Burt Gillett

*Birth/Death * Oct 15 1891/ Dec 28 1971

*Occupation/Title *
Animator/Director/Studio Head

*Bio Summary*
Gillett was born October 15, 1891 in Elmira, New York. He began a career in animation working for William Randolph Hearst’s International Film Service. He had a few different jobs between then and working for Disney including running Barre-Bowers Studio for a brief period. From 1931 to 1934 he worked for Disney directing the Silly Symphonies cartoons. Gillett briefly left Disney for two years to work at Van Beuren Studios in which he tried to make it like Disney, but failed. Afterwards, he worked for Universal Studios Cartoons until 1940.

*Early Life/Family *
Gillett was born in Elmira, New York. He moved his family to Los Angeles to work for Walt Disney.


*Career Outline *
Worked for Willam Randolph Hearst’s company International Film Service around 1916. Worked on Mutt and Jeff cartoons under Barre.

For a short period of time he ran Barre-Bowers Studio.

In 1918, after Hearst closed down his studio, Gillett began working for Paul Terry’s studio with many of his fellow animators from International Film Service.

By 1931 Gillett was one of four of Disney’s Silly Symphonies animators.

He left Disney in 1934.

In 1934 he began working for Van Beuren Studios where he worked on such cartoons as Felix the Cat and Toonerville Trolley. He worked here until the studio shut down in 1936.

He worked for Disney once again from 1936 – 1938.

From 1938 – 1940 he worked for Universal Studios Cartoons making shorts such as The Birth of a Toothpick.

*Comments on Style *
Stories he directs often times have strong morals.
Tried to out disney Disney when he ran RKO studio

Disney animation

Apparently, Gillett had mental problems. (Cannot be confirmed through reputable source) May just be the guys he fired right and left when he was the studio boss.

Loyal friend, brought Tom Palmer to Van Beuren when he lost his Job at Schlesinger's.


*Miscellaneous *
The Three Little Pigs animation short directed by Gillett is one of the most famous animation shorts of all time and gave him recognition within the industry. Walt was off recovering at the time of Pigs so it was all Burt's work.

Director (90 titles)
1957 The Woody Woodpecker Show (TV series)
1940 Adventures of Tom Thumb Jr. (short)
1940 Andy Panda Goes Fishing (short)
1939 The Sleeping Princess (short)
1939 Silly Superstition (short)
1939 A Haunting We Will Go (short)
1939 The Stubborn Mule (short)
1939 The Birth of a Toothpick (short)
1938 Moth and the Flame (short) (uncredited)
1937 Lonesome Ghosts (short) (uncredited)
1936 Toonerville Picnic (short)
1936 Bold King Cole (short)
1936 Neptune Nonsense (short)
1936 Molly Moo Cow and Robinson Crusoe (short)
1936 The Goose That Laid the Golden Egg (short)
1936 Toonerville Trolley (short)
1935 Molly Moo-Cow and Rip Van Wrinkle (short)
1935 Molly Moo-Cow and the Indians (short)
1935 Molly Moo-Cow and the Butterflies (short)
1935 Bird Scouts (short)
1935 Scotty Finds a Home (short)
1935 Hunters Are Coming (short)
1935 Rag Dog (short)
1935 Putting on the Dog (short)
1935 Parrotville Post Office (short)
1935 The Foxy Terrier (short)
1935 The Merry Kittens (short)
1935 The Picnic Panic (short)
1935 Spinning Mice (short)
1935 Japanese Lanterns (short)
1935 Parrotville Old Folks (short)
1935 The Sunshine Makers (short) (uncredited)
1934 Mickey Plays Papa (short)
1934 Parrotville Fire Department (short)
1934 A Little Bird Told Me (short)
1934 Orphan's Benefit (short) (uncredited)
1934 Along Came a Duck (short)
1934 Pastry Town Wedding (short)
1934 Grandfather's Clock (short)
1934 Gulliver Mickey (short) (uncredited)
1934 The Big Bad Wolf (short) (uncredited)
1934 Playful Pluto (short)
1934 Shanghaied (short) (uncredited)
1933 Giantland (short) (uncredited)
1933 The Steeplechase (short)
1933 Mickey's Gala Premier (short) (uncredited)
1933 Three Little Pigs (short) (uncredited)
1933 Ye Olden Days (short) (uncredited)
1933 Mickey's Pal Pluto (short)
1932 Mickey's Good Deed (short) (uncredited)
1932 Babes in the Woods (short) (uncredited)
1932 The Wayward Canary (short)
1932 Bugs in Love (short)
1932 King Neptune (short) (uncredited)
1932 Mickey's Nightmare (short)
1932 Just Dogs (short) (uncredited)
1932 Flowers and Trees (short) (uncredited)
1932 The Mad Dog (short)
1932 The Duck Hunt (short) (uncredited)
1931 Mickey's Orphans (short)
1931 Mickey Cuts Up (short)
1931 The Beach Party (short)
1931 The Barnyard Broadcast (short)
1931 Fishin' Around (short) (uncredited)
1931 Blue Rhythm (short)
1931 Mickey Steps Out (short)
1931 The Busy Beavers (short)
1931 The Delivery Boy (short)
1931 The Moose Hunt (short) (uncredited)
1931 Mother Goose Melodies (short)
1931 Traffic Troubles (short)
1931 Birds of a Feather (short)
1931 The Birthday Party (short)
1930 Playful Pan (short) (uncredited)
1930 Pioneer Days (short) (uncredited)
1930 Winter (short) (uncredited)
1930 The Picnic (short)
1930 The Gorilla Mystery (short)
1930 The Chain Gang (short)
1930 Monkey Melodies (short) (uncredited)
1930 The Shindig (short) (uncredited)
1930 The Fire Fighters (short) (uncredited)
1930 Frolicking Fish (short) (uncredited)
1930 Cannibal Capers (short)
1929 Wild Waves (short) (uncredited)
1920 Snap Judgement (short) (as Burton Gillett)
1920 Hunting Big Game (short)
1920 The Dummy (short)
1920 One Good Turn Deserves Another (short)
1920 Knock on the Window, the Door Is a Jamb (short)


Related Links*

*Bibliographic References*
Walt Disney’s Silly Symphonies: A Companion to the Classic Cartoons by Russell Merritt and J.B. Kautfman
Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons by Leonard Maltin

Contributors To This Listing:
Melissa Kleeves

Animators Hall of Fame