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Biography

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Overview (4)

Born in Chicago, Illinois, USA
Died in Balboa Island, Newport Beach, California, USA
Birth NameWilfred Emmons Jackson
Nickname Jaxon

Mini Bio (1)

Wilfred Jackson was born on January 24, 1906 in Chicago, Illinois, USA as Wilfred Emmons Jackson. He is known for his work on Cinderella (1950), Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) and Peter Pan (1953). He died on August 7, 1988 in Balboa Island, Newport Beach, California, USA.

Trivia (5)

In 1953 Wilfred Jackson suffered a heart attack while directing sequences for "Lady and the Tramp" (1955), and was never able to resume full-time duties at the Disney studio. He was replaced as a director on "Sleeping Beauty" (1959) and worked sporadically on Disney's TV shows. In 1959 Jackson took an extended leave of absence that ended with his official retirement in 1961.
Was posthumously named a Disney Legend in 1998.
Jackson was fascinated with cartoons from childhood. While studying at the Otis College of Art and Design in 1928, he approached Walt Disney and offered to pay him "tuition" for the experience of learning animation, which in those days could only be acquired on the job. His skills did not impress the young producer but his timing was fortuitous. Disney was in the process of having his star character, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, and staff raided by distributor Charles Mintz, and had to rebuild the studio with a new character, Mickey Mouse. Jackson was hired as an all-around assistant, working closely with animator Ub Iwerks. When Disney proposed the gamble of making "Steamboat Willie" (1928) in sound, harmonica-player Jackson proved it was feasible by devising a crude synchronization method that related film speed with the musical beats of a metronome. He continued to assist Iwerks on such films as "The Skeleton Dance" (1929) before being promoted ("kicked upstairs" he called it) to director in 1930.
Three Disney shorts directed by Jackson won Academy Awards: "The Tortoise and the Hare" (1935), cited as the first cartoon to effectively animate speed; "The Country Cousin" (1936); and "The Old Mill" (1937), a showcase for Disney's new Multiplane Camera.
Jackson's most celebrated work as a director is "The Band Concert" (1935), the first Mickey Mouse short produced in Technicolor. In author Jerry Beck's 1994 poll of animators, film historians and directors, "The Band Concert" was ranked #3 among the 50 greatest short cartoons of all time.

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