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Disney’s Crankiest Veteran is Still Cranky, And Thinks Walt Disney Was “A Shit”

When you invite certified Disney legend Walt Peregoy (Sleeping Beauty, 101 Dalmatians, Sword in the Stone) to visit a studio, you never know what you’ll hear, but be prepared for plenty of salty language, politically incorrect views, and uncomfortable laughter from the audience. Here’s a recently unearthed video of the 87-year-old Peregoy visiting Walt Disney Animation Studios last year for an in-house exhibit of his artwork.

Peregoy, who gives new meaning to ‘extemporaneous’ speaking, offered some choice thoughts to his colleagues:

On Walt Disney:

Walt Disney was a shit…We made Walt. Walt didn’t make Walt. Walt was an asshole.

On contemporary animation:

There’s nothing on TV or on the screen that’s worth a shit. If I’m insulting some of you, I don’t give a shit, because it’s all shit.

On classic hand-drawn animation:

That was real animation. And even with all the technology [today], it still isn’t that good, is it?

On layout artist Ernie Nordli:

Great artist. Very humble. So humble he committed suicide.

On his role at Disney:

I take credit. Boy, if it wasn’t for me, Disney’s and all those features wouldn’t amount to a pile of shit.

On asserting yourself as an artist:

Producers want to be the one, and the art directors want to be the one. If any of you here are artists, assert yourself. I mean it…assert yourself. So tell those bastards to get off the pot…Each and every one of you have talent that you don’t even admit to, but take it in your own hands and run with it…Because who you are—your talent—is the most important thing in this world.

For all his antagonism, Peregoy is an amazing artist who has always given one hundred percent. Not only did he shine when he worked on A-list productions like Disney’s 101 Dalmatians, he also created sublime work while toiling on Hanna-Barbera trash like Scooby Doo and The Perils of Penelope Pitstop.

(Walt Peregoy photo copyright Julie Svendsen)

  • I’m not quite sure if he’s trying to be funny or just has that natural Grandfatherly-inappropriate hilarity… I got more of a chuckle out of this then I suspect I should have. Very talented artist though.

  • John Vukelic

    Proud commentary from a proud and talented artist. A great article. Thanks for posting it Amidi. Regards, j.v.

  • Toonio

    If a company like Disney still brands itself as a growing and learning corporation, the should take Mr. Peregoy’s to heart and change once and for all.

    • I’m sorry but corporations do not learn and do not change. They excel at growing, though.

  • Chipotle Pete

    I love hearing people this age talk candidly about anything. They’re not diluted by political correctness & the modernist idea that everyone gets a reward for being mediocre. Right on, pops! Tell it like it is!

  • John S

    He’s funny, but he’s an asshole, and not that great an artist. After 101 Dalmations nothing he did was worth a crap. There, now I’m inappropriate!! Hahah!

    • What a foolish response. Obviously, the guy’s passionate about the art form. Walt Dizzy is great but gets enough praise (especially as his persona is so revisionist at this point). He was great at the editing of concepts (more of this, less of that) and recruiting/keeping talent.

      • John S

        It’s foolish to call a bitter old hack a hack? Also, anyone who refers to Walt Disney as “Walt Dizzy” hardly has the credibility or right to call ANYone foolish. Clown.

        • I have credibility to spare. I’ll give you some.

  • This is the way to live to be an angry old man, confident in your own self power. He assumes Walt is an asshole, like a little petulant child. Is this guy happy in all his talents? If he’s talking about the long dead father of the studio he’s so jealous of, his life is a living hell. This is a lesson for all studio artists, try to understand where your producer is coming from, empathize, and educate him of your perspective. Otherwise the factory perception becomes reality.

  • Funkybat

    You gotta love the liberty that comes with very old age, where you just don’t have to care anymore if people are offended at your opinions or whether it will impact your career.

  • Random

    For real. Get your shit together guys.

  • OtherDan

    He’s a little conflicted to to say the least. He’s proud to have been involved, but full of spite. I guess I can understand that. Because, over the long haul, there is a lot of bullshit we have to step through. I think the best thing he keeps imparting is to be the fucking artist you were born to be, and don’t let them take that away from you.

  • Funkybat

    I have to take issue with calling the original Scooby-Doo and Penelope Pitstop “trash.” While that era represented the “beginning of the end” of artistic integrity at H-B, the original Scooby and many of the other late-60s and early 70s shows had their own charm and decent sense of design. I still love Iwao Takamoto’s character designs, and after seeing the backgrounds above, I’m reminded of just how much more atmosphere and good staging the first incarnation of Scooby had. (The ‘Scooby Movies” were a real setback in almost all areas aside from voice acting and “story.”)

  • shadypotential

    LMAO that is hilarious.

    but with 100 plus workers there is bound to be a few disgruntled employees. plus who really likes their boss? especially one that gets most the cash and press and the praise and loves it.

  • I think I saw Walt Peregoy’s name on some of those Speedy Gonzales cartoons with Daffy.

  • Prydonian

    Doesn’t his work rather illustrate that Scooby-Doo *wasn’t* trash?

  • Shazbot

    I think he’s jealous because he shares a first name with Walt, but not much else.

