12. John Lounsbery

Quite frequently in animation if you think about it and analyze the situation doing a scene the straight, subtle way is ultimately not the best approach to take. Sometimes you’ve got to be bold, be expressive, draw loose, caricature action, and overemphasis the acting.  However you still got to make your scene and character believable to make this approach pull off.   To get the best of both worlds it’s important to utilize the broad, loose action in a way that brings out and makes clear the feelings and thoughts of the character. If you don’t put the emotions of the character first and do broad action for no reason it doesn’t work and it isn’t believable at all. If done the other way you can make your character feel more real than real people.  If you want to try this approach of animation and use cartoon acting to its greatest zinth study and analyze the work of John Lounsbery, the first member of our pantheon at number 12 and the subject of today’s post.

John Lounsbery was a phenomenal animator who was respected for his draftsmanship, versatility, and ability to animate broad, cartoony characters in a believable way put together with a very solid drawing style.  No one else could animate a Ward Kimball character and a Milt Kahl character equally well.   “As a draftsman, Lounsbery was ideal for animation,” write Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston. “His drawings were simple and loose and full of energy. They had volume and that elusive quality of life.” Lounsbery was also a terrific “cartoon actor” who had a great flair for character contrast, expressions, broad but fluid movement, designs that communicate character, and drawings that show that the character is thinking.  In many films he animated his own characters that were outstandingly done as well as several scenes with other animator’s characters.  “John was a helluva draftsman who could imitate anybody’s style,” praised Ken Peterson, who managed the animation department at Disney for the longest time in the 40s, 50s, and 60s.  In real life John was a most unassuming star. He was quiet, modest, self-sacrificing, helpful, unselfish, and had no trace of either anger or a temper.  Outside of work Lounsbery lived all but a glamorous life and lived on a farm where he got to do what he loved: be in the outdoors.  “He was just a quiet, shy person with a circus inside him,” describes honoree John Pomeroy.  “Lounsbery’s quietude and reserve was fascinating because they belied his bold, powerful, passionate drawings,” adds Glen Keane.   Sadly John’s modest, unselfish manner and sensibilities oftentimes caused him to be underrated and he sometimes could become a victim to situations involving some of the more arrogant, sometimes treacherous animators. “John always underrated himself,” wrote an anonymous friend at the studio shortly after his passing in 1976.

 

John Lounsbery was born on March 9, 1911 in Cincinnati, Ohio but moved to Colorado at age five.  “My life growing up was typical, filled with winter sports, drawing, school activities and summer trips to the Colorado mountains,” the animator said years later. “My appreciation for natural beauty was reflected in my early artwork, since sketching and painting became my primary interest.” His passions growing up would remain the same throughout the rest of his life: not only did he love to animate but he continued to love to go skiing, explore the outdoors, and live a lifestyle that was very connected with the earth and its natural beauty.  Sadly John’s father passed away when he was only 13 and after that point things were very tight for the family financially.  To cope with these hardships of life Lounsbery turned to his artwork and particularly cartooning as avenues of escape and enjoyment.  In high school he was famous around the campus for his great caricatures and cartoon drawings.  In his senior high school yearbook on almost every page is one of John’s drawings.   He briefly went into working on the railroad but eventually enrolled in the Art Institute of Denver, where he graduated from in 1932. After that one of Lounsbery’s high school classmates convinced him to move out to Los Angeles, California to attend the Art Center. “Money was tight but John was so dedicated to becoming an artist that it didn’t matter,” reflected his widow Florence years later(she’s currently married to Disney old-timer Mel Shaw.) one of John’s teachers recommend that he should apply to work at the Disney Studio, who was vastly growing in success and reputation as well as was in pursuit for young artists in the Depression so the studio could have enough talent to produce animated features.  He was hired by Disney on July 2, 1935 and married Florence soon afterwards.

