As a follow-up to 2013’s Walt Disney’s Nine Old Men: The Flipbooks, Pixar director Pete Docter (Inside Out, Up, Monsters, Inc.) is preparing a second book, Walt Disney’s Masters Of Animation: Nine More Old Men—The Flipbooks.
Based on the description available on the web site of book distributor Hachette, the project sounds similar to Docter’s earlier flipbook project. The unique part, however, is that this new series of flipbooks will address a longstanding complaint amongst Disney animation buffs: that there were many other great animators at Disney besides the group of animators famously known as the Nine Old Men.
Docter’s project takes a giant leap toward correcting this oversight by shining a spotlight on nine other great animators, each of whom will be represented by a flipbook. They’re not exactly anonymous names; anyone who loves classic Disney animation will already have some familiarity with their work. However, it’s certainly novel to see these animators given center stage, and it’s more than a bit subversive to distinguish them as “Nine More Old Men.” (Most assuredly, there’d be at least a few of the original Nine Old Men—if they were still alive—who would be incensed at the idea of labeling nine other animators as their equals.)
The nine animators who’ll be featured are:
- Ub Iwerks
- Norm Ferguson
- Bill Tytla
- Ham Luske
- Art Babbitt
- Grim Natwick
- Fred Moore
- Hal King
- John Sibley
In addition to the flipbooks, the boxed set will contain a booklet with biographical information about each of the artists.
Docter doesn’t make a big deal about his knowledge of the art form, but he is a first-class historian. It was something I learned firsthand when I was publishing my print magazine Animation Blast, for which Pete wrote a wonderfully researched piece about John Sibley. Now, Sibley, and eight of his Disney colleagues, are set to receive much broader recognition thanks to Docter’s efforts, and I can’t wait to see the results.
Currently scheduled to become available in mid-October 2017, the flipbook series has a suggested retail price of $60. They are not yet available to pre-order.