Disney Animation: The Illusion of Life (1981)
original study drawings for book jacket illustration
blue pencil on untrimmed animation sheet, image size: 10.5" x 11.25"
This series of original study drawings of Pinocchio on his way to school was created by retired Disney animator Ollie Johnston in development of the book jacket illustration for the first, and most important, of four books he co-authored with fellow Disney animator Frank Thomas. They are based on scenes of Pinocchio skipping off to school in Walt Disney's animated feature Pinocchio (1940).
Ollie Johnston (Oliver M. Johnston, Jr.) was born October 31, 1912 in Palo Alto, California, and his higher education came at Stanford University and Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles. On January 21, 1935 he joined The Walt Disney Studios as an apprentice animator on Disney short cartoons. In 43 years with Disney he served as animator and directing animator on more than 24 feature films including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Song of the South, Cinderella, Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp, Sleeping Beauty, The Jungle Book and others. Walt Disney included him among his famous “Nine Old Men,” those animators who formed the core of his animation team. His enthusiasm for trains led him to build a backyard railroad at his home in La Cañada, California and a full-scale railroad on the property he shared with fellow animator and best friend Frank Thomas in Julian, California. He encouraged Walt Disney to pursue his own passion for trains.
After 43 years with the Disney Studio he retired in 1978. Between 1981 and 1993 he and Frank Thomas co-authored four excellent books: Disney Animation: The Illusion of Life, Too Funny for Words, Walt Disney’s Bambi: The Story and the Film, andThe Disney Villain. He was named a Disney Legend in 1989 and was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2005.
This original work is from Ollie Johnston's estate. It was in his home until early 2007 when he moved to Washington state near his family. He passed away in April, 2008. Our certificate of authenticity is included. This item is stamped "From the estate of Oliver M. Johnston, Jr." on the back.