Sadly, I never got to know this gentleman as well as I should. By the time I had finally settled into D-Wing of Disney's Animation Building he was already on his way out. His work has had a profound impact on me, however. I even named my oldest son, Marc after the Disney Legend.
You know Marc Davis as a master animator who has contributed to a number of Disney classics. He is probably best known for his animation in the Walt Disney masterpiece “Sleeping Beauty” where he gave life to the princess Aurora as well as the evil fairy, Malificient. Already at the top of his game, Davis went on to create the amazing Cruella DeVille in the film that would follow “Sleeping Beauty.” There are many of us who feel that Marc Davis did his finest work in the classic “101 Dalmatians.”
Once “101 Dalmatians” was wrapped in the spring of 1960, I made my move to the legendary wing that was the home to Disney's Nine Old Men. As we prepared for the next feature animated film on the agenda I noticed that Marc Davis apparently had no plans to participate on this next movie. As I stepped cautiously into Marc's office I noticed that his walls and desk was covered with sketches of pirates. “What was this,” I wondered? “There was no pirate film in development. Well, you probably already know would happen next. Before long, Marc Davis would be packing up his office and heading to nearby Glendale and WED Enterprises where he would begin a whole new phase of his amazing career.
Marc Davis retired in 1978 but continued to work as a consultant with Walt Disney Imagineering on many projects including World of Motion at EPCOT Center and the Tokyo Disneyland project. Along with his many interests, he continued his appreciation of drawing and painting. Along with his wife, Alice, Marc enjoyed collecting cultural artifacts and other interesting pieces from Papua, New Guina. Beautiful art from colleagues and friends lined walls of their home.
I last saw Marc Davis when we were lucky enough to be seated next to he and Alice at an animation event. There are so many of these, I honestly don't remember which one. I wish I had more Marc Davis stories to tell, but unfortunately we never had that much time together. However, he was always a dapper, charming gentleman and a remarkable Disney artist.