Pioneering Disney Animator Dead at 95

Bambi's creator Johnston was last of Disney's 'Nine Old Men'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 16, 2008 2:40 AM CDT

(Newser) – The last surviving member of Disney's legendary "Nine Old Men," who pioneered character animation, has died at the age of 95, the Los Angeles Times reports. Ollie Johnston's many creations, often in collaboration with Frank Thomas, included sequences and characters in Pinocchio, the Jungle Book, Bambi, Sleeping Beauty, 101 Dalmatians and many more.

"Ollie's death truly marks the end of the golden age of hand-drawn Disney character animation that blossomed in the 1930s," said an animation historian. "He was a great and nuanced animator who could handle sentiment and comedy with equal aplomb—as well as a sweet and generous mentor to many." Johnston is survived by two sons.