Sunday, October 17, 2021

Ruthie Thompson, trailblazing Disney animator, dead at 111

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Disney and fans said goodbye to pioneering female animator Ruthie Thompson, who died on Sunday at the age of 111.

As an artist and storyteller at Disney, his most famous animated films in history, including “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” (1937), “Sleeping Beauty” (1959), “Mary Poppins” (1964)), “Robin Hood” (1970) and Aristocrats (1970) were largely unaccredited.

He was also involved in bringing the Pinocchio (1940), Fantasy (1940) and Dumbo (1941) and others to the silver screen.

“Mickey Mouse and I grew up together,” Thompson said.

The artist has died at Hollywood’s most prestigious nursing home, the Film and Television Foundation in Woodland Hills, California, the Hollywood Reporter reported Monday.

At age 18, Ruthie Thompson was hired by Walt and Roy Disney to write “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”

Born July 22, 1010, in Portland, Maine, Thompson moved from Boston to Auckland, California, and eventually to Los Angeles in 1924. studio founders Walt and Roy, who lived with their uncle Robert Disney when they first came to Los Angeles, had their home close to the Disney Bros. studio on Kingswell Avenue.

“Once Roy asked us to touch the kids on the street and he filmed us with a movie camera,” Thompson said in an interview in honor of Disney Legend 21 years ago. “I think it was for ‘Alice’s Comedy.’ She pays each of us a quarter, and I’m glad I can buy anise.”

Mickey Mouse in "Fantasy."
Disney animator Ruthie Thompson joked that she and Mickey Mouse “grew up together.”

At the age of 18, he befriended Roy and Walt in adulthood while working at the Dubrok Equestrian Academy, where the brothers often played polo. There, they offered him a job as an “inker” – “We’ll teach you what you want to do,” Variety promised – and then moved into the Paint department during the studio’s first film release. teeth , “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”

“I never wanted to do what I had to do,” he said in a 2014 short film, Showfolk, a documentary that covered the small population of the MPTF house. “My nose was leading me to what I called a problem. That’s when I ran to Walt Disney.”

Dumbo
Ruthie Thompson went down in history again in 1952 as one of the first women to be invited to join the International Union of Photographers after helping create works such as Dumbo and Pinocchio.

She continued to work on “Bambi” before rising to the position of animation inspector during World War II, during which time many women traditionally held male roles. Thompson will help prepare training and educational videos depicting Disney heroes Mickey Mouse, Donald Duke and Gufi for the U.S. Army.

In 1952, she was honored as one of the first women to become a member of the International Photographic Union in 1952.

Mary Poppins
Ruthie Thompson, who went from artist to stage director and then headmaster, turns much of her work into American classics, including Mary Poppins.

“Apparently the kids were amazed at my curiosity and decided to do so. [because of] What I did mechanically with camera movements was that I had to be a member of the camera association, ”she told Showfolk.“ I was one of two women who were accepted. I think that’s great. “

Thompson’s Rise was the planner for several other classics, such as “Alice in Wonderland” (1951), “One Hundred and One Dalmatians” (1961), “The Forest Book” (1967), and “Rescuers” (1977). continued as. Before retiring from the studio in 1975, he would have returned in 1978 to work on Ralph Bakshi’s animated films The Lord of the Rings and Metamorphoses.

In 2000, he was officially recognized as a Disney legend for forty years, including the fact that he was not originally considered.

Disney CEO Bob Iger The statement said, “RIP Ruthie Thompson … a true animated legend.”

His contributions, he continued, remain a favorite classic to this day. We miss his smile and great sense of humor, but his amazing work and pioneering spirit inspires us forever. “

.

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