  • cijfer

    I wish more people were as honest. Even if he might be wrong, it’s so boring to always hear people in interviews and dvd extra’s talk about how everyone was the best they ever worked with. Disney especially gets this, as if he single handedly made every great decision like some sort of infallible genius.

    • IFK

      You think people are really going to comment how the artist they just worked with 4 months ago on a commentary was a jerk and he would never work with him again? You think people would actually sacrifice their job to make such public announcements about their co-workers? Not to mention it’s incredibly rude to talk bad about someone you worked with in something as public as a DVD extra.

      The only reason he can get away with talking about Walt like this is because Walt is dead. If he had said any of this stuff around the studio he would have been fired by Walt himself in an instant.

      • AmidAmidi

        Actually, I once asked his co-worker Vic Haboush if Peregoy was like this back in the 1950s, and Vic confirmed that Walt was always a blowhard, and ranted and raved even back then. Here’s a great photo from the production of “101 Dalmatians” with (l. to r.) Vic Haboush, Tony Rizzo, Walt Peregoy, and Tom Oreb.

        • [Comment removed by editors. Per our commenting guidelines, “Defamatory, rude, or unnecessarily antagonistic comments will be deleted.”]

          • Gerard de Souza

            I think defamatory, rude, or unnecessarily antagonistic comments should be allowed if the subject is defamatory, rude, or unnecessarily antagonistic.

          • AmidAmidi

            True, but the comment wasn’t about Peregoy. It was unsourced allegations about artists who aren’t even mentioned in the piece.

          • The comment went along the lines of (and forgive me if it’s not exactly what it was): “Tony Rizzo would probably be surprised to learn that he didn’t paint any of ONE HUNDRED AND ONE DALMATIANS. Alice Davis would also be amazed to find out that her husband was gay.”

            To amend this: one source is clearly the Peregoy TAG interview with Steve Hulett. Here and here. It’s also linked elsewhere in this thread.

            And in the embedded video, Peregoy makes the (at best) hyperbolic claim of doing all of the color for DALMATIANS. I still think Tony Rizzo, who is in the photo Amid posted, so he was at least previously mentioned in this thread, would have found that claim surprising. Al Dempster would probably be shocked that his work and credit as an art director were meaningless.

            So forgive me, Amid, for not clarifying. I hope you will at least publish this so I can point out that I am not inventing anything and am merely referencing Walt Peregoy’s own allegations about dead coworkers.

          • AmidAmidi

            Thanks for clarifying, Thad! I didn’t realize you were referencing Peregoy’s own comments about Rizzo and Davis.

    • Skent

      With dvd extras, I’d assume the reason for that is those things get edited. If you say a few nice things and a lot of honest things, they’re probably just going to show the nice things.

      It’s funny though, because there’s always those guys that look so jaded and miserable, and the clip they show has them talking about the ‘magic’ and ‘wonder’. The one thing people want to see that you get to never see is the candor and the more human side of things. You have to read between the lines for that.

  • Sounds like a Louis C.K performance.

  • The small set of old classic animators I’ve met all had that same vibe… angry and bitter and confident that they had personally saved the studio numerous times.

    • Eline H

      That is probably because they did save the company a few times… ;)

  • truteal

    So this is John K’s future

  • Cucaracha Daffy

    Old guys swearing always get public attention and he knows it :)

  • Brian O.

    Two fundamental truths about Old People:
    1) Old People don’t care
    2) Old People steal

  • Ikas

    oh shit!

  • wgan

    I always think being able to say whatever in your head is not a bad thing, it just lacks through out the history that if someone says something we dont hear everyday people gets upset, todays world’s bit like Oscar ceremony, whatever it sounds cynical or cranky grandpa talking, you’d have some guts to spit that.

  • Natalie Belton

    This article proves that trolls existed long before the internet.

  • Joshua Taback

    All this guy needs is a floating house ride with a spunky boy scout to improve his demeanor.

  • ShouldBeWorkin’

    In my experience crass old boors were crass young boors, just worse than their younger selves. I cut no one slack just because they are elderly, with the exception of drifting off in dementia.

    Incredulous that it was all him in a collaborative effort as animation.

    Oh, and his HB work here? It looks no better than any other background painters.

    Sorry, gramps. Some nice work but you are an a-hole.

  • I_R_M

    What is that awesome painting of the horse he’s in front of called?

  • jed

    This man is astounding; REAL artists should do this sort of thing more often. His time was “real” animation and the garbage produced today is what every one in that room unfortunately works on.

    Great artists are never PC.

  • Considering that I’m a fan of Peregoy’s body of work, I find it depressing that he sounds not only bitter, but appears to be equally miserable as well.

    With that said, I do appreciate how frank & unreserved he is.

    • MC

      I’d say not to worry – I was at the event and it was pretty clear he was “playing to the crowd”. He was also careful to underscore that his crankiness is not a result of getting old, but he insists he’s always been that way. Cranky, yes! And self-aggrandizing. But he was clearly proud of his work and happy to have people interested in what he had to say. But I’d say he was definitely playing to the room with out-sized bluster…

  • If I’m not mistaken, the guy in the black sweater & hat is Floyd Norman!

