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Ward Kimball Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trade Mark (1)  | Trivia (11)  | Personal Quotes (2)

Overview (3)

Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Died in Arcadia, California, USA  (natural causes)
Birth NameWard Walrath Kimball

Mini Bio (1)

Ward Kimball joined Disney Studios in 1934 as an animator. He eventually became involved in all aspects of animation production, most notably as the designer of Jiminy Cricket for the film "Pinocchio." He was also responsible for the redesign of Mickey Mouse. Walt Disney recognized Kimball's achievements by making him one of the "Nine Old Men", Disney's semi-official group of advisors. Kimball retired from Disney in 1972, but still maintained ties with the studio. He joined other leading Disney animators in 1978 for a whistle-stop tour to promote Mickey Mouse's 50th birthday. In addition to animation, Kimball was both an avid musician and train enthusiast. In 1948 he formed the Firehouse Five Plus Two, a Dixieland jazz band composed of fellow Disney employees. He also maintained a full-sized train and tracks at his home in California, and was a past president of the Train Collectors Association. Not only did his love of trains get him the job of designing the World of Motion display at EPCOT, it also got another train collector started--Walt Disney himself. Kimball received many honors during his lifetime, and in 1989 was named a Disney Legend.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Mike Konczewski

Spouse (1)

Betty Kimball (15 August 1936 - 8 July 2002) ( his death) ( 3 children)

Trade Mark (1)

Often animated the more humorous and occasionally cartoony characters such as The Mice in Cinderella (1950)

Trivia (11)

Father of John Kimball, Kelly Kimball and Chloe.
Was part of the inner circle of Disney animators, known as the "nine old men". The other members were Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnston, Milt Kahl, Marc Davis, Eric Larson, Wolfgang Reitherman, John Lounsbery and Les Clark.
Appeared as a contestant on Groucho Marx's quiz show '"You Bet Your Life" (1950)' on March 18, 1954.
One of the locomotives at the Disneyland Railroad (engine No. 5) was named the "Ward Kimball" in his honor by the time it was put into service on June 25th, 2005. The plan to name the locomotive in his honor was announced at a rededication ceremony for the Disneyland Railroad engine No. 2 (the "E. P. Ripley") on March 27th, 1999.
Employed at Walt Disney Productions from April 2, 1934 to August 31, 1973.
Ward and his wife Betty were the first private owners and operators of full-sized steam railroad equipment in a U.S. residential backyard.
Grandfather of film composer Christopher Lord.
Nearly quit Disney after two elaborate sequences he worked on (one of them fully animated) were cut from the final film of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). He did, however, relent after he was given the coveted task of animating Jiminy Cricket in Pinocchio (1940).
Kimball was known for his offbeat, irreverent sense of humor. He was a key promoter (if not the originator) of the urban legend that Walt Disney was placed in cryogenic storage after his death. "People still constantly ask me if it's true that Walt's body is frozen and if he believed he could come back someday," Kimball told a journalist in 1973. "Well, it's such a dull world. So when I'm asked that...Just to stir things up I tell everybody he's frozen. Actually, he was cremated." And in a 1996 interview Kimball neither confirmed nor denied starting the rumor, but readily admitted, "I like to keep it floating out there.".
In his first authorized biography, "The Story of Walt Disney" (1957), Walt Disney was quoted as saying, "Ward Kimball is one man who works for me that I'm willing to call a genius." Disney rarely praised his employees, and Kimball believed he made this remark only because Disney knew the animator would be mercilessly teased by his studio peers over it.
"It's Tough to Be a Bird" (1969), produced and directed by Ward Kimball, was the last Disney animated short to win an Academy Award for over 40 years. As its producer Kimball became the only one of Disney's "Nine Old Men" animators to be personally awarded an Oscar.

Personal Quotes (2)

(About his youth and working for Walt Disney) "We thought we were always going to be 21 years old. We thought we would always be putting goldfish in the bottled drinking water, balancing cups of water on the light fixtures, changing the labels on cans of sauerkraut juice. We were 21 years old, Walt was 30, leading the pack. Working there was more fun than any job I could ever imagine."
[on seeing Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) with an audience] That moment when the Dwarfs remove their hats and get down on their knees and cry over Snow White. The biggest stars in Hollywood. You name it. They were all wiping tears from their eyes.

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