Too Tall, Too Short, Too Confusing, Too Revealing, Too Controversial and Too Realistic Mickey
July 17, 2012 6:02 PM   Subscribe

Michael J. Ruocco is more than the self-described 'curator' of the Animation Smears and Multiples tumblr* (previously here), he's also a talented young animator - here's his short toon about a bird who picked the wrong place to nest - and a serious student of Animation History whose other site is 365 Days of Ward Kimball**, about the Disney animator who was considered one of the best and certainly the most adventurous of Walt's 'Nine Old Men'. Kimball's free-wheeling style showed up in everything from Snow White to Fantasia to The Three Caballeros to his Oscar-winning short 'It's Tough to Be a Bird'. His semi-NSFW irreverence is on display in off-model drawings of Mickey Mouse and caricatures of himself. And on the side, he made elaborate comics for an antique car magazine, formed the jazz band The Firehouse 5 Plus 2 (that's him on trombone)*** and put a full-sized railroad with working trains in his back yard.

*currenty dominated by the obviously fluid Aladdin's genie, the oddly-shaped cast of Spongebob Squarepants and the nearly-forgotten Johnny Bravo, because "it seems like every movement Johnny makes is a smear."
**coordinated with Amid Amidi's upcoming biography of Kimball and using images from the book
***in my childhood trips to Disneyland, I saw the F5+2 perform several times and never realized that more than half the band were Disney animators!
posted by oneswellfoop (2 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Oh, thank you, thank you. Nest just killed me. I'll be crying for the next few minutes now.
posted by mykescipark at 6:49 PM on July 17, 2012

On the new Buena Vista Street in California Adventure there's a store called Atwater Ink & Paint that has a sign outside the door advertising the School of Animation on the second floor, and the instructors listed are all the Nine Old Men. If it's not too loud outside, you can hear the lesson being given. There's also a glass case in the back of the store with flyers---one for auditions to expand the "Firehouse Four". Pictures about halfway down. I'm a cast member, and I get a lot of guests that ask me if they can go up to the second floor for drawing lessons. I have to divert their attention by saying, "Hey, look outside! There's Goofy in a zoot suit!"

Anyway, those little details all over the place alluding to the backstory of Walt's early life in L.A. are why Buena Vista Street is my favorite place to work in the park. Yeah, Cars Land is cool, but the Roaring Twenties is really where it's at.
posted by book 'em dano at 10:36 PM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

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