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The Life and Times of Ward Kimball
Maverick of Disney Animation

By Todd James Pierce

320 pages (approx.), 6 x 9 inches

9781496820969 Cloth $30.00T

The first major biography of the influential, visionary Disney animator

Besides Walt Disney, no one seemed more key to the development of animation at the Disney Studios than Ward Kimball (1914-2002). Kimball was Disney's friend and confidant.

In this engaging, cradle-to-grave biography, award-winning author Todd James Pierce explores the life of Ward Kimball, a lead Disney animator who worked on characters such as Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Jiminy Cricket, the Cheshire Cat, and the Mad Hatter. Through unpublished excerpts from Kimball's personal writing, material from unpublished interviews, and new information based on interviews conducted by the author, Pierce defines the life of perhaps the most influential animator of the twentieth century. As well as contributing to classics such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Pinocchio, from the late 1940s to the early 1970s, Kimball established a highly graphic, idiosyncratic approach to animation alongside the studio's more recognizable storybook realism. In effect, Ward Kimball became the only animator to run his own in-studio production team largely outside of Walt Disney's direction.

Through Kimball, the studio developed a series of nonfiction animation programs in the 1950s that members of Congress pointed to as paving the way for NASA. The studio also allowed Kimball's work to abandon some ties to conventional animation, looking instead to high art and graphic design as a means of creating new animated forms, which resulted in films that received multiple Academy Award nominations and two awards.

TODD JAMES PIERCE, Orcutt, California, is professor of literature at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California. Pierce is the author of four previous books, including Newsworld, which won the Drue Heinz Literature Prize, and Three Years in Wonderland: The Disney Brothers, C. V. Wood, and the Making of the Great American Theme Park, the latter published by University Press of Mississippi. His work has appeared in over seventy magazines and journals, including the Harvard Review, the Georgia Review, and the North American Review.

320 pages (approx.), 6 x 9 inches