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Working at Disney


Working at Disney: being on the outside
Jules Engel Film-maker
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I'm talking to them and they saw my drawings and they hired me to do the storyboard on the mushrooms. So that was the beginning and that's how I got to Disney, through my friends. And all that would have been very nice but you see, when you're a late-comer then you're always an outsider, you see? And because they'd been there like months and months, you see? And so they almost resented me to be pulled into this unit and it turned out to be a little bit of an ugly situation at Disney, for me, with these people. They resented me. But the whole thing was that, well, they've been together all this time and the fact that they didn't… do a storyboard or dance number, you know, which was the mushrooms, you see. So anyway, I stayed with them till the end, so therefore I never got any credit. But at the same time, it was something fresh I never knew about. So it was good, on that level, it was good, you know? Because now I got really involved into animation and many aspects of animation, you see? So I think that there… then I went on Bambi and then I went on others, other story. But Bambi was the next big one. And then came the war at that time. So next you know, I was out in Culver City with the Air Force as a Motion Picture Unit in that Air Force.

The late Hungarian-American film-maker Jules Engel is best known for his contribution to the field of animation. His work includes the dance sequences in Walt Disney's 'Fantasia' and the creation of 'Mr Magoo'. His films and lithographs are housed in museums all over the world and have won many awards.

Listeners: Bill Moritz Tamara Tracz

William Moritz received his doctorate from USC and pursues parallel careers as filmmaker and writer. His forty-four experimental and animation films have been screened at museums in Paris, Amsterdam and Tokyo, among others. He published widely on Oskar Fischinger, James Whitney, Bruce Conner, the Fleischers and 200 pages of animation history for an AbsolutVodka website. He wrote chapters for the "Oxford History of Cinema", appeared in several television documentaries, curated art exhibits and received a lifetime achievement trophy from the Netherlands Royal Academy for his work with visual music. He has served on film festival juries and received an American Film Institute filmmaking grant. His poetry and plays are also performed and published. He is a leading expert of Oskar Fischinger and recently published a biography of him. He teaches at The California Institute of the Arts.

Tamara Tracz is a writer and filmmaker based in London.

Tags: Disney, Bambi, Culver City, Air Force, Motion Picture Unit

Duration: 1 minute, 56 seconds

Date story recorded: April 2003

Date story went live: 24 January 2008