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Animation and Anime

The Last of the Nine Old Men goes... Ollie Johnston is no longer with us...

Hey folks, Harry here... Pretty much, my entire life... I've known the name of Ollie Johnston. One of the most beloved animators of all time - he is credited to giving Disney's characters a lot of the warmth we love about them. Before Ollie - Disney characters rarely touched unless they were slapping each other or kicking one another in the ass. Ollie brought the more human relationship to bare focusing on the warm connections that we humans have... the act of holding hands, putting an arm around one another. Ollie animated the three technicolor fairies in SLEEPING BEAUTY, he is who made Thumper blush - and how can you forget that scene where Thumper had to repeat what his mother had told him a billion times... about eating your greens. Then there's the animation of Baloo and Mowgli... one of the greatest friendships captured in ink and paint... all birthed from his pencil. If you've ever rode the train at any of Disney's theme parks - blame Ollie... it was his love of trains which infected Walt into putting that lovable train into Disneyland... and then all over the globe. For lovers of Animation - and young animation enthusiasts - his books that he co-authored with Frank Thomas: THE DISNEY VILLAIN, WALT DISNEY'S BAMBI: THE STORY AND THE FILM, TOO FUNNY FOR WORDS and the great DISNEY ANIMATION: THE ILLUSION OF LIFE.... have been instrumental in understanding gags, villainry, the delicate balance in breathing life into drawings. How to fuse to fuse character, emotion and pathos into every drawing to advance the story of that character that they were bringing to life. He was a brilliant animator - contributing to basically every animated film from SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS to FOX AND THE HOUND. He would direct sequences, supervise the animation - and take on the whole thing himself. If you've seen the brilliant documentary, FRANK & OLLIE - you know what a loss this is. In THE IRON GIANT he was the voice of Train Engineer #1 - and his voice was also heard in THE INCREDIBLES. He was the last of the Nine Old Men... the last soul that was there when Disney conquered the feature format and turned cartoons into feature entertainment from being the shorts before the feature. On top of that... if you've seen FRANK & OLLIE - you know that he was one of the most gentle and kind souls this planet has had. Ollie Johnston was a treasure of knowledge and never hesitated to share that passion with countless animators that adored him and sought out his wisdom. This is an incredibly sad day.

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