Animator, writer, and teacher
During his over forty years of animating, Walt Stanchfield is an animator
and teacher that has undoubtedly left his mark on the field of animation,
and in particular, Disney. Throughout his career, Walt would teach and
influence some of the most renowned animators of our generation.
Born in Los Angeles, California, Walt would graduate from high school
before serving in the Navy during World War II, and then later marry his
Graduated from high school in 1937 and then attended the Chouinard Art
Walt worked as an animator at the Charles Mintz Studio before serving in
the US Navy during World War II. Walt would then work for Walter Lanz
studios, before joining the Disney studio in 1949 to work on The Adventures
of Ichabod and Mr. Toad. In the 1970's, Stanchfield would begin teaching
with Eric Larson to train new Disney animators. Walt worked on every
feature film up until The Great Mouse Detective in 1986, but would continue
as an instructor with Disney until the Lion King in 1994, when his health
declined due to cancer.
*Comments On Style*:
“His drawings were always loose, improvisational, impressionistic and
alive, just like their creator” (Hahn). Walt’s style puts a large emphasis
on gesture. His lines are confident, and there is little evidence of
preemptive construction. Instead, the forms appear to be nearly
second-nature and go directly to line. The loose quality of his work makes
his subjects come alive.
In an interview with Don Hahn, the editor of *Drawn to Life: 20 Golden
Years of Disney Master Classes: The Walt Stanchfield Lectures*, Hahn
remarked that Walt was "really a 20 year old spirit trapped in a 70 year
old body" and that "his legacy at the Studio was as much about living as it
was about art. He was the example of how to live life to the fullest as an
artist - always curious about the world, always sketching, studying,
playing music, reading, and sketching some more."
Don Hahn would go on to talk about Walt's "free spirit" and how Walt would
drive from three hours away to the studio and sleep in his van. When going
on sketching trips, his wife, Dee, would drive while Walt sketched and
painted what he saw out the window.
Hahn also mentioned that Walt "ate very healthy food and felt that
exercise and diet was as much a part of nurturing the creative spirit as
was drawing and study. He played tennis every day" and that "Walt was
active in the local art scene in central California where she showed his
personal work regularly at galleries."
1949, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
1966, Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree (Short) (animator)
1967, The Jungle Book (character animator)
1968, Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day (Short)(animator)
1970, The AristoCats (character animator)
1977, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (animator)
1977, The Rescuers (key assistant animator)
1978, The Small One (Short) (assistant animation supervisor)
1979, A Family Circus Christmas (TV movie) (assistant animator)
1981, The Fox and the Hound (coordinating animator)
1985, The Black Cauldron (key coordinating animator)
1986, The Great Mouse Detective (coordinating animator)
1988, Who Framed Roger Rabbit (animation consultant)
Special thanks in Atlantis: The Lost Empire
Ghez, Didier. "Disney History." *Disney History*. N.p., 21 Jan. 2009. Web. 27 Oct. 2013.
"Walt Stanchfield." *IMDb*. IMDb.com, n.d. Web. 20 Oct. 2013.
"Walt Stanchfield." *Wikipedia*. Wikimedia Foundation, 14 Oct. 2013. Web. 20 Oct. 2013.
*Contributors To This Listing*:
Animators Hall of Fame