Document details

Mickey Mouse and Me
Floyd Gottfredson

I was born May 5, 1905 in (believe it or not) a railroad station. My grandfather wot a station agent on a branch line of the D&RG Railroad in Kaysville, Utah. Ho a nd my step-grandmother lived in the station. What was normally the waiting room was their living room, the office space was half-office and half-kitchen, and the bedrooms were above the baggage room. In those days women very seldom went to a hospital to have their babies — and practically always went to the home of their parents for their first born. Since I was my parents' first child I was naturally born in a railroad station.


Late in 1929 the theatre I was working in was torn down to extend a street through the site and I was out of work. I was looking for work on wha t wa s then known as " film row" — Vermont Avenue, where all the film exchanges were located — when I saw a one-sheet Mickey Mouse movie poster standing in front of the small exchange that distributed Walt Disney's films. As a projectionist in Utah I had run all of W alt's and Ub Iwerks' Oswald The Lucky Rabbit animated cartoons, so I was very familiar with their names, but I had never seen or heard of MICKEY MOUSE before. Out of curiosity I went in, and the fellow there told me he had heard that Walt was going to N ew York the following week to look for artists. I lost no time picking up my samples and rushing out to the Walt Disney Studio which was then located on Hyperion Avenue in East Hollywood.

Walt was very friendly and hired me as on animation inbetweener and possible backup artist for the Mickey Mouse daily newspaper comic strip which was then about to be launched by King Features Syndicate. I went to work the following day, December 19, in animation and was fascinated by it.


I inked the Mickey daily from the May 5, 1930 release until late '32 and again from late '46 until my retirement October 1, 1975.



The Mickey Mouse daily newspaper strips were drawn 5' x 17 3/4 on Strathmore 3-ply surface (plate) drawing board. I found the high surface board too slick for penciling but excellent for inking with a pen. I solved the penciling problem by erosing the surface with a Faber-Castell Para-white eraser. This gives the paper a bond-like surface, fine for penciling.

I penciled with a Scripto pencil (eliminates constant sharpening) using Scripto's blue lead. This lead has a nice velvety feel but must be erased after inking, if the drawing is to be reproduced, as it has some red in it and may pick up photographically.


My nearly 46-year career with the Disney Studio has been a beautiful experience. Walt and Roy were great, warm people to work for. Under them the stimulating, creative freedom was unbelievable. And I'm convinced that the great river of personalities that flowed through the studio couldn't have been duplicated anywhere else on earth.



Source type Magazine
Language en
Document type Feature
Media type text
Page count 8
Pages pp. 4-7,28-31


Id 4994
Availability Free
Inserted 2020-04-30