One of Walt Disney’s legendary Nine Old Men, Ward Kimball was truly a one-of-a-kind talent. Our animation columnist Jim Korkis spoke with Kimball in 1996 about this career, his relationship with Walt himself, and being a mentor to a new generation of animators.

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Ward Walrath Kimball was born on March 4, 1914, in Minneapolis, Minn. In 1934, he joined the Disney Studios staff as an inbetweener and quickly rose in the ranks to become a full-fledged animator, working on scenes in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs that were dropped before the film was released. In August 1936, he married Betty Lawyer, who was working in the ink and paint department. They had three children (John, Kelly and Chloe) and eventually five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
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[Jim Korkis] had the opportunity to sit down with Kimball and ask him to share a few stories that, despite his many interviews, he had never revealed. Despite the years, he still resembled a prankish pixie and retained his mischievous attitude with no hesitation to speak his mind.
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