John Lounsbery was given the very fortunate opportunity in being assigned to serve as an assistant animator to the one and only Norman Ferguson, who would become his mentor and a huge inspiration in his career.  By this time Ferguson, much preferably called “Fergy”, had turned the animation industry upside down with he became the first animator in the world to animate characters that really were thinking and used great showmanship and cartoon acting to make these thoughts clear to the audience and really make the drawings communicate.  He wasn’t a very good draftsman and drew extremely rough but his drawings really were acting and had substance behind them. Most of Lounsbery’s first work under Fergy was on shorts containing the character Pluto, the same dog the mentor animated in his signature scene, the Flypaper sequence in Playful Pluto.  Both gentleman very much enjoyed the character and found his thought process and complex personality very stimulating and engaging.  John later would resent the fact that in later shorts the dog was given more anthropomorphic traits, human expressions, and eventually even a voice.  “Pluto was pure dog,” he clearly stated. “That’s the way Fergy conceived them.  Soon after the team was given a more challenging assignment: to animate the Witch in Snow White.  In contrast to Art Babbitt and Bob Stoke’s straight, reserved queen Fergy’s had to be extremely ugly in a caricatured way while still giving audiences the chill and threat they felt from the queen earlier in the movie.  Using an excellent design by Joe Grant Fergy with John’s help was able to do a phenomenal performance that really expresses the witch’s evil mind, is very unattractive, and most importantly is creepy to the point she has scared millions of children for over 70 years. “Animation has advanced technically but I don’t think they display or stage the gags much better than Snow White,” said John Lounsbery in a rare interview. “Milt’s done a lot to change to this new style of highly skilled draftsmanship, like live action. Fergy didn’t draw well but he could sure tell a story- in the staging, timing, and the personality he got in there. And there’s a difference between a fine artist and a damn fine animator.”  I personally agree full heartedly with this statement. I find it amazing that Snow White despite being so unsophisticated, over-the-top, and poorly drawn at times still is able to entertain and have an audience connect with it even more so than most of the other Disney films.  Walt really was making a film for everybody that everybody can relate and sympathize with; it wasn’t like today when age, audience, and narrow targets dominate the way films are made.  On Snow White Lounsbery did a splendid job on working as Fergy’s assistant and even animated one scene that has the Witch go down the trap door. Even in this early scenes John’s showmanship, broad acting, and excellent utilization of squash and stretch is apparent and present even if it’s only beginning to ripen. On the next film, Pinocchio, he became a full-fledged animator under Fergy’s supervision (he was promoted to sequence director on the film) where he animated a lot of Honest John and Gideon, the fox and cat who serve as villains in the film by convincing Pinocchio first to not go to school to become and actor and later convince him to go to Pleasure Island. “Other animators might have made the Fox more dramatic, more villainous, perhaps less believable, sillier, or more sincere,” wrote Thomas and Johnston. “Only Fergy saw the special kind of entertainment that both the Fox and Cat could offer this picture. It was the kind of character development he understood and loved.” I highly recommend freeze-framing any scene that shows the two characters talking because it really shows you John’s amazing gifts at character contrast, communicating thought process, and using broad action to show a character’s emotions.  My favorite thing about his animation on Honest John and Gideon is the great character contrast between the two personalities. Instead of focusing on the relationship between the two characters as many others would do Lounsbery spends time on showing the contrasts between them and how that’s important: Honest John is a clever, smooth fox who has the ability to manipulate people and get what he wants while Gideon is a complete moron who doesn’t think through or understand anything and just hits people with his club.  The animator did a splendid job at communicating and exaggerating these differences to make them believable and seem real to the audience. I’ve in general always loved the use of archetypes in Pinocchio: you’ll never meet Stromboli or Lampwick in real life but they represent feelings and personality traits we’ve all seen or experienced making them seem more real to us than real people.

