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PR: Grim Natwick Exhibit At The Animation Archive

by on November 9, 2007

The ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive is pleased to present an exhibit of material from the collection of legendary animator, Grim Natwick. Over the course of this week, we will be publishing an online catalog of the exhibit. Please check www.animationarchive.org for more installments, and if you are in the area, stop by to see the exhibit. (Exhibit opens to the public Friday, November 9th)

Grim Natwick is undoubtedly one of the most influential animators who ever lived. His career spanned the entire history of animation- from its earliest days in New York to Richard Williams’ Cobbler and the Thief in recent times. Grim worked at many of the major studios- Hearst, Fleicher, Iwerks, Disney, Lantz, UPA, Jay Ward, Melendez and Richard WIlliams. He animated in every style, but was able to maintain his own personal flavor, regardless of whether he was animating for modern studios like UPA or cartoony ones like Fleischer. If one had to define the single element that set his animation apart, it would have to be that his characters always seemed to have a genuine spark of life.

Grim was a friend of mine. I spent many entertaining afternoons with him on his porch, listening to his memories of “the old days”. Grim remembered everything. I once mentioned the name of an assistant animator he worked with at Fleischer. Grim not only recalled working with him more than half a century before, he remembered his bowling scores! When Grim passed away at the ripe old age of 100, his family asked me to organize his artwork. Whenever Grim left a studio, the contents of his desk was emptied into boxes and sent off to his storage locker in Missouri. When all of the boxes arrived for sorting at his apartment in Santa Monica, I was astonished to find thousands and thousands of drawings- amazing examples from a career that spanned more than 75 years.

The drawings that were most precious were the gag drawings and caricatures that grew on the walls of the studios like leaves on a tree. There were also many important sketches documenting Grim’s thought process- the roughs that were usually thrown in the trash after a job was completed. These are the drawings that make up this exhibit. I hope this exhibit gives you a clear idea of who Grim Natwick was as an artist and as a person. -Stephen Worth

The ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive is pleased to present an exhibit with dozens of amazing sketches from Grim’s personal files. Stop by the archive anytime during regular hours (Tues-Fri 1pm-9pm) to view the exhibit.


Introduction: Grim Natwick’s Scrapbook

Part One: Grim’s Early Years In New York (Hearst/Krazy Kat/Fleischer)

Part Two: Grim Natwick- Golden Age Animator (Iwerks/Disney/Lantz)

Part Three: The Modern Era (UPA) – Coming To The Website Soon

Part Four: The People Behind The Cartoons (Studio Gag Drawings and Caricatures) – Coming To The Website Soon

An Exhibit Presented By The ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive
2114 W Burbank Bl
Burbank, CA 91506
Hours: Tuesday through Friday 1pm to 9pm

Many thanks to the Walter Lantz Foundation for providing the facilities for this exhibit, and to the Walt Disney Animation Research Library for providing the mattes.

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