Walt Disney Animation Legend Dale Baer Dies at 70

Walt Disney Animation legend Dale Baer has died at 70. So many people’s lives as a mentor and industry resource, teaching younger artists. That’s before you even get to the impact of all those movies and television shows on generations of fans. Disney Animation explained that his first role at the company was as a trainee on Robin Hood. As time went by, the artist lent his hand to works like The Lion King and The Princess and the Frog. It is also worth noting that he worked with six of the heralded “Nine Old Men.” These animation titans worked closely with Walt Disney himself and Baer made every effort to carry forward their legacy. He helped teach at CalArts and other institutions. Disney Animation put out a statement after word of his passing came through.

“We are saddened by the passing of animator Dale Baer. He was the supervising animator of beloved characters including Yzma from The Emperor’s New Groove and Owl from Winnie the Pooh. Baer’s first role at Disney Animation was as a trainee on Robin Hood and over the course of his career, he animated on films such as The Lion King, Treasure Planet, Home on the Range, Meet the Robinsons and The Princess and the Frog. His work can also be seen in shorts like ‘How to Hook Up Your Home Theater,’ ‘Get a Horse!’ and ‘Feast.’”

“Having directly worked with six of Disney’s legendary Nine Old Me (Walt Disney’s trusted and pioneering team of animation giants), he carried on their legacy in his own work, and through the many aspiring animators he so generously mentored at the Studio and through his classes at CalArts and other institutions. He was a great friend and will be deeply missed.”

The Disney Family Museum describes him:

“Dale Baer has been part of the animation industry for 47 years. He attended Chouinard Art Institute, now CalArts, began his career at Filmation Studios working on Saturday morning cartoons, and then spent 23 years with Walt Disney Feature Animation. Baer headed up the Los Angeles unit on Who Framed Roger Rabbit?; also worked outside of Disney for Ralph Bakshi, Richard Williams, Quartet Films, and Hanna-Barbera. He owned Baer Animation in Studio City, California for 12 years, where they animated commercials for agencies such as Leo Burnett and Ogilvy-Mather, in addition to projects for The Walt Disney Studios, including such as Mickey's Christmas Carol and The Prince and the Pauper. Baer retired from Disney in 2015, but is busier than ever doing freelance projects for Warner Bros. and Duncan Studios, teaching traditional animation at CalArts, and mentoring young animators through the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences’ "Spark" program.”

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