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Monday, April 27, 2009

"Lady and The Tramp" (1951;1991) [Series] - Harry Holt Sketch

Part of the "Lady and The Tramp" series.

"Lady and The Tramp" has appeal on a variety of levels. It seems like the classic "good girl meets bad boy" story with the kind of domesticated ending that doesn't happen too often in real life (human real life, that is...).

The Bella Notte Scene behind Tony's is probably the most discussed and collectible segment of the film. So, when Disney started its program of having an artist "custom draw" a classic Disney scene for a park visitor, this "Lady and The Tramp" scene was one of the templates that was used.

Harry Holt "Lady and The Tramp" Drawing

I was looking over some of the art when I realized that I had two drawings by Harry Holt -- one from "Lady and The Tramp" and one from "Little Mermaid." (Here's the link to the longer posting on Harry Holt.) These drawings were not actual representations from the movie, but rather provided a scene that represented the essence of the moment.

I was fascinated by the responses I received after posting the Harry Holt material (here's a link to all the Harry Holt postings). Many of these small custom drawing locations were staffed by competent artists that saw the job as a step into the Studio. Harry, on the other hand, was an accomplished animator that not only enjoyed drawing, but enjoyed meeting the people that stopped by his station. As I recall, his conversations were easy and friendly. And, if you showed some real interest, it was like a light switch was thrown on and Harry would shift into top gear to talk about the process and the people he worked with over the years. A number of folks wrote me to say that their encounters with Harry started them collecting animation artwork. And most were surprised to learn about Harry's extensive background at Disney.

While there is little monetary value in Harry's drawings, there a more personal link. One person wrote me saying that they framed Harry's piece and it always reminded them of the great time they had at the Disney World. Now that they know more about Harry, they see the piece as a much more valuable snapshot of their time at the Park and that they now realize that there is much more to some of the folks that work there than they had imagined. Much like the new media star Susan Boyle, you can't always judge a book by it's cover... or the person by their job.

----- DATABASE NOTES -----

From “Lady and the Tramp” (1951; 1991). Lady and the Tramp "sketch" that was drawn at Disney World. "With greetings & best wishes to our friends -- Jenny & Bob -- Lady and the Tramp -- Harry Holt” [Item: 12"W x 9"H] Acquired 1991. SeqID-0670 9/22/2005

Harry Holt, an influential Disney animator, died on April 14. Cause of death was not released. He was 93. In 1936, Holt applied for an artist position with Disney. During his try-out period, he wrote and illustrated stock Disney characters into comic strip storyboards. The company was so impressed with his talent that Holt was hired as an apprentice. He eventually worked his way up to designing several legendary scenes in "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" and "Lady and the Tramp." After 20 years with Disney, Holt took a brief hiatus to work in television production and art direction in Chicago. He returned to Los Angeles a few years later and joined Hanna-Barbera Studios to animate "Flintstones" and "Tom and Jerry" cartoons. In the 1960s, Holt rejoined Disney as a designer of sculptural forms. He sculpted the original models of characters for the Country Bear Jamboree and Haunted Mansion rides at Walt Disney World, and developed attractions at Epcot and Disneyland in California and Japan. Until his retirement in the early 1990s, Holt greeted guests and signed drawings at the Disney/MGM Studio Preview Center in Orlando.

Posted on April 26, 2004 11:06 PM

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