Monday, April 14, 2008
Old Men On Cloud Nine
I just read the passing of Ollie Johnston at age 95. He was the last of Disney's "Nine Old Men" These men were responsible for many of the techniques that have become standard in animation over the years. If enjoyed any Disney feature from Snow White to the Rescuers, you have seen their work.
The Disney technique of animation was to give a character to an animator that was most suited for it. Ollie Johnston was responsible for animating characters that interacted directly with each other. This was helped by his close friendship with another "Old Man", Frank Thomas. Their story was well presented in the documentary "Frank and Ollie"
Ollie was responsible for animating such characters as Sir Hiss, from Robin Hood, the step sisters from Cinderella, and Baloo from the Jungle Book.
Ollie and Frank were held in such high regard that they appeared as themselves in two of Brad Bird's feature films The Iron Giant and The Incredibles. They are the old guys in it.
Anyway, even though Ollie Johnston lived to be 95, it's always sad to see the end of an era.