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Podcast EP 208: How Jake Friedman Became Friends with Art Babbitt's Wife When Writing 'The Disney Revolt'

The writer, artist, and current animation history professor at RISD discusses his book, ‘The Disney Revolt: The Great Labor War of Animation's Golden Age.’

Check out Terry Ibele’s Animation Industry Podcast featuring a new podcast every week focusing on the stories of today’s animation professionals - how they got to where they are and what they learned along the way. Now home to 208 episodes, the podcasts cover all areas of the industry, including storyboarding, writing, animating, directing, visual development, and game design. Guests have included Aaron Augenblick, the notorious JJ Villard, Spike & Mike’s Spike Decker, Disney Director John Musker, Sony Lead Animator Humberto Rosa, Frederator’s Fred Seibert, Tumble Leaf’s Scarlet Nelson, and many others from major animation studios all over the world.

Episode 208: How Jake Friedman Became Friends With Art Babbitt's Wife When Writing ‘The Disney Revolt

This chat features a special guest who gives a bit of a history lesson behind Disney’s unionization. He is a New York-based writer, artist, and current animation history professor at the Rhode Island School of Design. His name is Jake Friedman and he’s lately added published novelist to his resume with his book, “The Disney Revolt: The Great Labor War of Animation's Golden Age.” In the chat Friedman shares how he ended up befriending Art Babbitt's wife, Barbara, who gave him access to the animator’s personal files, diary, original animations, court case transcripts, and everything else he had kept.

Tune in to Ibele and Friedman to hear:

  • Why an old professor inspired him to write “The Disney Revolt”
  • Exclusive tidbits from the NLRB vs. Disney court case
  • Why Babbitt decided to quit Disney after forcing them to rehire him

Ibele has begun to publish the interviews as videos as well – you can find previous interviews here!

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Ibele, himself a stop-motion animator (see AWN’s Fresh Takes piece on his whimsical short, The Silly Duck Wizard, deftly digs into all manner of topics, encouraging interviewees to share insights and opinions on a wide range of topics like pitching shows, marketing your work online, key skills studios look for when they bring on talent in storyboarding, vizdev, character design, and animation.

In 2018, Ibele, who lives in Toronto, decided to quit his career as a Marketer and pursue his love for animation. Since then, he’s become well known for his viral animation productions, which include the previously mentioned Silly Duck Wizard, which is how AWN first came to know him and his work.

Learn more about Ibele’s work and podcast by visiting You can find all The Animation Podcast episodes on his Soundcloud site:

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Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.