As impressive as his work as Fergy’s right hand man was, John Lounsbery really came into his own and proved himself a great animator on his next film, Fantasia.  On the film he animated on the Dance of the Hours sequence (directed by T. Hee and again Ferguson) primarily focusing on the personality sequences of Ben Ali, the crocodile (animators such as Howard Swift, Hicks Lokey, Hugh Fraser, and Preston Blair dealt with more of the action sequences.)  There is something that feels very threatening and real about Lounsbery’s animation of Ben Ali approaching the large female hippo: you can tell by the way he moves that he is confident, a leader, and has a strong sexual drive for some unknown reason towards this hippo.  While John kept Fergy’s great use of staging and communicating thought process in this scene there is a psychological precision and usage of poses that contain solid draftsmanship and fluid lines of action to show character that is more subtle and precise than what the older animator typically was able to do.  “It was the first time I worked with music to that extent where you are completely guided by the tempo and accents of a prescored soundtrack,” explained the animator.  “It was a lot of fun trying to be inventive enough to fit action to all these sounds.” John’s work in this picture is truly phenomenal and ultimately can be said to be the film that made him a star forever.

On Dumbo John Lounsbery’s accomplishments as an animator finally earned him a spot as one of 6 directing animators on the film. On that picture he mainly focused on animating the scenes showing the interaction between the confident, outspoken Timothy with the awkward, mute Dumbo.  Among the scenes he did are most of the scenes of the two characters in the Pyramid of Pachyderms sequence (Bill Tytla animated the shot of Dumbo’s scared, shocked reaction to the pyramid falling but that’s about it), Timothy deciding to take the depressed Dumbo over to visit his mother, and the infamous scene where we see Dumbo drunk.  While there is no denying the fact that Lounsbery never in his career did anything that had close to the power, skill, and emotional depth of Tytla’s touching and deeply emotional animation of Dumbo (I still think it hasn’t and never will be topped) he did have a pretty solid, consistent take on the character. While Tytla’s Dumbo is more sensitive and dependent John focused more on getting the audience to sympathize with the awkwardness and hard effort of the elephant that is portrayed as more independent than the other animator’s depiction.  I also love his Timothy too: I’m a nut for the contrast between the two characters both in acting and in the way they walk (Dumbo walks in a clumsy manner while Timothy walks very confidently.) During the war years Lounsbery stayed at the studio animating on features such as Victory Through Air Power and the Three Caballeros as well as war-themed shorts including Pluto.  After that though he did some great animation in Make Mine Music by animating all of the wolf in Peter and the Wolf.  An expert at drawing and animating animals John really shows his masterful skill at capturing the essence of an animal through movement and his understanding of animal anatomy in that film.  Next came Song of the South where he again would serve as a directing animator for the animation sequences. I particularly love his scenes in the film where Brer Rabbit is stuck in the trap and convinces the ignorant Brer Bear to take his place as well as his scenes showing the Fox and the Bear arguing.  Another great example of Lounsbery contrast: you have the crafty fox who thinks carefully and pays too much attention to details in comparison to the bear who is simple, stupid, and just wants to get it over with without working or thinking too hard.

 

