"Ollie Johnston was born in Palo Alto, California and attended grammar school on the campus of Stanford University because his father was a professor there. After High School he returned to Stanford but then spent his final college years at Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles. On January 21st, 1935, Ollie Joined the Walt Disney Studios as an apprentice animator working on such early Disney shorts as "Mickeys Garden" and "The Tortoise and the Hare", which won an Academy Award for best Cartoon. He went on to work as animator and directing animatSor on more than 24 feature films including, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Fantasia, Song of the South, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Lady and the Tramp, and Sleeping Beauty, among others. His Partnership with Frank Thomas was one of the most fruitful in animation history. Ollie co-authored with Frank Thomas the classic reference book "The Illusion of Life". This book helped preserve the knowledge of the techniques that were developed at the studio. The partnership of Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston is fondly presented in the documentary "Frank and Ollie" produced by Theodore Thomas, Frank's son. Ollie was awarded The National Medal of Arts in 2005." -the artist within: book 2.
This is one of the portraits that we made of Ollie in his home studio in Southern California for "the Artist Within: Book 2" ,
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Art by Ollie Johnston
Photo © Greg Preston