Eric's Figaro is one of the finest examples of pure pantomime ever done at the studio. The acting, texture in timing, and inner feeling for the character were remarkable things to achieve without benefit of dialogue. His flying horses in Fantasia were graceful in movement and convincing in action. He supervised the animation on the very difficult stag in Barnbi and ani-
and would still be going strong at five o'clock while the rest of us sat in exhausted admiration. He was the only director ever to handle a feature alone and perhaps was the only one with the strength and stamina to keep track of all the people and what they were doing and be able to pull all the pieces together in the last hectic months.
His energy was boundless. As one animator said, "He doesn't even get jet lag."
mated most of the likable old owl.
Because of his ability to handle every type of thing that could fly, Eric became known as a bird-man. He did everything from sincere birds who helped Cinderella make her bed to the craziest of them all, the Aracuan bird. In the Aracuan, Eric displayed a remarkable feeling for an imaginative character not based on an anthro-
Eric Larson pomorphic concept. And one might add that there was never anything in Eric's very dignified outward behavior to indicate that this strange incongruity could take place.
His quiet, mature judgment was respected even when he was young. Whenever a special committee was being selected, it was always Eric and somebody else. And when a serious conflict or disagreement arose in any large meeting, it was Eric who seemed to be able to soothe everyone with his "pour-oil-on-troubled-water speech," as Ward Kimball called it.
It was sometimes difficult to see how Eric ever got any work done. He had the largest crews of any of the top men, and there was always someone in his room with a problem, often nothing to do with production. Eric was always patiently listening, occasionally counseling, but somehow, in spite of all this, he was one of the best footage men in the studio. When and how he did it no one ever figured out. And to top it all, he was able to get footage out of most of his crew. At this writing, Eric is still in charge of the training program for the new talent coming into animation. Age has not diminished his empathy with young people.
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