Author Archives: Art Babbitt

Wise words

            “Never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.”                 – Hillary Clinton’s concession speech, November 9, 2016

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Dumbo! During Labor Unrest!

                      This week marks the 75th birthday of one of my favorite films of all time, Dumbo (1941).  Amazing, right?  Watch it today and it feels as timeless as ever.  … Continue reading

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Disney and the Mob: Willie Bioff

Let’s talk about the mob for a minute. There was a man named Willie Bioff.  He was a member of Al Capone’s gang, as was his partner, George Browne.  They were both top men of the Hollywood stagehands’ union, the … Continue reading

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The Late Great Willie Pyle

On June 2nd at 8am, my friend Willis Pyle died of a heart attack in his New York City apartment.  Willie was 101 years old, but was sharp and witty to the end.  I was told that he was doing … Continue reading

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Letters of Termination

Seventy-five years ago today, Art Babbitt was fired from Walt Disney Productions. It was Tuesday, May 27, 1941.  Babbitt was coming in from lunch and the security guard apologetically  handed him an envelope containing two letters.  “Bad news, Art,” he … Continue reading

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The Guild Vies for Disney Animators

In March 1941, the Screen Cartoon Guild (later the Screen Cartoonists Guild) was doing its hardest to attract Disney artists.  Other studios were already signed up, like MGM, George Pal, and Screen Gems (Columbia).  And Schlesinger (Warner Bros) was already … Continue reading

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Babbitt Cameo in The Reluctant Dragon

Do you remember that scene in The Reluctant Dragon in which Robert Benchley watches Ward Kimball draw some original Goofy animation? The Disney artists were filmed for this movie around March 1941, during the height of union discord at the … Continue reading

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