Document details

The Walt Disney Comic Strips
Frank Reilly

"Put back Mickey"s tail,' was my first edict, issued a couple of weeks after joining the Walt Disney Studio in January 1946 to head the Comic Strip Department. The appendage had disappeared during the War, probably nipped off as an austerity measure. I had come to the Studio, from AP News-features via the Pentagon, with an open mind about Mickey's tail. Walt changed my attitude. In my first meeting with him he converted me into a hawk about the whip-like tail. With his wonderfully expressive eyebrows and fluent hands he made me realize how the restored appendage would add balance and rhythm to the Mouse's movements. Forthwith, on February 11, 1946, with neither blare of trumpets nor clashing of cymbals, Mickey appeared in public with a brand new tail.

A minor matter, but so characteristic of Walt. No detail was ever too small to escape his attention, whether a part of a scene in a film, a line in a song, a character ina comic strip. He wouldn't order an artist or writer or director to make a certain change; rather he would patiently demonstrate how such and such a c:ange would bring about an improvement. Walt is no longer here to demonstrate with his acrobatic eyebrows and facile gestures. But he has left behind his staff of talented artisans who literally grew up under his tutelage. No one knows much about these craftsmen who translated Walt Disney's dreams into form and line and movement and color.They are akin to the Gnomes who toil in Santa's enchanted workshop. There are several links of similarity between Walt Disney and Santa Claus: the inspired power to spread wholesome happiness, to evoke joyous laughter, to induce contentment. But the uncommon bond between these two benefactors of mankind is the legions of devoted, anonymous Gnomes who actually mass-produce the creations of their maestros.



Source type Magazine
Volume 1
Language en
Document type Feature
Media type text
Page count 5
Pages pp. 14-18


Id 5802
Availability Lendable
Inserted 2021-02-02