Motion Picture Academy to Honor Mary Blair with Panel of Disney and Pixar Animators

Concept art for 'Cinderella' by Mary BlairThe lasting influence of Disney artist Mary Blair will be celebrated through an examination of her concept artwork for Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan in the 1950s during “Mary Blair’s World of Color: A Centennial Tribute,” the latest installment of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Marc Davis Celebration of Animation, on Thursday, October 20, at 7:30 p.m. at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. Several of today’s top animation talents will discuss Blair’s work as an artist and stylist and will also demonstrate how her work has influenced their own. The panel will be moderated by animation critic and film historian Charles Solomon.

Blair’s unmistakably bold and colorful designs continue to inspire artists in all areas of animation today. Her unique and lasting impact on animation continues to this day, though Blair is best known for her design of Disneyland’s “it’s a small world” attraction, which she worked on with legendary animator Marc Davis, for whom the lecture series is named, and his wife Disney Imagineer Alice Davis.

Panelists for the evening include:

  • Pete Docter, whose Oscar nominations include Original Screenplay for Toy Story, WALL-E and Up, Animated Feature film for Monsters, Inc. and Animated Short Film for Mike’s New Car, received the 2009 Oscar for Animated Feature Film for Up.
  • Mike Giaimo, who served as a character designer on The Brave Little Toaster and FernGully: The Last Rainforest, was the art director on Pocahontas and a visual development artist on Home on the Range.
  • Eric Goldberg, who served as the supervising animator for the Genie in Aladdin, Phil in Hercules and Rabbit in Winnie the Pooh, was the co-director of Pocahontas as well as the director of the ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ and ‘Carnival of the Animals’ segments of Fantasia 2000.
  • Susan Goldberg, who served as an assistant animator on Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Hercules, was the art director on the ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ and ‘Carnival of the Animals’ sequences in Fantasia 2000.
  • Daisuke ‘Dice’ Tsutsumi, the lead color key artist on Robots and the lead color designer on Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who! was the art director on Toy Story 3.

Following the program, attendees will be able to view a selection of original works by Blair.

The Marc Davis Lecture on Animation was established in 1994 to provide a forum for established film animators and other experts in the craft to share their experiences as well as explore with their colleagues the challenges of creating animation for the screen. The lecture is named in honor of the man who gave life to characters as diverse as Brer Rabbit, the beautiful Cinderella, Alice (of Wonderland fame), Tinkerbell, and the delightfully wicked Maleficent and Cruella De Vil.

Tickets for “Mary Blair’s World of Color: A Centennial Tribute” will go on sale Monday, October 3. Tickets are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid ID. They may be purchased online at www.oscars.org, by mail, in person at the Academy during regular business hours or, depending on availability, on the night of the program when the doors open at 6:30 p.m. The Samuel Goldwyn Theater is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. For more information, call (310) 247-3600 or visit www.oscars.org.

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