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Walt Disney once described Ward as the only genius at the Disney Studios. Ever the iconoclast, Kimball doubted the sincerity of that remark and preferred to believe that Walt said it fully realizing the “ribbing and guff” Ward would have to endure from his peers as a result of the comment.

[Jim] got the opportunity to do a lengthy interview with Kimball in April 1996 while working at the Disney Institute. At 82 years old, he still flirted with the Disney Institute Animation Team twenty-two year old female intern. He had firmly said he would not draw anything although he might sign a few autographs in our books. She really had no idea who he was other than someone we all idolized so with a flirty giggle, she soon got him to draw a Mickey Mouse in her book much to the chagrin of the rest of us listening to Ward’s stories.

Here are a few excerpts from that evening.

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