Shane Glines of the indispensable Cartoon Retro has sent over a fascinating 1935 article, titled “Hollywood’s Men of Action,” from Everyweek Magazine, a Sunday newspaper supplement. The Depression-era piece plays up the high salaries possible by working in animation.
There’s some interesting things about the article. For one, it has the only photo I’ve ever seen of Lantz animator LaVerne Harding. (I think the male animator at top is Norm Ferguson; does anybody know for sure.) Also curious, it mentions Flintstones designer Ed Benedict as one of the top Lantz animators. This was still relatively early in his career so it’s interesting that he got top billing over more experienced Lantz animators like Bill Nolan.
Of particular note is this section where Walt Disney explains why women don’t make good animators:
Ordinarily Disney keeps from 30 to 40 men in his apprentice room. The apprenticeship lasts from six months to a year.
As a rule this class is composed entirely of young men. Seldom is a girl found among them. For some inexplainable reason, women don’t make good animators. At the present time there is only one in the entire businessÃ¢â‚¬”Verne Harding who works on Oswald at Universal.
“I don’t know why girls should be poor animators but they are,” Disney declares. “Very frequently they are better artists than men but for some reason they lack the knack of getting smooth action into their drawings.”
This quote from Walt is also amusing:
“I’ve often been told how lucky I am not to have any stars to go temperamental on me,” Disney remarks. “It’s true I never have any trouble with Mickey, the three pigs or any of my characters. But don’t ever think animators can’t be temperamental. Say, they can be just as bad as any star you ever saw.
“Occasionally one will have an off day on which he can’t draw anything worth while. Then he has to be pampered and pulled out of his slump with all the diplomacy that would be used on a star.”