If one were to invent a ratio between fame and the quality of art created, the Disney background artists would probably appear lowest on the chart. While their art is key to the feelings animated movies generate—be they reassuring feelings like in Snow White or jazzy ones like in The Jungle Book—it is also at its best when it’s absolutely non-obtrusive. No wonder then that aside from notable exceptions like Maurice Noble, background artists are often forgotten by official histories of animation.

Albert T. Dempster worked as a background artist on virtually all of the Disney animated features from Pinocchio to The Rescuers, where he was responsible for color styling. Throughout his career at the Studio, he also tackled quite a few shorts, including Canine Casanova (1945), Father’s Week-end (1953), Casey Bats Again (1954), A Cowboy Needs a Horse (1956), The Truth about Mother Goose (1957), and How to Have an Accident at Work (1959). […]

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