Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston
After the announcement of Ollie’s passing on April 14th, 2008.
Words By Nancy Beiman:
It’s been a sad week for animators. First we lose animator/producer Andy Knight on April 11 (he died of a stroke at the age of 46). Now news has come that Ollie Johnston (the last of the famous “Nine Old Men”) died on April 14 after a long illness. Ollie was 95 years old.
I first met him when I was in my freshman year at Cal Arts. I’d gotten the idea of animating an albatross–a gooney bird. I was pretty sure that this amusing creature, which crashes on landing, had never been animated before.
“I hate to disillusion you,” Brad Bird said one day as I was happily working away on a walk on the ‘other’ bird, “but they’re animating an albatross in THE RESCUERS, the new Disney feature. Ollie Johnston is animating it, and he is one of the artists coming to our show this spring to see our pencil tests.” (more…)