Before There Were Icons

Winsor McCay's Gertie the Dinosaur Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty images

Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse are stars in their own right, but there were cartoons before either of those characters existed. What sorts of creatures and comics were dancing across screens in animation's early days?

Special Thanks

Thanks to all of the guests on today’s show: Michael Ouweleen, Eddy Von Mueller, Rebecca Sugar, Jerry Beck and Michael Labrie

If you’d like to check out Jerry Beck’s site about animation history, you can find it here:

And a very special thanks to the Walt Disney Family Museum for sharing audio clips of Lillian and Walt Disney with us. The museum has a spectacular exhibit opening this month:

Walt Disney’s Nine Old Men: Masters of Animation

Thursday, May 17, 2018–Monday, January 7, 2019

Diane Disney Miller Exhibition Hall

Immerse yourself in the art of Walt Disney’s key animators in the Nine Old Men exhibition. Having worked together on Walt Disney’s seminal films, fromSnow White to The Jungle Book, each of the animators—Les Clark, Marc Davis, Ollie Johnston, Milt Kahl, Ward Kimball, Eric Larson, John Lounsbery, Wolfgang Reitherman, and Frank Thomas—had unique personalities and talents that contributed to a seminal artistic, animation movement. Guest-curated by Academy Award®-nominated producer Don Hahn (Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Maleficent), this exhibition showcases personal and never-before-seen selections, including sketchbooks, paintings, photographs, and personal ephemera, alongside original art from the classic films Pinocchio (1940), Bambi (1942), Peter Pan (1953), Lady and the Tramp (1955), and Sleeping Beauty (1959). The exhibition highlights the influence that these nine geniuses had on character animation, which fueled and nurtured the next generation of animators. A selection of work from contemporary animators, influenced by the Nine Old Men, will also be on display. For more information, visit