This first edition copy of The Disney Villain was published in 1993 (Disney Editions), and is hand-signed by authors and Disney Legends Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas. The pair, often referred to as “Frank and Ollie,” were lifelong friends who began their 43-year careers with the Walt Disney Studios together in 1934. Their significant and abundant contributions, not only to Disney, but to the field of animation earned them places as two of Walt’s famed “Nine Old Men.”
Frank Thomas (1912-2004) began as an “in-betweener” in the animation department and was quickly promoted to a key role in the creation of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the world’s first full-length animated feature. His next job was animating the title character in Pinocchio, followed by a prominent role in Bambi, including the memorable Bambi-Thumper ice-skating scene. Working on many of the most beloved Disney animated features of all time, some of his most memorable characters included Cinderella’s wicked Stepmother, the Queen of Hearts, Captain Hook, Lady and the Tramp (including the famous spaghetti-and-meatball scene), the three fairies from Sleeping Beauty, and Pongo and Perdita from 101 Dalmatians. He rounded out his amazing career by serving as directing animator on The Jungle Book, The Aristocats, Robin Hood, and The Rescuers.
Ollie Johnston (1912-2008) similarly made major contributions to most Disney animated features from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to The Fox and the Hound. His more notable characters include the Stepsisters from Cinderella, Mr. Smee from Peter Pan, and Prince John from Robin Hood. As a tribute to his extensive career with the studio, Johnston was even caricatured as the cat, Rufus, in one of the last features he worked on, The Rescuers. Outside the world of animation, Johnston was a railroad enthusiast whose backyard scale-model railroad served as inspiration for Walt Disney’s own Carolwood Pacific Railroad.
Their film careers ended, both men remained busy as writers, researchers, and mentors of the next generation of animators, co-authoring four books: Disney Animation: The Illusion of Life (considered by many to be the seminal work on the art of animation), Too Funny for Words, Walt Disney’s Bambi: The Story and the Film, and The Disney Villain. Thomas and Johnston were named Disney Legends in 1989, and in 2005, Johnston was awarded the National Medal of Arts, the country’s highest honor given specifically for achievement in the arts. The men’s monumental careers and lifelong friendship were celebrated in the 1995 documentary film Frank and Ollie.
This first edition publication provides a visual and textual walk-through of the Golden Days of Disney Animation and some of the most iconic characters to ever hit the screen, as well as the birth and development of an entire art form—remembered, recounted, and hand-signed by two of its most esteemed and memorable practitioners.