Did you know I once considered a job in Disney’s layout department? Yes, it’s true. Veteran layout artist, Joe Hale tried to talk me into joining Walt Disney Studios layout department back in the sixties. While I truly admire and respect the incredible work done by Disney’s premiere layout artists, I don’t think it would have been a good fit for this particular artist.
I remember seeing these beautiful layouts from Walt Disney’s classic films when I was a kid eager to become an animation professional. I would spend hours in the Santa Barbara library pouring over all the books I could find on Disney animated films. One of the things I especially admired was the animation layouts, especially the work done in the Disney films, Bambi, Sleeping Beauty and so many others. Because of todays technology, we can now enlarge these images for greater study. These beautiful backgrounds were created from inspired layout sketches created by the Disney layout artists and you’ve got to admit the work is incredible. Of course, it’s not just feature films that impress me. The layouts created for the Disney short films are no less impressive. I honestly don’t regret not getting into the layout department. While I admire the Disney veterans and continue to study the work of veterans such as Ernie Nordi, Don Griffith, Joe Hale, Mac Stewart, Jack Huber and Homer Jonas it’s a job best left for the artists with those special skills.
Back in 1966, I toyed with the idea of becoming a Disney layout artist but it simply didn’t work out. It appears there was a reason for this turn of events and it was a good one. I eventually found a home in the story department of Walt Disney Productions and it was a job I never even considered. However, this decision to move from animation to story was decided by a man who was a good deal wiser than myself, and for that I’m forever grateful.