John Lounsbery again had another winner on Fun and Fancy Free: he animated the lion’s share of Willie the Giant. I love how the giant’s expressions are so solidly done and really show you the thoughts that are going through his head. The acting too is pretty top notch. On Melody Time John mostly focused on the sequence Blame It On the Samba, which shows the animator’s extraordinary ability to animate great dances scenes, while contributing a little bit to Once Upon a Wintertime (mostly done by Eric Larson) and a scene to Pecos Bill(that short’s leads were Milt Kahl and especially Ward Kimball.)  Next came Ichabod and Mr. Toad where he animated on the Sleeping Hallow Sequence, particularly in the scene where Ichabod is laughing at the weeds (another splendid personality scene.) it was however Cinderella, Disney’s triumphant return to major animated films that had one continuous story, that showed the great range and versatility Lounsbery had as an animator and draftsman.  Not only did he animate a lot of horse and Bruno the dog (which are more traditional Disney-style animals) but also did quite a bit of the mice, including Jaq singing the working song (a great scene to study for secondary actions and key poses) and all of the animals in the transformation scene.  Sadly John’s contributions and animation in Cinderella had gone almost completely unnoticed and unrecognized by the animation community, as has his work in many other films.  Ward Kimball has been given credit for doing almost all of the mice and even though he did indeed do a lot of the characters he didn’t do as much as has been claimed (John even did a few scenes with Lucifer the cat, a character which many people have given Kimball credit as doing every scene of.) The next film, Alice in Wonderland, is another film that Lounsbery did great work on that has gone largely unnoticed.  He was the lead animator on the Rose in the scenes with the flowers as well as the one who actually did the majority of the scenes with the Cheshire Cat.  The Cheshire Cat is another character oftentimes exclusively credited to Ward but even though he designed the character and supervised him John did a lot of the best work on the character. The solidity of drawing he did on the character as well as his broad, clear facial expressions and mysterious personality are particularly excellent and have made his work on the character a personal Disney favorite for me.  On Peter Pan John Lounsbery did a phenomenal job animating all of George Darling, the strict and temperamental but ultimately loving father of the Darling children.  There are three brilliant scenes that are absolutely-must studies for any animator who wants to know a grain of rice about cartoon acting: one is where George is in a stern, strict way talking to Wendy about how she needs to grow up and move out of the nursery, another is the one where while walking down the street with his wife he goes into a huge freak-out sessions about Peter Pan (he seems to be himself scared to death about even the thought of the name Peter Pan), and last is the one where he is registered what Wendy is saying when she explains what happened(“Left…..?” “Kidnapped…..?”).  The second one is one of my favorite scenes ever animated because I love how John uses the broad acting and exaggerated poses and movements to show the strong emotions of fear George has towards anything related to Peter Pan. This is what makes Lounsbery’s animation works: he animates in a very broad, exaggerated way but it is completely in line and complementary of the feelings and emotions the characters have inside of them. This is the key to anything related to broad action and cartoony animation: you MUST use it only if it clearly shows the thoughts, feelings, and emotions of the character. The more strong and intense the emotion the broader and bolder you can be in the acting if it’s appropriate (sometimes if it’s a really strong emotions that’s subtle such as warmth and love and has emotional weight in the story you have no choice to go the sincere, straight way or else it won’t be believable. For example it would have seemed way to sugary, insincere, and over the top if Glen Keane animated Ariel singing Part of Your World in a broad, cartoony way.) To understand this maybe look a light outside of Disney sometimes and study Warner Brothers shorts, particularly anything directed by the great Bob Clampett, to see what I mean.  It would be the next film, though, where John would show he really could take his animation to the very highest level of excellence and give a performance that is still known as one of the greatest in Disney animation history and that film is Lady and the Tramp.

On Lady John Lounsbery got a very rare opportunity to use all of his strengths to the best level.  He got to animate the heated argument between the enforcing policeman and intellectual, minding-his-own business professor in front of the zoo, Bull the bulldog who is locked up in the pound, and most significantly Tony and Joe, the Italian owner and cook at Tony’s Italian Restaurant.  “Lounsbery’s on the animation is flawless,” simply states Andreas Deja. “Those were wonderful broad character,” stated John Pomeroy in awe. “So great and Italian looking, you could smell them on the screen. I used to pull out and look at his rough drawings. All I could say was, gad, that’s the way I want to draw!”  Not only does my jaw drop at the outstanding caricature and design of the Italians but also John’s performance on the two characters shows a brilliant understanding of personality, character contrast, and character relationship.  Tony is the passionate, bold, and romantic leader who makes his strong emotions very clear while Joe is the more contained cook who does what he is told without hesitation and is very happy-go-lucky.   Study the scene where Tony explains the importance of the night and that the canine couple is going to get the best in the house as well as the one where Tony says in response to Joe saying dogs don’t talk “Ah he’s a-talking to me!” frame by frame.  These two scenes both show the intense passion Lounsbery gave Tony as well as are great examples of strong, exaggerated and expressive poses that show what the character is feeling, who he is, and have the action support those two things.  Tony and Joe are personally two of my absolute favorite characters anywhere and one of the performances that most inspired me to decide to have the gumption to become a character animator.  I also love John’s other work on the film. The character contrast and intense debate between the professor and policemen is priceless and the bulldog shows the animator’s anatomy and understanding of animal movement to the fullest extent.

