junepatterson junepatterson

93-Year-Old Cel Painter June Patterson Talks About the Disney Classics

June Walker Patterson worked as a cel painter on Disney classics like Pinocchio, Fantasia and Bambi. Today, she is 93-years-old and lives in the Los Angeles area. Animation artists Larry Whitaker, Chance Raspberry and Luis Escobar had the brilliant idea of visiting her to record a video interview. It’s part of their new animator interviews website called TheCornerBooth.net.

If you’re looking for more details about what it was like for women who worked as ink-and-paint artists at Disney, I recommend this Vanity Fair article from a few years back.

In the video interview with June, she mentions her husband Ray Patterson, who also worked at Disney and later became a core member of the Tom & Jerry crew at MGM. I had the good fortune of interviewing Ray in 2000 and published an interview with him in Animation Blast #5. This was the title page of the piece:

  • Toonio

    Animation got to be a fountain of youth or something.

    Despite all the struggles and frustrations, people in animation seems to live a longer and fulfilling life.

  • Luke

    This is why we need more long form stories about animation. There’s so much great stuff out there that you can’t write about in a 250-300 word blog post.


  • James Madison

    “I could not ink my way out of a paperbag” HA! She is witty. Good to celebrate the life of these living artists. Great post!

  • Gerard de Souza

    Inspirational woman.
    Thank you for this interview, gents.

  • Floyd Norman

    Some years ago I was lucky enough to speak with June and Ray Patterson about the Disney strike. It was an amazing conversation. Very insightful.