Search form

'Fantasia' Animator Ken Walker Dies

Ani­ma­tor and direc­tor Ken Walker, whose work for Dis­ney included such mem­o­rable films as “Alice in Won­der­land” and “Fan­ta­sia,” died August 18 at the age of 91.

Ani­ma­tor and direc­tor Ken Walker, whose work for Dis­ney included such mem­o­rable films as Alice in Won­der­land and Fan­ta­sia, died August 18, according to a report by online blog Big Cartoon News. He was 91.

A mem­ber of the Direc­tors Guild of Amer­ica, Walker worked for Dis­ney from 1940–42 and 1945–52. He was filmed as one of Disney’s lead­ing ani­ma­tors on the “Dis­ney Car­toons” episode of You Asked For It:

Walker also worked for many other notable com­pa­nies, such as Colum­bia Pic­tures and Hanna-Barbera. He was the founder and sole owner of N.Y.C. Totem Pro­duc­tions from 1965 to 1971. In 1981, he founded Fun­ny­bone Films in Hol­ly­wood, Cal­i­for­nia, where he remained owner for 20 years.

In TV, he ani­mated Mil­ton the Mon­ster (1965), Bailey’s Comets (1973) and The Great Grape Ape Show (1977). He ani­mated the ABC After­school Spe­cials The Incred­i­ble, Indeli­ble, Mag­i­cal Phys­i­cal, Mys­tery Trip (1973) and The Mag­i­cal Mys­tery Trip Through Lit­tle Red’s Head (1974).

Walker ani­mated the TV spe­cials The Bear Who Slept Through Christ­mas (1973) and The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat (1982), as well as the TV-movie Clerow Wilson’s Great Escape and The Mad Mag­a­zine TV Spe­cial, both made in 1974.

He was a pro­duc­tion designer for the 2000 spe­cial It’s the Pied Piper, Char­lie Brown and a tim­ing direc­tor for the 1994–94 series Skele­ton War­riors. He was a char­ac­ter ani­ma­tor for the 1982 H-B fea­ture film Heidi’s Song and an ani­ma­tor for the 1992 hybrid movie Cool World. As well, he ani­mated the the­atri­cal 1974 short Trail of the Lone­some Pink and was ani­ma­tion direc­tor of the inde­pen­dent 1966 short Seeds of Discovery.

Born in Salt Lake City, Utah on May 4, 1921, Walker grad­u­ated from North Hol­ly­wood High School in 1940. He served in the United States Navy in the Pacific The­atre from 1942 to 1945.

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.