Category Archives: miscellaneous

Random bits

“Picket Lines in Paradise”

Read my feature article for American History Magazine on Art Babbitt and the Disney Strike, “Picket Lines in Paradise.”  You’ll find it in the June 2017 issue of the magazine. It has been a couple months since the issue hit … Continue reading

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Gunther Lessing – a backstory

Gunther Lessing is often mentioned as a key player in the Disney strike.  As Walt Disney’s Vice President and Chief Legal Counsel, he certainly held influence. In the mid-1930s, Lessing had an affable relationship with Art Babbitt.  In December 1937 … 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 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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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 … Continue reading

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Saving Mr. Banks

I just saw Saving Mr. Banks, a dramatic re-enactment of author P. L. Travers and Walt Disney’s head-to-head on the making of 1964’s Mary Poppins. I loved it. Probably due to the Sherman brothers. As a Disney historian, there were … Continue reading

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Disney Fires Babbitt How Many Times?

A question was posed to me recently: How many times did Walt fire Babbitt? In his later years, Art Babbitt was fond of saying things like “Disney tried to fire me five different times” for his union activity at the … Continue reading

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