This blog not only showcases the production art of animated films, but the personal work of the artists behind the magic.

Ollie Johnston

(October 31, 1912-April 14, 2008)

The last surviving member of the ‘Nine Old Men’ and considered one of the greatest animators of Disney. While studying art at Stanford University in 1931, he met Frank Thomas, a man that would be his life long friend, and they both learned their interests were in gags rather than painting. After college, the two men went to Chouinard’s Art Institute to study with illustrator Pruett Carter, until when 1934 when their teacher retired. They went to Disney Studio, looking for work, and that started a career that would last 43 years. During that time, he married Marie Worthey, who worked in the ‘Ink and Paint’ department. Frank and Ollie both retired in 1978 to write ‘The Illusion of Life’, which was published in 1981. Outside of animation, Ollie had a love of steam trains and founded the ‘Carolwood Pacific Historical Society’ with fellow animator, Ward Kimball. In 2005, he received the ‘National Medal of Arts’ from President George W. Bush, along with Robert Duvall and Dolly Parton.  He passed away in 2008.

Characters

  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: Dwarfs (Assistant Animator)
  • Pinocchio: Pinocchio
  • Fantasia: Cupids in ‘Pastoral Symphony’, Centaurettes by the lake
  • Bambi: Bambi, Thumper
  • The Three Caballeros: 'The Flying Gauchito', Donald Duck, Panchito Pistoles, Jose Carioca
  • Make Mine Music: 'Casey at the Bat', 'Peter and the Wolf'
  • Song of the South: Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox, Brer Bear
  • The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad: Trial Scene, Ichabod Crane
  • Cinderella: Evil Stepsisters, Lackey
  • Alice in Wonderland: Alice, King of Hearts
  • Peter Pan: Mr. Smee
  • Lady and the Tramp: Lady, Jock, Trust
  • Sleeping Beauty: Three Good Fairies
  • One Hundred and One Dalmatians: Pongo, Perdita, Puppies, Nanny Cook
  • The Sword in the Stone: Wart, Merlin, Archimedes
  • The Jungle Book: Mowgli, Baloo, Bagheera
  • The Arisocats: Duchess, Thomas O’Malley, Kittens, Amelia, Abigail, Uncle Waldo
  • Robin Hood: Prince John, Sir Hiss, Robin Hood, Little John, Maid Marian
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Rabbit, Kanga, Roo
  • The Rescuers: Bernard, Bianca, Chairman, Rufus the Cat, Penny, Orville the Albatross
  • The Fox and the Hound: Young Tod and Young Copper

Interviews

Books by Ollie Johnston

Links to more Ollie Johnston

Ollie Johnston Posts on the Blog

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