Working on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

We had completed our initial thirty days of training and finally deemed full fledged apprentice in-betweeners. The dozen of so young men and women moved into offices in f-wing on the first floor of the Animation Building. However, we were not exactly in f-wing. Should you enter the small alcove in the wing there were a series of offices directly to your right. This is where they moved us back in March 1956. I began working for Rollie Crump, an assistant animator working with Bob Carlson on the Jiminy Cricket segments for the Mickey Mouse Club. However, a new assignment suddenly came our way, and it would be a very special one.

Wilfred Jackson had his third floor office in b-wing. Because of health issues, “Jaxon” had moved from feature film directing to the less stressful production of Walt Disney’s television shows. One of the shows “Jaxon” was currently directing would feature the material cut from Walt Disney’s feature animated classics. Every Disney film had a deleted sequence or two. What if there was a show featuring segments of Walt Disney films never used? It would be an opportunity to show audiences that often there was some pretty entertaining stuff left on “the cutting room floor.” As always, The Old Maestro would host the ABC show dealing with the entertaining sequences that were once a part of an animated feature. Sequences cut because of time constraints or story issues. It would be a look behind the scenes of the production of an animated motion picture.

One of the sequences “Jaxon” chose to highlight was the famous “Soup Eating Sequence” from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Of course, the original animated sketches were still in “The Morgue.” That was the name given to what would one day become the “Animation Research Library.” The scenes were pulled from the morgue, and all the inspired animation sketched back in the nineteen thirties was still intact. However, once Walt Disney reviewed the rough animated footage, he decided the artwork was much too lose and incomplete to be viewed by the nineteen fifties television audience. And that, boys and girls is where we come in. All of us brand new Disney animation artists were given the rough scenes from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to finalize and clean-up. That is, to make the loose animation more acceptable to television audiences not used to viewing rough, incomplete animated drawings. Our young group of animation artists included, Lin Larson, Tom Dagenaise, Jack Foster, Rick Gonzales and Dave Michener. Of course, there were a number of attractive young women on our team as well. They included the lovely, Jane Shattuck and a tall attractive blonde named, Diane Keener. Please remember that Disney was hardly a “Man’s World,” although it's often described as such. In truth, we had our fair share of talented female animation artists.

In time, our work was done, but unlike most Disney animation our work would not be headed for the Ink&Paint department. Walt Disney wanted to showcase this animation in pencil without any additional embellishment. Of course, the original voice and music tracks were still intact so everything synced up perfectly. Wilfred Jackson completed the Walt Disney show and it was viewed on ABC Television back in 1956 or 1957. I honestly can’t remember the year the show was initially aired. However, one thing I can say for sure. Back in 1956, a group of young Disney animation artists had the opportunity to do a little bit of time travel. We were able to return to the 1930s and actually work on the Walt Disney Classic, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Not a bad way to begin my cartoon career, don’t you think?

We actually worked on the Soup Eating Sequence from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs back in 1956

We actually worked on the Soup Eating Sequence from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs back in 1956