- Also check our best rated Biography reviews
Walt Disney's Nine Old Men and the Art of Animation Hardcover – 1 Mar 2002
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Meet the Team Whose Combined Genius Defined the Art of Character Animation; A fantastic collector's edition for Disney fans everywhere! Think of your favourite moments and characters in Disney films from the thirties to the seventies and chances are most were animated by one of Walt Disney's "Nine Old Men". Through the span of their careers, these nine highly skilled animators, with widely differing artistic gifts, viewpoints, personalities and ambitions, exhibited an unparalleled loyalty to their employer. In this gorgeous full-sized gift book, noted film historian John Canemaker explores these men's artistic breakthroughs, failures, rivalries, and their individual relationships with each other and with Walt. This candid narrative of their lives and contributions to a very special form of artistic cinema illustrates why the work of the "Nine Old Men" will continue to be a significant source for study and inspiration for years to come.
Top Customer Reviews
Mr. Canemaker begins the book with a look at the Nine Old Men's formative years: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Most of the Nine Old Men were hired at the Studios in the mid-1930's. Before them, were legendary men that were mentors and friends to the new artists. Vladmir Tytla, Grim Natwick, Norman Ferguson, Hamilton Luske and Fred Moore were put in charge of various departments and sections of Snow White. As time progressed, many of the Nine Old Men were mentored by these animation pioneers. For many reasons, the previously mentioned animators left Disney or found they could not keep up with the younger crowd. Mr. Canemaker touches on the influential animator's lives throughout the chapters on the Nine Old Men.
Disney's Nine Old Men:
Les Clark (November 17, 1907 - September 12, 1979)
joined Disney in 1927. His specialty was animating Mickey Mouse as he was the only one of the Nine Old Men to work on that character from its origins with Ub Iwerks. Les did many wonderful scenes throughout the years, animating up until Lady And The Tramp. He moved into directing and made many animated featurettes and shorts.
Wolfgang Reitherman (June 26, 1909 - May 22, 1985)
joined Disney in 1935 as an animator and director. He directed all the animated Disney films after Walt's death until his retirement. Some of his work includes the Crocodile (in Peter Pan), the Dragon (in Sleeping Beauty), and the Rat (in Lady And The Tramp).Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
There are a couple problems with the "Nine Old Men" myth. It has ignored other animators that also made significant contributions to Disney animation and in some cases more so. People like Norm Ferguson, Bill Tytla, Art Babbitt, Fred Moore, Ham Luske, David Hand, Ben Sharpsteen (just to name a few) are really the ones that laid the foundations for what Disney animation became. They dominated the studio all throughout the 1930's. True the nine old men came into the studio at that time, but most of them didn't come into their own until the production of Bambi. The former either moved into directing positions or left the studio. That's not to say that the nine old men don't deserve the celebration that they've received over the years. This was just a title that Walt gave to the directing animators in the early 1950s. However, soon after most of them started moving out of animation and into other arenas such as directing (in the case of Reitherman, Kimball, Larson (on and off), Lounsbery (in later years) and Clark) or Imagineering (Davis). Only Kahl, Thomas, Johnston remained consistent with animating their entire careers. There were very few films where all of these men were credited together as animators.
It's nice that there's a book that talks discusses John Lounsbery's career, because he isn't talked about as much as the other animators are.
Canemaker has written two other books about the storymen and sketch artists at the studio, much in the same fashion as this book. I'd like to see a book about the directors (such as Wilfred Jackson, Clyde Geronimi, Dave Hand, and Ben Sharpsteen).
Who could have imagined that Marc Davis' early life was as interesting as his work? Or that Kimball and Kahl were even crazier than you thought (and even more brilliant)? Ot that the master, Frank Thomas, actually struggled with his draftsmanship? Canemaker captures the promise of each of these men's pre-Disney careers and the spark in the work that caught Walt's attention is always evident. He also captures the human quirks that played a tremendous role in the golden age of the studio and often found its way onto the screen as well.
Much of this information and all of Canemaker's excellent insight would not have come to light without his diligent effort and research, and the result is a well-written, revealing, tasteful, and very visual masterpiece.
PS We lost the great, one-and-only Ward Kimball recently...only Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas are still with us now. God bless you both.