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Remembering Harry Holt (1911-2004)

Remembering Harry Holt (1911-2004)

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It is with deep regret that I want to share the information that animator Harry Holt passed away at the age of 93 in Florida earlier this week. For many Disney fans, they will remember the talented and gentlemanly animator from the many years he spent in Exposition Hall near Tony's Restaurant on Main Street U.S.A. at Walt Disney World doing sketches of some of the Disney characters he worked on during his career.

He joined the Disney Studios in 1936 as an inbetweener working not only on the then in-production "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" but also on the Silly Symphony series, in particular on "Woodland Cafe." From 1937-1943, he was an assistant animator (often assisting Disney legend Les Clark) on a variety of projects including "Pinocchio." From 1943-1956, he was a full-fledged Disney animator working on the shorts including many credits on the Pluto cartoons ("The Purloined Pup" and Pluto's Housewarming" to name two) and the Donald Duck cartoons ("Chips Ahoy," "Donald's Diary" and "In the Bag" among many others).

When the Disney Studio cut back on short cartoons in the mid-Fifties, Harry found work at other studios including Hanna-Barbera where he worked from 1954-1964 and then again from 1967-1968 on series like "The Flintstones," the feature film "Hey There, It's Yogi Bear," and "The Impossibles" and "The Herculoids." (During that break in 1964-1967, Harry worked as an animator on the feature film "The Man from Button Willow" and some "Tom and Jerry" cartoons for MGM.)

In the Sixties, he returned to Disney as a sculptor and art director for WED (Disney Imagineering) and retired in 1982. In 1987 thanks to his friend Ralph Kent (an overly modest but immensely talented person who should be a Disney Legend and deserves a Window on Main Street at WDW when he retires soon for all his many contributions to Disney including his final years where he has trained all the "show" artists at WDW as well as the merchandising artists at Disney Design Group), Harry found a career interacting with guests on Main Street at WDW.

Harry continued to work there until ten years ago, when he turned eighty-three years old. In the collections of many Disney fans are a Xeroxed drawing of Peter Pan and Captain Hook or Cinderella or Pinocchio where Harry would sketch in some additional details as he chatted with the guests about his career and inspired very young aspiring animators. (Harry even designed a series of eight Amerikids figures for Goebel among his many credits.)

Harry Holt will be missed by all those who knew him. The staff of JimHillMedia.com wishes to extend its condolences to Mr. Holt's friends and family in their time of sorrow.

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  • On our honeymoon in 1992 we've also met Harry Holt. He draw and signed 'Lady & the tramp'  . <3 still framed and still has a special placein my heart. Yvette vissers-coldenhoff, Hengelo, The Netherlands

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