A study of the personal and professional relationship of Disney animators Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, who started at the studio in the 1930s and worked on 23 films together.A study of the personal and professional relationship of Disney animators Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, who started at the studio in the 1930s and worked on 23 films together.A study of the personal and professional relationship of Disney animators Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, who started at the studio in the 1930s and worked on 23 films together.
Must see background for aspiring animators
"Their friendship changed the face of animation." What is interesting is that these two were planning on anything but becoming animators much less becoming innovators in the profession. They met at Stanford as college students and took road trips to a distant college to do nudes because Stanford would not allow "such behavior" in their art department (imagine that today). Somewhere during these trips a lasting friendship was built between them. The "painted for dinner and played piano for beer" along the way on these trips and seem to have made many friends in the places they frequented as well. Their lack of fear, presence of love and capacity to laugh at themselves opened one door after another. I was amused time and again to see them model the characters they created. It was also quite interesting to see how they climbed inside of their characters and brought them to life. It was apparent to me that they enjoyed what they were doing and in-so-doing were blessed to be eternally youthful. I am hard pressed to think of another friendship that would allow two human beings to share so much without petty jealousy getting in the way. Their wives were incredibly understanding about the childlike ways and seemed to understand what a blessing their husbands were, not only to their family, but to the world in general. There is not a country on the face of this earth that has not seen one of their characters, I would suppose. I would also gather that they have touched many millions of young hearts over the years. A young heart, by the way, need not be in a young body. That was apparent in this film as well. I will never see Disneyland the same, because behind each of the characters that I see, I will imagine the facial expressions of these two men. I will remember that one got his best ideas while shaving and developed the ideas while walking on a worn path in his front yard. They did talk about artistic frustration brought on by the fact that they were so involved and connected to what they do. It was also interesting to note that their release from tension was also artistically motivated and expressed through music and model railroading. I thoroughly enjoyed this viewing and will never forget the wisdom chiseled into the faces and depth sparkling from the eyes of these two wonderful human beings.
- Jan 9, 2007
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