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Joining the Air Force


Unionism and the 1941 Disney strike
Jules Engel Film-maker
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Everything was good because now the union came in and all that was taken care of so it was a healthier situation because we people were working there 24 hours straight, 20 hours straight because they had to get a film out, you know? They'd been compensated, whereas before no way, no way. Either you want the job or you walk, yeah.

[Q] Were you involved in the strike in Disney?

I was involved in a way but I was outside. And if anybody asked me, 'Jules, what should I do?' Say, 'You married, you have children - go in'. I didn't say that too loud, I didn't want that everybody would've heard me. But that was my honest feeling, if you have kids. I can stay out, I have no problems, I have no wife, I'm not married, no nothing. I can be out there and fight for you. But you have three kids, if want to go in, you go in. That was my feeling about the strike. But because 8 weeks is a hell of a long time for people who have family and no income, you know?

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: Disney, Walt Disney

Duration: 1 minute, 22 seconds

Date story recorded: April 2003

Date story went live: 24 January 2008