Labor Day = Sick Day

A bit under the weather, so real blogging will resume tomorrow.

In the meantime, here’s a thought experiment that crossed my mind this morning: If Walt Disney had been a much better animator, would he have gone on to be a cog in someone else’s machine?

Discussion (11)¬

  1. eric orchard says:

    I haven’t read a lot os early biographical stuff on Disney so I’m not sure what his initial ambitions were but I think he seemed to restless and inventive to defer to another’s vision. Reading his wikipedia entry his life seems to be a series of moves to find something greater, saving money, starting companies. But maybe all this was a result of the Depression economy and if he was born into a time of economic ease he may have been satisfied making lots of money for someone else.

    Hope you feel better soon!

  2. urbeecar says:

    No cog. Disney’s vision was clear to him. I don’t think he could have done what he did without it. Even artists like Rodin were both talented and business minded. Look at comics today. How many cartoonists are not only the creators but also keeping the accounting books in order.

  3. hellosze says:

    That is a very interesting question. I always thought Walt Disney was a great storyteller and animation director. If he was a better animator, he would hire animators better than him.

    No way to tell if Disney would have been a cog unless someone builds a time machine.

    Besides, you may be the greatest animator around today but can you tell a good story with the skills you have?

  4. Disney was driven. If animation wasn’t around he would have chosen something else.

    The reason that he wasn’t a better animator is that he was too restless to be captured by the craft of it. If Disney had been better able to enjoy the small pleasures of art, he would have had a different body of work — fewer, more fully realized pieces — but they would have been just as sincere.

  5. Albert Ventura says:

    It’s possible, but…
    Had his father Elias Disney been rich, would Walt have been a cog in his dad’s business instead of going through all the hard work and sacrifice he needed to become the Walt Disney we know? Had Oswald the rabbit not been stolen from him by Mintz, would Walt have become a worker for Universal? And we could go on and on, specially if our cough syrup has too much sugar in it. (Sick day here too)
    I think Walt would have eventually become a leader in whatever situation life had given him and his vision would have made history regardless of the hows and whens.

    Get well soon, Scott.

  6. seann says:

    Ub was just as driven as Walt, he just had a different set of skills.
    Isnt there that story about him completing plane crazy in like 6 weeks in secret so that the boss couldnt take the rights (as he had fired walt and Ub)

  7. John says:

    When thinking about this question, I can’t help but think about animator Ryan Larkin. Ryan had about probably no more than half a dozen films to his credit. When pushed (or encouraged, depending on who you ask) to do more, with money as a lure he quit. He would rather be left alone and do his paintings. He died a few years ago. He didn’t want to be the cog in anyone’s machine and never saw making art as a way to make money. Something bothered him about how art cannot be done for the sake of art in today’s world.

  8. Max says:

    Sorry, this isnt really related, but are you aware of your appearance in this? http://comixed.com/2010/09/05/4-koma-comic-strip-zing/
    I was pleasantly surprised, since I keep being reminded of your theories ever since I discovered the site.
    Your appearance is also a pleasant change of pace from the usual array of characters and increasingly stale jokes.

  9. Severin says:

    When Walt started out, he had about as much skill as anyone else in animation at the time (not much). Once he got his own studio, he started attracting artists more talented than himself. He might have been able to keep up with his artists if he’d put the energy into it, but that certainly wasn’t the case.

    Still, I don’t think Walt would have ever gotten a start if he didn’t draw for himself. He had to go through that period of struggle with Ub Iwerks, and build his studio up, before he could really get started. So I say that if he’d had less talent he wouldn’t have gotten anywhere to begin with, or maybe would have gone into a different field.

  10. Will Curwin says:

    He most likely would have been working for Ub Iwerks, the REAL creator of Mickey Mouse.(laugh) I mean don’t forget he did start his own studio after he broke up with Walt. The only reason it didn’t work was because Disney and others out produced him.

  11. Sam says:

    You know, he might have. I mean, if he was better than he was, he might (given the fact there would have been less for him to discover) have just thought he had gotten as good as he could at that point, and decided he could learn more through working through someone else. With less overall experience, he might have considered it more of an impact when he DID gain more insight to art/animation, and this could have made him confident enough to work for himself. At least, this is my theory.

    Get well soon, sir.