, Margaret Winkler — the only women in film distribution, and the first women in the Producer's Guild. Adding a fictitious 'J' to her name, Margaret operated as M.J. Winkler. In addition to her distribution prowess, Margaret was a genius at promotion and by the early 1920s, she single-handedly established animation as a standard part of the movie-going experience. By putting the Disney Brothers under contract in 1923 for six "Alice

Mindy & Mindy

Meet the extraordinary Mindy O'Brien! Artist, entrepreneur and part of a multi-generational family of Disney artistry. Mindy's Grandmother — Mary Ellison-Allen — was a premium inker at the Disney Hyperion Studios in the 1930s. While there, she worked on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Pinocchio. Miss Mindy's mother, sister and husband are also master artists, and the rich legacy of artistry in Mindy's life is wonderfully apparent in the timeless style, masterful lines and whimsical characterizations of her "Cartoon Folk Art". Not only does she have a great name, but imagine how incredible it was to learn of her Ink & Paint heritage! Just one of the many extraordinary stories that are no

Remarkable Ruthie!

Ink & Paint — finally in the hands of RUTHIE TOMPSON!! This remarkable lady dedicated nearly 40 years to the Walt Disney Company — from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) to The Rescuers (1977) -— as a Painter, Final Checker, Animation Checker and, with her mathematical mind, Ruthie worked her way into Scene Planning where she developed camera moves and mechanics suited for animation. Ruthie is not only a true trailblazer as one of the first women in the International Photographer's Union, Local 659, she is the only person living who was in the Kingswell Studio where Walt & Roy Disney first began working on their silent 'Alice Comedies.' "I remember sitting on the bench and watching Roy

Remembering Carmen

Remembering the spark of legendary Ink & Paint artist — Carmen de la Torre-Sanderson! "I started in Traffic in 1945 and my run was the Ink & Paint building," Carmen shared with me. "I used to watch the gals paint...and I became fascinated. My first big production was Song of the South." I just took to it like a duck takes to water, and I was on production after the third day of training." Painter, Shadow Painter, Inker, Final Checker, Ink Supervisor, Xerox Supervisor, this legendary Disney artist put down her brush (when most would retire), and picked up a mouse as one of the earliest computer painters of the CAPS system — topping off a 55-year career in animation. With her quick wit and hea

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