Roaming the Halls at Fifties Disney

Back in the fifties, we were young Disney animation trainees and a number of us would roam the hallways of the Animation Building at lunch time. Finally, here we were at the Walt Disney Studios and we couldn't wait to check out our new work place.

That’s my pal, Rick Gonzales. We’ve just wandered into Ward Kimball’s “Space Unit” on the second floor of the Animation Building. 2-D was a fascinating wing complete with fantastic art work on the walls, and scale models of space ships in the hallway. Honestly, the wing appeared to be more science laboratory than a cartoon studio. Naturally, we were excited to be working at the Walt Disney Studio and gaining a first hand look at Ward Kimball's special unit.

Rick is looking into Ward Kimball’s office directly in front of him. He’s reluctant to go inside and who could blame him. I was reluctant to even be in this special space in Kimball's unit. We fully expected to get chased out of the wing at anytime.

Behind Rick is the office of animators, Julius Svendsen and Art Stevens. Both Sven and Art were as much story men as they were animators. Con Pederson's office is across the hall. The talented, Pederson would go on to work for Stanley Kubrick in the future. Ward Kimball didn’t really follow the rules as to who could do what in his department. A lot of the guys did multiple jobs and I can’t think of anything more creative than that.

Rick and I are beginning to feel we’ve overstayed our welcome. We quickly moved on down the hallway and out the door. Who knows what wonders the next wing might reveal, and we couldn't wait to find out.

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