Sleeping Beauty proved to be another significant film in Lounsbery’s career because it shows a significant change in his style.  While before he drew and animated largely in a cartoony but solid style in line with animators such as Ward Kimball on this film he began to have a reputation as the best guy at the studio in following the artistic direction the Disney films were going, based off of the one planned by Milt Kahl.  With the exception of Marc Davis who even Kahl considered an incredible draftsman and always designed his own characters, all of the animators (Kimball, Tytla, Fred Moore, Fergy, Woolie, etc.) that were pretty independent from his style and didn’t ask him for drawings had left the studio or moved into a different department allowing Milt to design almost all of the Disney characters in the way he wanted to.  While his earlier work is more round and basically a refined version of Fred Moore’s style he gradually made a transition to a style that was more angular, complex, and abstract, which by the time of Sleeping Beauty had developed. While the other animators oftentimes had trouble animating these designs and following Kahl’s direction John was so versatile and skilled as a draftsman the transition came relatively easily to him. “Lounsbery was the one who could tackle the change in the styling of Disney films Milt planned,” explained the great Andreas Deja. “It was difficult for Frank and Ollie to take to certain abstract shapes. Lounsbery had an easier time with that because of the natural draftsman he was.” “John was a very good draftsman, the very best guy in following Milt’s drawings,” praised Ollie Johnston.  On SB Lounsbery animated a lot of Samson, a character designed by Milt Kahl, as well as a bit of Milt’s Prince Phillip (an assignment that Kahl himself didn’t have much fondness for.) He also animated Maleficent’s goons (another great Lounsbery design and performance), the owl in the Once Upon a Dream sequence, and the two kings.  On Dalmatians John was the directing animator on Horace and Jasper, Sgt. Tibbs the cat, and the old, well-spoken Colonel.  I love the way he made the contrast between the personalities of the Baduns: Jasper is more intelligent, sharp, and evil while Horace is the stupid, fat one who isn’t very engaged.  The scenes of the Colonel and Sgt. Tibbs in the Twilight Bark sequences are also great. I highly recommend studying those scenes with the Colonel if you want to learn more about squash-and-stretch, lip syncing, and anticipation.

 

