Author Archives: Art Babbitt

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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Babbitt Boycotts his Boss

Whether you’re loyalist or whether you’re on the verge of striking, if you’re a Disney employee in early March 1941, you’ve got to hand it to Babbitt — this man has some serious moxy. Babbitt had been frustrated as hell … Continue reading

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The Fake Disney Union Strikes HARD

By February 1941, the fake Disney union, the company-run FEDERATION OF SCREEN CARTOONISTS, was under threat.  Rounding the corner was an actual independent union, the SCREEN CARTOONISTS GUILD.  The GUILD had already signed up the animators of MGM.  Around Feb … Continue reading

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The Fake Disney Union

As noted in the previous post, the fake (i.e. company-based, non-independent) union was called the FEDERATION OF SCREEN CARTOONISTS and was formed collaboratively Between Disney’s vice president/head lawyer Gunther Lessing, and top animator Art Babbitt.  Executive officers include president Art … Continue reading

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THE DISNEY STRIKE – pt.1

The Disney Strike has shaped Hollywood politics for 75 years.  It was during an age in which an entire industry (film) was slowly becoming unionized, and an entire workforce (animation artists) was the last to do so.  More than three … Continue reading

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