The Prolific Print Cartoonist

CoverBefore joining Disney in the 1930s, young artists might carry a portfolio of drawings and reels of animation to Walt’s office.  Art Babbitt was only 24 when he went in for an interview with Walt in the summer of 1932.  In addition to being a Terrytoons animator, Babbitt was also a published cartoonist in a humor magazine called “Merry Go Round.”

In just a single issue (August 1932), Babbitt had a whopping 13 original cartoons printed.  This was while he worked 6 days a week for Paul Terry.  These professional drawings show how Babbitt used every opportunity to move forward.  He was constantly plunging ahead,  taking control of his creative output, financial status, and career goals.  Still supporting his ailing father, Babbitt fought tooth and nail for the American dream in his art.

Notice how he renders the caricatured human form – all in animation drafting techniques that he never had a chance to practice at Terrytoons:

•The figures have the “line of action”  through the bodies – a technique that breathes life and movement into animation.

•Each pose is a very clear representation of “the character’s story.”

• The figures, if they were “in silhouette,” would be dynamic and clear.

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BabbittPanel1BabbittPanel2BabbittPanel5“While Smith – Ritchie – Roosevelt – Garner and nine others scrap amongst themselves, the Democratic Party in a final desperate move appeals to Mickey Mouse to run as a dark horse. ‘But I don’t want to be president,’ says Mickey.  ‘I’d rather do funny things in the movies than in the White House.'”

Posted in 1929-1932: Terrytoons, Illustration, New York | Leave a comment

La Huelga de Disney

Historia Y Vida coverUnless you’re a subscriber to Spain’s magazine Historia Y Vida, you missed a very detailed article about the Disney Strike.  Spain is jumping on the Babbitt Wagon and and just printed this six-page (six-page!) article on Walt, Babbitt, and the Disney contra los nazis and contra los comunistas.  Lucky for you Spanish readers, you can find the article below. (Sorry, it’s not translated into English.)  Espero que todos disfruten!

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Posted in 1941: The Disney Strike | Leave a comment

Disney’s Life Drawing Classes Today

Many moons ago I did an interview with a writer for the Fast Company Magazine website about the origin of Disney’s life drawing classes within the studio, and Babbitt’s significance.  A lovely article was published about Disney’s classes in the present day, appropriately crediting Babbitt as the original mastermind.  CLICK HERE to read about the persistence of Babbitt’s educational legacy.

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Posted in Disney, miscellaneous | Leave a comment

Gunther Lessing and the Strike

A homemade presentation on the origins of the Disney Strike, and tumultuous relationship between Babbitt and Walt Disney’s V.P.

Posted in 1932-1941: Disney Glory Days, 1941: The Disney Strike | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Meeting Walt Disney

Babbitt retelling his first encounter with Walt – and Walt’s first hint that Babbitt meant trouble.

All footage and photos are original from the Babbitt Collection.

Posted in 1932-1941: Disney Glory Days | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Babbitt’s Disney Friends

Disney artists need time to unwind while making milestones like Snow White and Pinocchio.  Here are some brief clips of some of Babbitt’s friends from the Disney studio having fun during the late 1930s.

For those of you keeping track, that’s Hardie Gramatky, Jack Cutting, Ferdinand Horvath, Pinto Colvig, Les Clark, and Bill Tytla.

Posted in 1932-1941: Disney Glory Days | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Marge on Art Babbitt

A mini-doc on Art Babbitt, through the eyes and voice of his ex-wife, Marge, née Belcher, later Champion.

Disney man Hal Adelquist is one of the other beach-goers.  Adelquist would later testify against Babbitt at the National Labor Relations Board hearing after the strike.

Posted in 1932-1941: Disney Glory Days, politics | Tagged , , | Leave a comment