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Wednesday, January 04, 2006

STEVENS, Art

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Birth/Death

Birth: May 1st, 1915, Roy, Montana
Death: May 22nd 2007

Occupation/Title

Over his long career at Disney Art Stevens held many titles ranging from ‘title designer’ and ‘writer’ to ‘co-producer’ and ‘director’, but, by far, most of the work he did fell under the title of traditional ‘animator’ or ‘character animator’.

Bio Summary

Arthur (Art) Stevens received his first major screen credit for the work he did as an animator (in-betweener) on Fantasia in 1940. Night on Bald Mountain, the most iconic and memorable portion of Fantasia today, was among one of the many parts of the film he worked on. Despite the magnificent achievement of receiving such a significant first screen credit, and his contributions to Bambi and Alice in Wonder Land (his dream project and the reason he wound up at the Disney Studio), he still was not recognized as a fully vested ‘Disney Character Animator’ until 1953 when he received screen credit as a character animator on Peter Pan. After that milestone was reached the work and job titles just came pouring in…

Early Life/Family

In his early life Stevens was wildly fond of the work of Lewis Carroll; this combined with his natural aptitude for pen and ink artistry prompted him to send sample illustrations of his own Alice in Wonderland to the Disney Studio’s when he found out Walt was planning on doing a feature based on Carroll’s stories.
The wife of Arthur Stevens, Penny, is still alive, along with their two sons, Craig and Kent Stevens, and her four grand children.

Education/Training

Career Outline

In the fifty’s Art Stevens worked as an animator and concept artist on a trifecta of television documentaries on space exploration which aired on the Disneyland TV show (Man in Space 1955, Man and the Moon1955, and Mars and Beyond1957).
During the 60’s he worked as a character animator for Disney’s 101 Dalmatians, he worked as a character animator on a few Scrooge McDuck and Winnie the Pooh feature film cartoons, and received a slew of animation credits for several other Disney films…
In the 70’s Art Stevens earned a few more Disney animation credits, as well as title design credits on several Disney features including the original title sequence for Freaky Friday (1976).
As Art’s career moved on to the 80’s his work began to shift from animating to directing. He directed The Rescuers (1977), and directed/co-produced The Fox and the Hound in 1981.
Arthur Stevens officially retired in 1983. But before his retirement helped Co-Write the story for Disney’s The Black Cauldron (1985); a move that placed a ‘sour cherry’ on what was otherwise a ‘sweet ice cream Sunday’ of a career.

Comments On Style

As a child of the 80’s there is something I find intrinsically familiar and comforting about cartoons such as Peter Pan, Robin Hood and the Fox in the Hound. I love it.

Influences

His most obvious influence’s, aside from the 9 old men at Disney he came to work with and know over his career, are the classic stories of Lewis Carroll

Personality

Anecdotes

Miscellaneous

Man in Space series was said by art to have been his favorite assignment at Disney.
He received praise from Milt Kahl for his work on the underwater sequence in Bedknobs and Broomsticks.

Filmography

The Black Cauldron (1985) (Co-writer)
The Fox and the Hound (1981) (Director)
The North Avenue Irregulars (1979) (Title Designer/ Co-producer)
The Rescuers (1977) (Character animator/ Director)…AKA Bernardo y Bianca (USA: Spanish title)
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977) (Animator)
Freaky Friday (1976) (Title Designer)
No Deposit, No Return (1976) (Title Designer)
The Strongest Man in the World (1975) (Title Designer)
Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too! (1974) (Animator)
Robin Hood (1973) (Character animator)
Disneyland (Animator) (8 episodes, 1955-1972)
Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971) (Animator)
Dad, Can I borrow the Car? (1970) (TV) (Animator)
It’s Tough To Be a Bird (1969) (Animator)
Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day (1968) (Animator)
Scrooge McDuck and Money (1967) (Animator)
A Symposium on Popular Songs (1962) (Animator)
Aquamania (1961) (Animator)
The Saga of Windwagon Smith (1961) (Animator)
One Hundred and One Dalmations (1961) (Character Animator)
Eyes in Outer Space (1959) (Animator)
Toot Whistle Plunk and Boom (1956) (Animator)
Perter Pan (1953) (Character Animator)


Honors

In 1992 Art Stevens was honorably presented with the Golden Award from the Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists Awards.

Related Links

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Bibliographic References

Contributors To This Listing

A. Nonymous


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