  • He was not the only one; check out this BBC video! It’s one sided, of course, but that doesn’t make it untrue.


    • Actually this was a “Channel Four” program Steve, but thanks for mentioning it.

      • ahem

        Channel 4 IS part of the BBC….

  • Laughing

    What I find the most interesting/disgusting about this thread is how quick the Walt Disney-o-philes vehemently attack him personally simply because he doesn’t sugar coat it.

    Did YOU personally work with Disney? No? The guy has a right to his opinion, and given that he worked directly with Disney, he should absolutely be entitled to it.

    Just like in Amid’s previous article about the popular Disney-sanctioned perception of “Uncle Walt”, they all rally behind this illusion of of him as this blameless, all knowing, father-like figure. Walt Disney was a man just like any other, and the sooner more people read the actual history and understand that he made mistakes like any other executive manager of a large organization, the more these exclamations like Walt Peregoys’ will stop sounding so sharp in your ears.

    Rock on Peregoy…We need more voices like yours.

  • Floyd Norman

    For those youngsters who weren’t around in the old days, Walt Peregoy was pretty much the same back in the sixties when he fought with Disney. I know. I was there. Perhaps Walt Disney didn’t like Peregoy all that much but he sure respected him. Wouldn’t you respect the man who speaks his mind and doesn’t kiss your butt?

    Perhaps Walt Peregoy is a cranky old man but I have more respect for him than most of the butt kissers in the business today.

    • SomCoL

      So True..SO Very true Floyd.

  • Meddling Kid!

    Another reason why it gets tougher and tougher for so many of us to get together with relatives for the holidays. He created such beauty with the brush, but so yucky with the mouth.

    My grandfather was just like this. It’s not so much what he says, but how he says it. At least now I know he didn’t copyrighted the phrase, “If it wasn’t for me…”

  • John S

    It’s snobbish to call crap crap? Wow. The old bastard pictured above called EVERYthing on tv crap and you all are lining up to kiss his wrinkled old tushie. That is FASCINATING!

    • I’ll have to agree with John. I laughed at the sense of near stunned disbelief from the audience when, right after he denounced everything today as “shit”, he said that he worked on “real animation” at Hanna-Barbera. Glass houses?

  • Joshua

    “So humble he committed suicide.”
    I feel bad for laughing pretty hard at this.

    Out of interest, does anyone know which scenes he animated? Just to see if, for all his smacktalking, he ammounts to much as an artist. Juts curious!

    • Dave

      — “Out of interest, does anyone know which scenes he animated?” — Joshua, did you even watch the video or read anything about Walt Peregoy ? Do you know what various crew members do on animated films ? Not everyone on the crew is an animator. He didn’t animate any scenes. Peregoy was a Background Painter and Color Stylist.

  • Eric

    I once asked Maurice Noble what he thought about modern day animation. He asked me if I had seen the TV commercial that featured the talking toilet (it was a commercial for a toilet bowl disinfectant and the animation was rendered in 3D) he said “That’s what I think of modern animation”. So Peregoy’s sentiment isn’t all that uncommon, he’s just very open and verbal about it.

  • Thank you thank you for posting this interview… I think we all understood and knew what he was saying about Walt. Perhaps it has something to do with the name Walt? I think they’re all Shits! And now days…isn’t it the in thing to be The Shit? Ma’ always told me it takes one to know one… Case in point!

  • In addition… If as it has been stated.. this man is the same today as he was back in the 60’s, and he lasted more that 15 minutes under Walt’s roof… it’s a testament to Walt Disney’s respect for a true and talented man and artist. Regardless of his saltiness. I’m willing to bet that Uncle Walt had a smidgen of the same demeanor at times. Most leaders have that… ( I RESPECT IT)

  • He’s got a hell of an attitude, but I suspect the man’s earned the respect people have for his work.

  • Rufus

    He’s 87 years old. So give him that. I can sorta see what he’s trying to say.

  • Roberto Severino

    Walt Perogoy reminds me exactly of the comedian Pat Cooper with this kind of tirade! One should listen to Cooper’s Howard Stern and Opie and Anthony appearances to understand what I’m referring to.

  • Oscar Grillo

    Thanks God for this man!!!!!!!!!

  • I like how the ppl holding the camera are asking how long to let him go on like this? just shut the fuck up and let him talk!

  • Rico

    This guy is hilarious. Glad to see someone who just speaks his mind. Oh and if you don’t like his OPINIONS, guess what, he doesn’t give a shit. haha too good.

  • Comrade

    This man speaks truth.

  • Matt Norcross

    Poor guy. I swear, people get so bitter as they age sometimes. I don’t mean to insult the guy, but CG has established itself as a major form of animation, just like hand-drawn (which sadly hasn’t been encouraged at Disney at all) and stop-motion. Despite his bitterness – especially towards his former employer, Walt Disney (in my opinion, Peregoy should be grateful Walt gave him a job in the first place) – he does have good artwork.

  • Chris Peterson

    I remember meeting Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnson in the late eighties, I asked them what Walt was like and they both said at the same time ” he was a prick! ” I laughed my ass off