Sunday, 6 March 2011

A Bit About Geronimi

As some people might heard about in interviews - Disney director Clyde Geronimi wasn't a nice guy to follow. He was disliked a lot by Ward Kimball, well - mostly everyone at the Disney Studios disliked old Gerry Geronimi. Dorse A. Lanpher in his book described Gerry as "a loud, rude, cursing, cigar smoking" man.

Dorse A. Lanpher wrote in his book Flyin' Chunks and Other Things to Duck that his boss: effects animator Jack Buckley told him that he had "an abundance of four letter words with a force that could remove wallpaper". Of course, this is more of a joke really because no-one can really remove wallpaper with a force of swearing. That is what I think is an anecdote - but maybe it did happen. Although I think Jack Buckley may have been a bit sarcastic.

Ward Kimball says that the end of Geronimi's career was because of John Lounsbery refusing to pick up scenes of him one day and going to Walt Disney saying "I don't want to work with this man anymore!" So, it was the end of Gerry's career - it seemed that Walt had no choice but to fire him. I believe there's more to say about Geronimi on Michael Barrier's book Hollywood Cartoons - and I really do need to purchase the book online, I will do eventually.

Here in this documentary from 1954 with Walt Disney promoting his then new feature Lady and the Tramp, and towards the video - there is an interesting part with Gerry Geronimi, who was directing a sequence along with Woolie Reitherman animating Tramp in the dog fight and Tom Codrick who was providing layouts. Here, Gerry looked like a nice guy there - calm and not cursing and explaining Woolie what to do in a scene. Of course Woolie seemed to be his ususal self and Tom Codrick looked cool. Although, I suppose Gerry was like that because it wouldn't be right to show a cursing Gerry Geronimi in front of a children's show. But somehow I bet when the filming finished, Gerry was his usual self. If you want to see the rest of the documentary - I posted Part 2.

Now, I'm not trying to be too critical of Clyde Geronimi - I think he's a great director - he directed Pecos Bill (my favourite segment in "Melody Time) and some marvellous sequences in films like Alice in Wonderland, Sleeping Beauty, 101 Dalmatians and many more! He has been a good worker for many years at Disney - although unfortunately those stories of Gerry being mean were witnessed by more than one person.

Does any one else have more stuff about Gerry? I'd be happy to hear - even though I wasn't there.

P.S. - I'm having troubles on my laptop with the internet - I'm afraid that my mosaics may go on hiatus - but it was hopefully be fixed until next week - hopefully.


Zartok-35 said...

One famous incident was on the 3 Cabelleros song number, where Geronim gave Ward a hard time because of how Donald and them were entering and exiiting the screen in 'Illogical' directions. Ward reportedly told Gerry to 'stick it up his ass'.

Steven Hartley said...

Thanks Zartok, interesting anecdote. I've not heard this story before but thanks anyway.

I know that people were criticising the way Ward Kimball animated it saying it "din't make sense" - Ward didn't care.

RB (Caterwaul Studios) said...

Great clips!

Wonderful artwork! I'll be coming back to this many times to review this at length in slow time. Super. Thanks for this Steven.

Steven Hartley said...

RB - The clips were nothing - I was just really focusing on Clyde Geronimi

RB (Caterwaul Studios) said...

Not for me, Steven! Some great inspiration in there. I'll take it from wherever I can find it!


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately people like Ward Kimball were the real problem not Geronimi. It just happens to be that Geronimi isn't around to defend himself. Kimball was a racist and pervert and a nasty man, Gerry didn't put up with his disgusting behavior and called him out on it. The other thing you should know is that Gerry was not ever fired from Disney. He left and then returned later to work on 101 Dalmations. Gerry was very talented and had a lot of integrity in everything he did. It is interesting to note that Kimball didn't speak a bad word about Gerry until after Gerry died and could no longer defend himself. I have a massive amount of more info on Gerry if you are interested. I will be happy to communicate with you.

Anonymous said...

I have never heard of the story Zartok speaks off, I assume Kimball would say that being that he was a real jerk.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering how I should contact you with more info. on Geronimi?

Steven Hartley said...

You can contact me through e-mail if you want.