Disney legend Joe Grant first came up with the idea for Lorenzo more than 20 years ago after witnessing his fearless cat dive right into the middle of a fight between his two poodles. What if that silly cat lost its tail? he wondered. Thus came the inspiration for the story of a narcissistic cat whose tail comes to life, which has been transformed into a funny and innovative new animated Disney short by director/designer Mike Gabriel that premiered last month at the Florida Film Festival.

Not surprisingly, Grants influence is unmistakable the concept, the gag, the dark humor. What an inspiration from the design/story great who had a hand one way or another in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, both Fantasias, Saludos Amigos, Make Mine Music, Dumbo and Alice in Wonderland.

Grant, who turns 96 in May 2004, recently sat down with AWM to discuss Lorenzo, the beleaguered Walt Disney Co. and the current 2D/3D debate with his usual candor, wit and passion.

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