Disney animation legend who brought Bambi to screen dies

April 16th, 2008 - 1:34 pm ICT by admin  

Los Angeles, April 16 (DPA) Ollie Johnston Jr, the creator of Bambi and the last living member of Disney’s celebrated “Nine Old Men”, who set the standards for the art of animation, has died at 95. Johnston died Monday afternoon of natural causes at a long-term care facility in Sequim, Washington, according to a press release from Walt Disney Studios. John Lasseter, chief creative officer for Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios called him “one of the greatest animators of all time”.

Johnston’s helped create Disney’s legendary status, beginning with his animation of the Seven Dwarfs and Pinocchio. He helped to create such celebrated characters as Bambi and Thumper in Bambi, the three good fairies in “Sleeping Beauty”, Pongo and Perdita in “101 Dalmatians”, and Mowgli and Baloo in “The Jungle Book”.

Among the most famous scenes he created were Pinocchio’s nose growing when he lied to the Blue Fairy in the 1940 movie; Thumper reciting his lesson about eating clover greens under his mother’s watchful eye in “Bambi” and Baloo performing “The Bare Necessities” in “The Jungle Book”.

Johnston was born Oct 31, 1912, in Palo Alto, California, and studied art at Stanford University, where his father was the head of the romance languages department. He joined Disney in 1935 and quickly worked his way through its ranks.

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