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Claude Coats

Claude Coats Paintings

Alan Coats, the son of legendary Disney background painter Claude Coats, has started a website about his father’s work at Right now, the site is mainly a storefront that sells giclée prints of Coats’ personal paintings, some of which are quite attractive. I hope Alan eventually fleshes it out with more family photos, personal ephemera, and career details as well.

One of the unexpected delights of the Internet age has been seeing the children of Golden Age animators launch websites devoted to their parents. After toiling in anonymity for their entire careers, it’s fitting that these artists would finally receive marquee recognition with entire destinations devoted to their individual accomplishments. The gold standards for family-operated artist sites are, and this incredible blog by Irv Spector’s son.

(link via Disney History)

  • This site reminded me of an animation I created of sets my father created in the 70’s and 80’s in Windsor Ontario. He was the set designer for a number of popular shows. This animation was done almost ten years ago, and keep in mind I was just starting out in animation. This was rendered on a single Pentium 100 computer to zip disks!

    Please skip the first 53 seconds to avoid some bad character animation, but if you watch it you will hear a good introduction.

    The link below is the three minute intro.

    On my youtube page you can see part II which is over 10 minutes touring his sets as I remembered them from age 9-16.

  • I remember Claude Coats. Unfortunately, by the time I had served my apprenticeship at Disney Animation, Coats had already moved over to Walt Disney Imagineering as an art director and show designer.

    I wish I had gotten to know him.

  • Faris

    Bravo! It’s about time that some of the master background painters get the recognition they so truly deserve. Painters like Claude Coats, Al Dempster, et al, provided the magnificent stages upon which the Disney characters played out their stories. Coats’s ability to create the illusions of depth and lighting added so much to the ambience of early Disney features. The loving attention to detail in his background art rewards viewers over and over again. His contributions to “Snow White” and “Pinocchio” are especially impressive, approaching the likes of Rembrandt in quality of execution.

  • Mark K.

    Great stuff. It’d be great to see a site like this dedicated to the great Disney art director Tom Codrick!

  • Coats is one of my all-time favorite Imagineers! He art directed the original Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride fer cryin’ out loud! How awesome is that…?