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Unionism and the 1941 Disney strike


Other Disney animators; 'You have it or you don't have it'
Jules Engel Film-maker
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Ward Kimball, Ward Kimball would be one. Frank Thomas would be one. In fact, Frank Thomas and his friend, next week are doing a session at the Los Angeles County Museum. They are The Ten Old Men [sic], they call it, whatever. And these two is still around. They produce all those Disney books, they are the ones responsible. But I think next week they are performing again at the County Museum so this is the last two of that ten, you see? And they get up on a stage and they do funny things. They're not funny, oh they're not funny, they don't have it. They have it with the pencil, they have it on the paper, they're superb animators. Superb and all this and all this and all this. But for years they've been doing this, when they get on the stage, because of who they are. And then they have a scene or something, you know? They're so bad, it's incredible. But they don't know. They've been doing it for years. They're good with the pencil and they're beautiful people, but they just don't have it. That something that you can make a move and it has meaning, you know? They try to do all that, you know? Oh but they're so clumsy and so oh… oh. But they keep doing, but how're you going to tell them stop. Why should they stop? They're 85 or 86 or something like that. And the best of Disney talent, you know, because of all the books that they published. But it's just one of those things - you either have body rhythm or you don't have body rhythm. And they don't have body rhythm. And they have never asked me, I would never say anything unpleasant to them. But they're doing it again next week, you know? And it's gonna be, The Los Angeles Country Museum is going to full, I'm sure it's going to be a sell-out, you know? But if they're happy, if they love it, I'm all for it, you know, no problem. I get behind you and say, you're special. So there you are, you can deal in one medium and you can have rhythm. And then you have this other end of it, you don't have rhythm. So that's just part of the mechanics of aesthetics. But it works both in pencil or it works with that instrument. Or it just, even if you pick up a mouth organ and go... You know? All that, functions, right or wrong. And they are beautiful people. They are huge and good people. But they're lousy when they act, you know? And they want to be funny, they're not funny. But yet again, you know? One of those things.

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: The Nine Old Men, Disney, Los Angeles Country Museum, Frank Thomas, Ward Kimball

Duration: 3 minutes, 20 seconds

Date story recorded: April 2003

Date story went live: 24 January 2008