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Walt Disney and the ostriches waking


Walt Disney as teacher and film-maker
Jules Engel Film-maker
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They had a department called the Design Department, they would invent the characters and design the characters and give us the animators - the animator would be working with that drawing. But primarily, he was almost like a teacher on the job, you know? And he would get unpleasant, but not a kind of unpleasant that would be ugly. It's only unpleasant [unclear] when everything that you've worked on for 4 months, would come off the wall and junk it. And that's that, we've got to start all over again. Now, some people could take that. Some had a problem. Some would go out after the session and get drunk because they worked on that damn thing for 4 months, you know? Heavy work and they meant well, come from their gut. Out. The whole damn thing out. And they end up at the bar, you know? And the next Monday or so, they start all over again from the beginning. But at the same time, even if they were not aware, Walt was teaching them, you know? And they learnt. And some bothered and some didn't because they couldn't take it. It was rough when you worked on something like months and months and then he just says, it doesn't work. Wow.

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: Tamara Tracz Bill Moritz

Tamara Tracz is a writer and filmmaker based in London.

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.

Tags: Walt Disney

Duration: 1 minute, 40 seconds

Date story recorded: April 2003

Date story went live: 24 January 2008