Thursday, 23 December 2010

MARC DAVIS – SEASON'S GREETINGS

A couple of weeks ago, I posted images from the personal Christmas cards of veteran Disney artist, John Hench. Today, I am posting some more seasonal greetings, this time from one of Disney's legendary 'Nine Old Men', Marc Davis and his Disney-designer wife, Alice Davis.

Marc began his career at the studio as an apprentice animator on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and went on to become one of Disney's leading draughtsmen, animating such memorable characters as Thumper in Bambi, Brer Rabbit in Song of the South, the eponymous Cinderella and Alice (in Wonderland), Tinker Bell in Peter Pan, Aurora and Melificent in Sleeping Beauty and the gloriously funny (and monstrous) Cruella de Vil in 101 Dalmatians.

Marc also worked on the creation of many Disneyland attractions including the Enchanted Tiki Room, The Jungle Cruise, It's A Small World, Pirates of the Caribbean and The Haunted Mansion. Alice Davis' work for the Disney studio included researching and designing the costumes for Small World and Pirates as well as contributions to two other attractions: Carousel of Progress and Flight to the Moon.

I first met Marc and Alice in 1986, when I was working on a BBC radio series on the Disney company entitled, Ain't No Mickey Mouse Business. With my producer, Malcolm Prince, I visited the Davis' home where – a fantastic treat when you are living in hotel and diners – we were given a wonderful home-cooked meal and were then allowed to see examples of Marc's 'serious' art: amazing drawings and paintings of the people and culture of New Guinea.

It was the first of a number of get-togethers in Los Angeles and London and we exchanged Christmas cards from that year through to Marc's death. Every one had a personal message on the reverse, often detailing the various exploits they were getting up to in what was a lively period for all the veteran Disney animators as, for the first time in their careers with the Mouse Factory, they began taking centre stage and started sharing their memories and recollections of working on the Disney classics with a new generation of Disney fans.

On a later visit to Chez Davis, I mentioned how much I enjoyed getting their cards and Marc went off and came back with a handful of early cards that I hadn't received. Here they all are for your enjoyment. As you will see, they feature not just Marc and Alice but also a number of their 'four-legged friends' (whose arrivals and departures are chronicled) along with references to their globe-trotting for Disney and their ambitious plans for remodeling of their home which went on for some time.

Above all they are a small insight into the private life of one of Disney's Old Masters and a couple whose friendship it was a joy and privilege to share.

1972...
Marc Davis Christmas Card - 1972

1973...
Marc Davis Christmas Card -  1973

1980...
Marc Davis Christmas Card - 1980

1983...
Marc Davis Christmas Card - 1983

1985...
Marc Davis Christmas Card - 1985

1986...
Marc Davis Christmas Card - 1986

1987...
Marc Davis Christmas Card - 1987

1988...
Marc Davis Christmas Card - 1988

1989...
Marc Davis Christmas Card - 1989

1990...
Marc Davis Christmas Card - 1990

1991...
Marc Davis Christmas Card - 1991

1992...
Marc Davis Christmas Card - 1992

1993...
Marc Davis Christmas Card - 1993

Marc's 1993 card contained the following invitation to a Davis exhibition...

Marc Davis Exhibition - 1993/4 (Front)

Marc Davis Exhibition -1993/94 (Back)

1994...
Marc Davis Christmas Card - 1994

1995...
Marc Davis Christmas Card - 1995

1996...
Marc DavisChristmas Card - 1996

1997...
Marc's card, this year, arrived in an embellished envelope...

Marc Davis Decorated Envelope

Marc Davis Christmas Crd - 1997

1998...
Marc Davis Christmas Card - 1998


5 comments:

Cyberdillo said...

These are great; especially with their pets.

Cyberdillo said...

These are great; especially their pets.

Steven Hartley said...

Very brilliant cards - Mmm, if only I was older I'd like to have seen their Exhibition. Some cards remind me of some British cartoons I saw at the Cartoon Museum in London.

Probably my favourite animation ever done by Davis was his Cruella DeVil; a character he got to do all by himself.

George Taylor said...

I am very jealous that you had/have developed personal relationships with so many artists and people at the Disney Company!

Great images, as well!

Brian Sibley said...

Not meaning to show off, George; I just decided it was time to share a few of these special mementos I have of some of our mutual Disney heroes. :)