Cool Stuff: Walt Disney’s 1935 Animation Manifesto

On December 23, 1935, Walt Disney wrote an eight page letter to a gentleman named Don Graham at the Chouinard Art Institute (now Cal Arts) asking him to help train new, and improve old, Disney animators. Walt felt that many of the men he employed weren’t working up to their potential and that by focusing on a few simple things, the studio’s output would improve exponentially. Well, after this letter, the studio released – in order – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo and Bambi. So, it seemed to have worked.

The letter is a fascinating look into the genius mind of Walt Disney, as it details the unique way he looked at movies, humor, drawing, running a company and much more. He details the minutia – such as body type and rhythm of movement – of animation and implores animators not to ignore these incredibly important things. Animators, or just fans of Disney, should really enjoy this. Check out scans of the letter and link to the full transcript after the break. Read More »