Tuesday, February 21, 2006

a tribute 1

some months ago I remembered in my first blog -
the-a-files - one of the disney legends JOE GRANT.
I was very fortunate to have met some other 
legendary animation artists throughout the last
25 years, like WALTER LANTZ in 1986. that was
during the academy-screening of FREDERIC BACK's
planted trees. walter lantz was already in his
nineties then 

and GRIM NATWICK, one of the all time legends. 
I only met him for a few seconds to congratulate
him to his 100.birthday at the big birthday party
in 1990. he died a few days later. during the late
eighties he was invited by richard williams to
london to help him on his 'thief' and to give
some lectures to his animators in london... 

like ART BABBIT, who lectured for some time in london
in dick's studio and animated a bigger part of the 'thief'.
I met him in los angeles in 1979, where he was working
at quartet films on a scene for dick's film. 

WALT STANCHFIELD I mentioned a while ago. during the
production of ROGER RABBIT in london walt organised the 
drawing classes. his poses were way more interesting
than the ones of the professional models. I liked his
classes so much that I attended them every week later
in 1989 and 1990 during BEAUTY + BEAST and ALADDIN in
L.A. his handouts were priceless and I collected all 
of them. they are bound in 2 big books and a treasure
in my library.

unfortunately I never had a chance to meet one of my
big idols - JOHN HUBLEY. but in 1984 during the L.A.
olympics and the animation olympic festival I had a
chance to meet his widow FAITH HUBLEY. she continued
his work after his death and produced some beautyful
short films of her own. we spent some time in malibu
at the home of FINI and BILL LITTLEJOHN. too bad that
I did not want to look like a fan. I should have asked
more about their beautyful movies, my favourites -

ERIC LARSEN. that is a longer story!
I was teaching animation at the university of essen
in germany from 1975 until 1990, part time. one of
my first students was ANDREAS DEJA, you might know
him and his incredible animation of disney characters
like jaffar, scar, gaston, lilo...
andreas was even more disney crazy than me when I met 
him in 1974. he had written to the disney studio and 
eric larsen, at that time responsible for the
training of the young animators in the studio had
answered him. I could not believe his luck! then
eric wrote to andreas he would be on a ship-cruise and
for a day in hamburg. that was august 1978. of 
course andreas, my wife and I drove to hamburg.
and we met eric larsen on the ship!
the result was, eric invited us to visit him in
the disney studio in burbank. what we did the
following year. and only another year later in 1980
andreas was hired, some weeks after he finished his
studies at the university. last year he celebrated his 
25 anniversary at the studio. whenever my wife and I 
were in L.A. we spent time with eric, one of the 
nicest men, with so many stories from the past..

and FRIZ FRELENG in 1990, a legend from the WB cartoony
era. I will continue and dig through my 1000s of
photos and post some more memories..

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