Monday, September 04, 2006

While Didier enjoys his time in Italy, Disney Historian Jim Korkis has agreed to share some "research vignettes" from articles he is working on. These research vignettes are short, fun facts Jim has discovered as he digs deep into Disney history to find accurate information for his forthcoming articles.

Here's a fun little item I ran across while I was researching the early days at the Disney Studios. The great thing about Disney history is that there is always something new to discover.

In 1934, there were 187 people working at the Disney Studios. When Walt wanted to gear up for production for SNOW WHITE that year, he needed more artists and he told his head of training, Don Graham, "I need 300 more artists! Find them!" So by 1935, there was a continual influx of new animators, assistants, inbetweeners, etc. flooding the Studio.

While things were exciting, they were also frustrating as the new artists were integrated into the studio or let go when they didn't make the grade. Above several of the desks was a mimeographed copy of what was called "The Animator's Prayer". One artist saved a tattered copy of that unique piece of Disneyana and I am reprinting it here for your amusement and edification:


Our director, who art above us,
Blankity,Blank,Blank be thy name!!!
Thy pictures come, they will be done,
In color as in black and white.
Give us this day our daily razz...
And forgive us our animation
As we forgive those stories that are
Written for us.
Lead us not into chase, but deliver us
....from the Layout Artist!

Obviously, for those who are familiar with the animation process, this prayer is more amusing but for everyone it is an indication of the level of fun that existed at the studio even with the problems of a new project looming ahead.

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