searle-birthday searle-birthday

How Pixar Artists Wish Someone Happy Birthday

Ronald Searle drawing by Jamie Baker

The legendary British illustrator and cartoonist Ronald Searle turned 91 years old last March, and for a good fifty of those years he’s been influencing and inspiring animation artists around the world. That’s why Pixar story artist (and Ronald Searle expert) Matt Jones wanted to do something special to celebrate the occasion of Searle’s birthday. So he asked the artists at Pixar to fill up a sketchbook with tributes and mailed it to Searle, who lives in southern France.

Over 70 artists participated including Jason Deamer, Ralph Eggleston, Teddy Newton, Ronnie Del Carmen, Erik Benson, Josh Cooley, Jamie Baker (artwork above), Bill Presing, Emma Coats, Victor Navone, Mark Andrews, Enrico Casarosa and Pete Docter. You can see all of the drawings and paintings created for the book on the Happy 91st Birthday Ronald Searle blog. Upon receiving the book a few months ago, Searle responded, “It was worth hanging on for 91 years to receive such a gem.”

  • Martyn

    Absolutely adore this, a worthy present for someone of true greatness.

  • Roland Denby

    What a wonderful thing to do for such a gifted artist. I’ve enjoyed Searle’s work over the years, including his countless TV Guide covers. It’s nice to see people pay tribute and respect to an older artist. Too many times they are overlooked or considered past their prime and therefore dismissed.

  • Rick R,

    Awesome work, thanks for sharing it with us!

  • mike fontanelli

    Sort of put a lump in my throat. A well-deserved tribute to an institution.

  • eeteed

    imagine if all these talented artists got to work on a traditional hand drawn 2d animated feature.

    judging from this work the results would be spectacular.

  • Funkybat

    Great tribute, I love the quote from Searle at the end!

    BTW, it took me a minute to realize the teenage girl was flipping us off. I still think it’s odd how the Brits use two fingers instead of one…

  • Paul

    That’s absolutely wonderful. It’s good to see respect given where it is due.

    And I had no idea that Steve Purcell and Scott Morse (two of my favorite artists from comics) were working at PIXAR. Good for them.

  • Most of the artists here at Pixar were pretty intimidated to make a drawing that would be seen by one of our drawing idols! Despite busy schedules & tough deadlines everyone made a sterling effort & busted out great tribute sketches. When it came to mailing the finished article it wasn’t easy letting go of that sketch book!

    Ronald’s response was characteristically generous & gracious. A true old school gentleman-

  • Nancy Beiman

    Another 70 artists contributed to THE LINE OF INFLUENCE, a special birthday book that was compiled and produced by Tina Price of the Creative Talent Network.

  • pineywoozle

    Supposedly it comes from the long bow times when having those two fingers ment you could kill with accuracy and at great distance. A visual signal to an enemy across the field of battle that they were toast and you were the Churchill used it in much the same way to signal V for victory. Kind of in your face buddy we win lol

  • I wonder if the Lasseter’s blog artist is among them ! :D