Ben Sharpsteen

(from IMDb and Peri):
Ben Sharpsteen was born on November 4, 1895 in Tacoma, Washington.
He died December 20th, 1980 at the age of 85 in Sonoma, CA.

Occupation/Title :
Associate Producer (some time during or after the True-Life Adventures series)

Bio Summary

I thought that's what this whole listing is. I wouldn't want to make it recursive.

Early Life/Family

(from Peri):
He graduated from UC Davis in 1916 (then known as the University Farm) in 1916.

Had a stint in the Marine Corps during WWI.

Career Outline:
(from Peri, except where noted:) He started with animation in NY after service in Marine Corps at a Hearst Enterprises animation studio by erasing pencil marks and inking drawings.

He became a “full animator” within six months, later moving to another studio in the same city for 3-4 years.

He tried stepping away from animation and NY for another 3-4 years at the Oakland Tribune, where he was invited by letter by

Max Fleisher to return to NY. He stayed a couple years but was still unhappy with the low standards of quality in animation.

He moved to San Francisco to do freelance work and was contacted by Walt Disney to come to LA and work in his studio and he joined in 1929.

After giving Ben several several assistants, Walt decided he should move from animating to supervising.

Later, Walt had Ben hand out work on The Spider and The Fly (1931), which gave him a taste of what directing was like.

When a director suddenly left, Sharpsteen volunteered to direct Two-Gun Mickey (1934) and continued successfully to direct twenty other shorts. He also was sequence director on Snow White and supervising co-director on Pinocchio and Dumbo (IMDb).

The first film he produced was Fantasia, released in 1940 (IMDb).

He retired from Disney in 1962

Comments On Style:



The compilation of interviews by Don Peri with Ben Sharpsteen about Disney would probably work here in its entirety. However, I'm sure that would be improper on many levels.

(from Peri, except where noted:) Sharpsteen helped create an Antique Tractor Restoration Facility at UC Davis in 1976.

He founded the Sharpsteen Museum of Calistoga History, which was constructed in 1978 (Sharpsteen Museum).

(from IMDb and Peri):
Animated in ninety-seven shorts, including:
When the Cat's Away (1929), Traffic Troubles, The Birthday
Party, Touchdown Mickey, The Klondike Kid, Santa's Workshop, Building
a Building, Lullaby Land, Gulliver Mickey, The Wise Little Hen, Mickey's
Follies, and The Chain Gang.

Directed twenty-one shorts, including:
Two-Gun Mickey, Mickey's Service Station,
The Cookie Carnival, On Ice, Cock o' the Walk, Broken Toys, Moving Day,
The Worm Turns, Clock Cleaners, and Mickey's Trailer

Sequence director on Snow White
Supervising co-director on Pinocchio and Dumbo
Production supervisor on Fantasia, Cinderella, and Alice in Wonderland

(from Peri:)
Seal Island, the first of the True-Life Adventure series
Twelve of the thirteen True-Life Adventures
Fifteen of seventeen People and Places series films


(from Peri:)
Academy Awards for Seal Island and 11 other True-Life Adventures

Academy Awards for 3 films from the People and Places series

Posthumously given Disney Legend Award in 1998

Related Links:

Bibliographic References:
"Ben Sharpsteen - IMDb." The Internet Movie Database (IMDb). Web. 2 Oct. 2011. .

Canemaker, John. Before the Animation Begins: the Art and Lives of Disney Inspirational Sketch Artists. New York: Hyperion, 1996. Print.

Peri, Don. Working with Walt : Interviews with Disney Artists. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2008. Ebook Library. Web. 04 Oct. 2011.

Sharpsteen Museum of Calistoga History. Web. 7 Oct. 2011. .

(I have yet to get hold of the following:)

Ghez, Didier. Walt's People. Talking Disney with the Artists Who Knew Him. United States: Xlibris, 2006. Print.

Neelands, Barbara, comp. About Ben Sharpsteen. Calistoga, CA: Sharpsteen Museum, 1990. Print.

Contributors To This Listing:
Christopher Carman

Animators Hall of Fame