Some of you have enjoyed learning about the Disney artists that no one has ever heard of. There are indeed many, many unknown Disney animation artists and today we'll talk about another one. His name is Bob Reese and back in the fifties he was one of our animation assistants on Walt Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty.” Young Bob was recruited to fill out our crew on Freddy Hellmich’s cleanup team. Our Fairy Clean up unit consisted of two assistant animators, three breakdown artists, and two inbetweeners.
However, I’ve got a great story to tell about young Bob. You see, back in 1958 Walt Disney Productions was still filming the television show, “The Mickey Mouse Club.” You’re probably well aware that charismatic, Annette Funicello was garnering a lot of attention from the fans and Bob Reese was no exception.
A lot of the young guys in the animation department had their favorite Mouseketeer. There was Cheryl and Darlene and a host of other young girls performing on the set. Young Bob Reese had already chosen Annette as his favorite and he was determined to ask her out on a date. We gave this little thought since young animation guys were known to boast. Actually, once he took off the dorky looking glasses Bob was a tall good looking guy. Perhaps the young artist might have a shot.
Anyway, during one lunch hour as Annette was on her way back to the set at the Walt Disney Studio, Bob Reese actually stopped the young actress and asked her out on a date. How do I know this, you ask? I was with the bold young man when he popped the question.
I gotta tell you, Annette Funicello was very sweet when she gently turned Bob down. Annette was truly a classy young woman. It’s no wonder Walt Disney thought so much of her and why she became a role model for so many young girls. The young starlets who have recently worked at the famous Mouse House could hardly measure up to Annette Funicello these days. I guarantee you wouldn't want any of them as role models for your daughters.