Disney Pioneer Frank Thomas Dies at 92
Over the next five years, Thomas and Johnston devoted full time to researching and writing the definitive book on their craft, DISNEY ANIMATION: THE ILLUSION OF LIFE, distilling 40 years of knowledge and experience into what many consider the finest book ever written about animation. TOO FUNNY FOR WORDS was published six years later and explored the gags, humor and story elements that went into the features and shorts. WALT DISNEYS BAMBI: THE STORY AND THE FILM (1990) told the behind the scenes story of the creation of one of the greatest animated films of all-time. Their final collaboration, THE DISNEY VILLAIN (1993), explored the richest and most colorful rogues gallery in film history.
In addition to his career as a top animator, Thomas also expressed his musical talents as the piano player in the popular jazz group, The Firehouse Five Plus Two. Formed in the 1940s, the group consisted of other Disney employees, and achieved success with their numerous Dixieland jazz recordings and personal appearances. They officially disbanded in 1971.
Thomas is survived by his wife of 58 years, Jeanette; son Theodore and his wife, Kuniko Okubo; son Doug and his life partner, Dan Poirer; son Gregg and his children, Ukiah and Micah; and daughter, Ann Ayers, her husband, Andy Ayers, and their son, Marshall.
No funeral is planned but details regarding a life celebration will be announced shortly. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations be made in Franks name to the Character Animation Program at CalArts (California Institute of the Arts) in Santa Clarita, California.