Saturday, March 15, 2008

At The Walt Disney Studio Ink and Paint Department 1940

My new Saturday feature for a while is highlighting a photo album kept by a member of the Walt Disney Studio Ink and Paint Department in 1940. The pictures were all taken while the studio was working on Pinnocchio and other films. The studio is the Hyperion Avenue studio. The first image shows two of the supervisor's of the ink and paint department, Leota Richards and Helen Nerbovig, playing with Charlotte Clark Donald Duck. Helen Nerbovig was the person in charge of animation cel setups and worked with Guthrie Courviesier to set up the cels for sale.

For some more information, check out this post from Cartoon Brew.

The next two images are of the animation stand used by our photographer. It is amazing to me to see the location where the works of art were inked and colored. It is also amazing to me that there has been so little recognition to the great artists who accomplished the delicate task of creating animation cels to be in full gorgeous color. The art on the table appears to be from the color remake of Orphan's Benefit featuring Goofy and Clarabelle in a circus strong man act.


Major Pepperidge said...

Super nice, and historic! Sounds like you found yourself another treasure in this photo album. I agree, when you see the vintage cels in person, the delicate linework is unbelievable. I have a tiny Jiminy Cricket cel and it must have 15 different colors of ink just for the outline.

Caspian said...

Looks inky and painty. Thanks for sharing.


Viewliner Ltd. said...

This is great stuff Matterhorn. Truly enjoying the history of it all. Thanks, Richard

David said...

My good friend, fellow collector and researcher Dennis Books told me that one of the Ink and Paint ladies he is friends with, said it took about 5 years to become a really good inker.

I agree that the staff in Ink and Paint are very much under appreciated...especially when you review a film like Pinocchio for instance - the underwater sequence with Jiminy Cricket and all those hundreds and hundreds of air bubbles that had to be individually inked...just amazing work. And all the different colored ink lines on each and every character - whew!

According to Dennis, Helen started in 1937 as an inker on Snow White. She worked on all of the golden-age features and many short cartoons. She also worked on camera check, the Publicity Department, inked several of the Good Housekeeping pages and as mentioned, managed the cel set-up department for the Courvoisier Gallery.

Helen's unit also developed the color scheme for each character and applied the paint to the three-dimensional maquettes made in the Model Department.

Biblioadonis aka George said...


I love all of the vintage DL photos but this series looks like it will be an incredible look at the Studios.

Can't wait for more!