Animation Magazine reports that background painter Brice Mack passed away on January 2 at the age of 90. His backgrounds appeared in Disney films such as Fantasia, Song of the South, Melody Time, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland and Lady and the Tramp. In 1954, Mack started a commercial studio with Milt Schaffer called Era Productions. I’ve seen only a few stills from the studio’s output though I wish some reels of the studio’s work would turn up. A lot of Mack’s friends from Disney, including Virgil Partch, Ward Kimball and Tom Oreb, moonlighted on the studio’s commercials.
The Animation Magazine article offers plenty of other details about Mack’s career including this fascinating tidbit:
Along with cartoonist pals Dick Shaw and Virgil Partch, Mack threw notorious parties, once aboard a train car loaded onto a barge in route to Catalina Island. Another time, they put wheels on a character boat and drove it Las Vegas, where a crane lowered it into the pool at the Sands hotel. In 1961, they partied on the last Red Car ride from Los Angeles to Long Beach while animator Ward Kimball played with his Dixieland jazz band, The Firehouse Five Plus Two.