On Sword in the Stone John Lounsbery had another career highlight when he animated the wolf that continually keeps popping into the picture. I love the psychological precision, thought process, and most of all depiction of the immense frustration of the wolf.  John Culhane once used Lounsbery’s wolf and Milt Kahl’s Sher Khan as examples for his argument that animation acting in the 60s was far superior to that in what he said was the so-called Golden Age of the 30s and 40s. I personally strongly agree with this statement: I believe that by the late 30s and early 40s cartoon acting and the art of animation reached the highest plateau it has ever reached and that throughout animation history, including in those two decades, that there were animated performances so emotional and advanced that they make the two examples Culhane used seem cold and ordinary in comparison. However I do think John’s scenes on the wolf are pretty good and I also like the work he did on the huge gar in the fish scene and his scenes that he did with Kahl’s Sir Kay and Sir Ector.  Up next came Jungle Book where he did some absolutely beautiful animation on Colonel Hathi and the elephants.  He and Eric Cleworth animated everything done on the pachyderms and I think it is a masterpiece for both men.  I still am in awe of how Lounsbery could put so much weight to these elephants and make them really feel like they weigh thousands of pounds. The animator also did a good job at conceiving Hathi’s character and making him entertaining.  When you see him go through his speeches you connect with his arrogance, leadership, grumpiness, and military personality because you’ve seen that in real life.  I’m a nut too for the squash and stretch he did on the character.  Also on the Jungle Book John animated the dance scene between King Louie and Baloo disguised as an orangutan and even animated all the scenes of Sher Khan Milt Kahl didn’t do (he did the scene the first time you see him where he is slowly walking through the grass and some of the tiger in the action climax at the end. Thanks Andreas Deja.)  On the Aristocats he was the directing animator on Scat cat and his band as well as animated some scenes of Edgar, the lawyer, and Lady Bonfamille.  On Robin Hood John animated the Crocodile at the Archery competition as well as quite a bit of Robin Hood and Little John.  By this point Lounsbery had become known at the studio as a reliable person to come to, an unselfish and humble “saint, and an excellent, giving mentor.  While most of the top animators worked in the D-Wing, which was basically the “Mt. Olympus” of animation and the one that had the glamour and glory, he was in the B-Wing, which was also full of talented artist but made up of those who were grossly underrated and looked down upon by the D-Wing animators.  There was a lot of animosity between the two wings.  The top guys in the D-Wing were for the most part very competitive, hyperaggressive, and egotistic so they saw it as beneath them to as much as even have coffee with the B-Wing guys and they viewed them as bread-and-butter animators who didn’t even hold a candle to them.  On the flipside many people in the B-Wing were paranoid and deeply angered by the treatment underrated-but-equally talented animators such as Lounsbery, Les Clark, Cliff Nordberg, and Hal King received.  However the B-Wing was different in that unlike most of the top guys in the D-Wing the top guys in the B-Wing were for the most part very humble, encouraging, always accessible and friendly, had no ego, and were always willing to help a younger animator and mentor them into full-fledged animators. ‘Even in the thick of production John would always put down the pencil to talk to you,” fondly remembered Ed Hansen, who managed the animation department in the 70s and early 80s. “We saw Lounsbery as a god who occupied a place in animation as high as you can get,” explained John Ewing, who assisted him for many years. “He had the reputation for being an animator who could turn his assistant into other animators. His assistants were better prepared and equipped for the ‘get on with it’ style of animation.” “John always told me there are a thousand ways you could animate a scene,” wrote Dale Baer, one of the young animators who learned from Lounsbery and like his mentor doesn’t have an ego by any means. “So he always looked at what I did and, keeping what was there, proceeded to strengthen what I had.” Sadly studio management in 1973 decided to take John away from what he loved by forcing him to become a director on Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too and eventually the Rescuers along with Wolfgang Reitherman. “All I want to do is be a good animator someday,” he sadly told Dale Baer the day he moved his office out of the B-Wing.  Lounsbery didn’t enjoy directing and found the pressures and demands of it not his cup of tea.  On February 13, 1976 he suddenly passed away from a failed hospital procedure and he was greatly missed at the Disney studio. I always wished he had lived longer so he could team up with Eric Larson as the head of the training program and continue to mentor several more young animators.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As far as style goes John Lounsbery as I said before was an expert as using broad action in a loose way and drawing in a style that is very cartoony but solid.  While I think he was totally capable of doing more subtle animation he strongly preferred the other.  “What I enjoy most is broader action,” simply stated Lounsbery. “I like heavies. I don’t like the subtler things- the princes and the queens.” What separates him, however, from virtually every other animator in Disney history known from broad action and more comic acting is that he dealt with emotions and thought processes that were anything but broad and show great depth.  What makes the broad action work is that it is used to make these strong subtle emotions very believable and really show the inner feelings of the character in the most affective way. Study John’s animation of George Darling, Tony, Ben Ali, and Jaques to understand what I mean.  His physiological precision, understanding of character contrast, and exaggeration of poses is phenomenal and very inspirational.  As for the way he drew his drawings were very loose and expressive but also passionate and bold. His style is very much cartoony and he definitely did a lot of caricaturing but it is drawn with a great use of construction and his roughs are very solid.  Lounsbery worked a lot in finding the key poses but unlike some other animators he made the movement and action very fluid-avoiding making it ever feel stiff.  In terms of character design I am an absolute nut for his designs and think they really show character and personality.  The noses and eyebrows, in particular, are very cartoony and expressive.

