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Update at the Ken Harris website

John Dyson, the grandson of master animator Ken Harris (1898-1982) started a website last year to post artwork, photographs and ephemera Harris had saved. Dyson wrote in to report a new find:

When my grandmother died a few years back, I recieved a big box of “old stuff” of Ken’s. In this box was a bunch of old animation. He didn’t really keep much of the production cels or drawings, but there was almost 150 drawings in a big envelope labled “Schlesinger days – keep”. They all seem to be from the animators around that time that were just drawn for fun around the studio. Many of these drawings also seem to be around inside jokes, so we really don’t understand many of them.

The newly found Schlesinger era material is posted here. Clearly some of them are drawn by Chuck Jones. If anyone can help us identify artists (or the cartoonists being caricatured) you can contact Dyson directly through the website. It’s well worth browsing the whole site. I particularly like this 1941 Seein’ Stars clipping referencing Harris (without credit).

  • A real treat for any animator. Being a devotee of the original Looney Tunes, I have developed something of a curiosity over Ken Harris. Mainly, because he is cited by so many animators, and yet info on him is scarce. This website should hopefully fill in that curiosity of an animator who managed to animate some of Chuck Jones’ cartoons all by himself.

  • Larry T

    There’s some great drawings in there by Bob Cannon and Rudy Larriva!

    Who’s the big-nosed guy with the terrible overbite that they drew so many pictures of?

  • Gerard de Souza

    The Seeing Stars clipping also mentions Tony Strobl, whose name I recognise from Donald DUck comics. I always thought his stuff was a little stiff …especially compared to Barks’…..but then again, whose cartooning wouldn’t be?

  • Larry T

    Duh… that’s supposed to be him. (face is red)

    Interesting thing I notice in the pic on Cartoon Brew: The images in the background include drawings of the little owl from “The Egg Collector”, the kitten from “The Night Watchman”, and characters from “Little Pancho Vanilla”… I didn’t know Harris worked on a Tashlin cartoon.

    On his lightboard it looks like a character, possibly Porky Pig getting trampled. (I wonder if it’s not from Porky’s Midnight Matinee, Porky’s Cafe, or Porky’s Ant… I’ll have to go watch those now to find out).

  • Christopher Cook

    Now that I think about it, Dan Backslide (from “The Dover Boys Of Pimento University”) bears an uncanny resemblance to Harris!

  • Jay Pennington

    Seen this gem?

    What a prize!

    I don’t have it in front of me, but I think that’s the drawing in a oft-printed photo of Harris looking in his mirror at the drawing board.

  • V.E.G.

    His full name was Karyl Ross Harris. He changed his first name from Karyl to Karol and finally to Ken. He said that the people had a hard time with the spelling. His descendants exist to this day.