Les Clark

When Walt hired Les Clark in 1927, he said, "Well, you know this is only a temporary job, Les. I don't know what's going to happen." But as Les said, "So it lasted forty-eight years!"

Les just kept going—and kept up! As Walt asked for the better drawing and greater refinements that left so many others behind, Les was able to adapt and continue in the front ranks of the animators, year after year. His drawings had appeal, were always gentle and warm and likeable, and his timing was always sensitive. He quietly went ahead perfecting what he did best, constantly at art class working hard to improve and to learn. There was much admiration for this quiet,

Les Clark Disney

thoughtful man, who came in with no art background yet through sheer determination and desire not only kept up but helped advance the art with his refinements of many fundamentals.

Walt was pleased with Les's Mickey in Fantasia's "Sorcerer's Apprentice" and especially liked his delicate handling of the Sugar Plum Fairies in the "Nutcracker Suite." However, the latter were not personalities but more like birds. Les said he had thought of hummingbirds, and this gave them a charm in timing as well as movement.

Les was a Sequence Director on Sleeping Beauty. From there Walt moved him into direction on TV specials and educational films. Just as he did in his animation, "Les never settled for anything that wasn't top quality—his work always had that fine finish."10 One of his pictures. The Restless Sea, was a winner of many awards. He continued directing up until his retirement in 1976. He died on September 1 1, 1979.

Les Clark had a special feeling for the feminine quality in Minnie Mouse.

Les Clark Animation

Les Clark had a special feeling for the feminine quality in Minnie Mouse.

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