John Lounsbery is indeed a very influential figure in Disney history and his impact on the art form is important as well as how his work has inspired so many great animators including Glen Keane, Andreas Deja, Dale Baer, Alex Kupershmidt, Nik Ranieri, and Tony de Rosa to name a few.  His sensibilities as a performer, draftsman, and animator are very inspirational and are eye-opening to anyone who cares about acting in animation.   Lounsbery was one of the most versatile animators ever and it was a huge help on the films that he could animate in so many different styles. He could animate like Ward, Milt, Fergy, Tytla, Frank, and pretty much anyone else you could name.  His acting and the great thought process as well as emotion supported by broad action he gave to his characters really has an impact on anyone who bothers to study his work seriously.  I also think John’s personality and mentoring of artists has had a great impact. I find that many of the people who worked with him and knew him well are also very modest, unselfish, self-sacrificing, and are always willing to help a young student out on a scene, give them some advice, or even set down their pencil to mentor them.  It’s amazing how someone so talented and skilled as an animator would have that kind of attitude and personality.  I think a lot of people underestimate Lounsbery and the influence he has had on animation. Like I mentioned above many of his contributions and a lot of his work has gone unnoticed or he hasn’t been recognized for doing his accomplishments. I hope that as more people being to study animation seriously and spend time analyzing the work of ALL the great animators as well as study the body of their work instead of just the scenes that are studied over and over again (both of these were huge motivations and goals in making me decide to do this endeavor in the first place) that they’ll realize the true genius of John’s work and see how it has had a huge impact on the Disney features.  He truly is one of the greatest animators of all time and could quite possibly be the most underrated artist in animation history.

In terms of inspiration I think that John Lounsbery has had a huge impact on me for several reasons. First obviously is the fact that he was able to do broad action and exaggerated poses in a believable way that shows the emotions of the character really influenced me to try to do the same and since I’ve tried hard to be able to accomplish that nearly impossible dream.   Also John’s sensibilities towards character conception, character contrast, and cartoon acting are very inspirational to me and I find that all of his work really speaks to me.  I really want to someday be able to put on a performance that has at least a tidbit of the liveliness, caricature, expression, and passion of Lounsbery’s work.  Last is an important way he’s influenced me is that he was very unselfish, giving, modest, humble, passionate, dedicated, loyal, and honest as a man.  I take his two catchphrases to heart and find them very motivating: “All I want to do is be a good animator someday” and “For the good of the picture” I want to have my career centered around an endless pursuit for two things: to be a great animator who makes sincere, high quality work that really speaks to people, is true to the story, and has a real heart to it and be able to be part of a great team of artists, be a team player, and be able to make the films as well as the other people around me as best as I can.  I don’t want anything else or to live a glamorous life where I’m treated like a star, and don’t want to do anything in my career when it happens that’s selfish or is for my personal benefit; I just want to stay true to the way humble animators like John lived life and approached their career.  Thank you John Lounsbery for your contributions to Disney Animation and for the great inspiration you’ve been to me as well as so many other people.

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4 Responses to “12. John Lounsbery”

  1. I’m pleased to have been of service in supplying you with illustrations from my collection.

  2. Eric Zimmer Says:

    Why the HELL did they force John out of the animation department when Woolie was already a director? You know, if Walt were alive then, he would NEVER have done a stupid move like whoever was in charge of Disney at that time did! Also, is it true John was an underrated animator?

  3. Juniversal Says:

    Great article. John was a great animator that provided a good contrast with the more stately work of someone like Milt Kahl. His work on George Darling is gorgeous. So animated but has an element of realism in terms of his movement. Definitely one of my favorite animated performances.

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