REMEMBERING FRANK

fthomas.jpgCharicature by
Ollie Johnston
Last night at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, Disney held a memorial for Frank Thomas. It was a wonderful heart felt, loving tribute to the man and his life, produced with class by the Disney Studio and Howard Green.As we entered the theatre – large personal photos of Frank were projected on the El Capitan screen. Buena Vista President Dick Cook made a few opening remarks and introduced Amy and Howard Green, who acted as hosts for the evening. Among the speakers were animation historians John Culhane and Charles Solomon, animators Andreas Deja and John Lasseter, family members Gregg Thomas, Doug Thomas and Ted Thomas and personal friends Marshall Ayers and Alan Kay. Leonard Maltin did a short on-stage interview with Ollie Johnston.A few clips were shown: an excerpt about the spagetti scene in Lady And The Tramp from Ted Thomas’ Frank & Ollie documentary; Frank & Ollie’s cameo scenes in The Iron Giant and The Incredibles; Frank’s first computer animation (from 1986); a musical home recording Frank made in 1941; a great The Firehouse Five Plus Two performance from a 1962 TV show Jazz Scene; and the evening concluded with the squirrel sequence from The Sword In The Stone, a scene Frank apparently requested be shown at his memorial.Chocolate chip cookies were given to everyone as they entered the theater. The mood was upbeat, the presentation was tasteful, funny and reverent.Rest In Peace. Franklin Rosborough Thomas, September 5, 1912 – September 8, 2004.