Saturday, 12 February 2011

Disney Animator Bill Justice Passes On

Animator Bill Justice, who worked on such classic Disney features as Bambi, Fantasia, and Alice in Wonderland passed on February 10, 2011 at the age of 97.

Bill Justice was born on February 9, 1914 in Dayton, Ohio. He studied painting portraits at the John Herron Art Institute. Indianapolis, Indiana. Upon graduation in 1935 he moved to California. Mr. Justice went to work at Walt Disney Productions in 1937. He worked on the ground breaking film Fantasia (1940). His best known work may have come with Bambi (1942), for which he animated the character of Thumper. Over the years he would serve as an animator on such feature films as Saludos Amigos (1942), The Three Caballeros (1944), The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949), and Alice in Wonderland  (1951). Mr. Justice also worked on numerous shorts, from "Der Furher's Face (1942)" to "Noah's Ark (1959)." Among the characters he animated in shorts were Chip and Dale. It was Bill Justice who animated the opening to The Mickey Mouse Club. He also provided a good deal of animation for the TV series Disneyland.

Bill Justice would also design titles for Disney's live action films, starting with The Shaggy Dog (1959).  He would provided titles for The Parent Trap (1961), Bon Voayge (1962), and The Misadventures of Merlin Jones (1964). He also provided stop motion animation for Babes in Toyland (1961) and Mary Poppins (1964).

In 1965 Bill Justice joined Walt Disney Imagineering. He worked on programming Auto-Animatronic figures for various Disneyland attractions, including the Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, Pirates of the Caribbean, and The Haunted Mansion.

Bill Justice was one of the last remaining animators of Walt Disney Productions' Golden Age. He worked on several classic works of animation, from shorts to features. He would earn a lasting place in pop culture in animating the opening to The Mickey Mouse Club.That he also worked in Disney Animatronics and provided titles and stop motion for Disney's live action films makes him all the more remarkable. He will certainly be remembered.

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