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This profile was last updated on 8/28/14  and contains information from public web pages.


UPA Studios

Employment History

  • Animator
  • Editor and Illustrator
    Colorado Dodo
  • Position, Motion Picture Unit
    Hal Roach Studio
  • Advertising Illustrator
    Gano-Downs clothing store
  • Art Editor
    Gano-Downs clothing store
  • Illustrator


  • University of Colorado
26 Total References
Web References
Willis Pyle | ..., 28 Aug 2014 [cached]
Willis Pyle | Disney, UPA Animator Willis Pyle Celebrates his 100th Birthday | No comments yet | Continue Reading → | img | August 28, 2014 Disney, UPA Animator Willis Pyle Celebrates his 100th Birthday | Animation Magazine Animation Magazine
Willis Pyle
Willis Pyle
Celebrated Disney and UPA animator Willis Pyle's 100th birthday will be celebrated with a special private event Sept. 3 at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York.
Born on a small farm in Kansas, Pyle attended the University of Colorado and after entering a Disney cartoon competition, began his career in the business working as a general help in the animation studio while attending the Disney art school.
He worked at the Walt Disney Studios from 1937 to 1943, where his first production was working on Pinocchio. His next assignment was working on the Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony chapter of Fantasia and later was involved in the creation of the young Bambi.
Pyle is still an avid and prolific artist. He started painting at age 68 and for more than 20 years has exhibited at Manhattan's Montserrat Contemporary Art Gallery.
Willis Pyle and Eric Goldberg
Willis Pyle and Eric Goldberg
Tags:Bambi, Bill Melendez, Charlie Brown, Disney, Fantasia, Gerald McBoing Boing, Montserrat Contemporary Art Gallery, Mr. Magoo, Pinocchio, Raggedy Ann & Andy, Richard Williams, University of Colorado, UPA, UPA Studios, Walt Disney Studios, Willis Pyle
Early drawings of Disney ..., 28 Sept 2010 [cached]
Early drawings of Disney animator Willis Pyle on display at CU-Boulder | Full Story Early drawings of Disney animator Willis Pyle on display at CU-Boulder - Colorado Daily
Early drawings of Disney animator Willis Pyle on display at CU-Boulder Pyle graduated in 1937 before creating Pinocchio, Mr. Magoo and others
Art of Willis Pyle
Before the creation of Pinocchio, Mr. Magoo and Raggedy Ann, illustrator Willis Pyle was art editor of a monthly humor magazine called the "Colorado Dodo" at the University of Colorado.
CU was the launching pad for Pyle, 96, who has drawn popular Disney characters such as Pinocchio, Bambi and dwarfs from the fairy tale "Snow White."
His early illustrations -- including his characters that lived on the big screen -- are featured in a new display at CU's Heritage Center.
Pyle was born in Lebanon, Kan., and grew up on Colorado's eastern plains before coming to Boulder and receiving formal art instruction. He graduated from the College of Arts and Sciences in 1937, and a recruitment poster seeking animators for the expanding Disney Studios lured him from his fine arts studio in Boulder to animation training at Disney.
While at Disney, Pyle was in charge of turning rough character sketches into fine line drawings and dressing them up with details. His first assignment was Pinocchio, the puppet whose nose grows when he fibs. Then came classical mythological characters in "Fantasia" and the beloved white-tailed deer Bambi and his girlfriend.
On display at the Heritage Center are some of the sketches of Bambi's girlfriend as well as Goofy, "Snow White" characters and Raggedy Ann.
As World War II escalated, Pyle enlisted in the Army Air Corps to learn navigation, Kuster said.
An animators' strike at Disney prompted a group of former employees to form United Productions of America, which Pyle joined in 1947. He played a key role in developing the nearsighted Mr. Magoo character while there.
He was also principal animator for the adaptation of the Dr. Seuss book "Gerald McBoing Boing," which is about a boy who talks in sound effects instead of words.
Early drawings of Disney animator Willis Pyle on display at CU-Boulder Student Voice: Hanging on for health care
Illustrator Willis Pyle, who ..., 14 Oct 2010 [cached]
Illustrator Willis Pyle, who attended CU until 1937 and sketched characters such as Pinocchio, Bambi and Mr. Magoo, is featured in an exhibit in the Heritage Center, the CU history museum on the third floor of Old Main, until Dec. 17.
At the University of Colorado, Pyle was the editor and illustrator of a humor magazine called Colorado Dodo. He responded to a Disney recruitment poster and went to work for the company in Hollywood as an illustrator, especially on Pinocchio. He later worked on Fantasia, Bambi and Snow White. During World War II, he worked in the motion picture unit at the Hal Roach Studio for the Air Corps teaching program.
After the war, Pyle did art for magazines such as Vogue, Harpers and Gourmet. In 1947, he joined United Productions of America, where he received top animation credit for the Academy Award-winning Gerald McBoing Boing and the first Near Sighted Mr. Magoo.
Coloradan [cached]
While walking to art class at Boulder in 1937, Willis Pyle (A&S'37) saw a poster from the Walt Disney studio seeking animators for his fledgling operation in Hollywood. Pyle, a senior who was art editor of the university's satirical Colorado Dodo, and an advertising illustrator for Gano-Downs clothing store in Denver, decided to mail his best work to Southern California.
Early drawings of Disney animator ..., 28 Sept 2010 [cached]
Early drawings of Disney animator Willis Pyle on display at CU-Boulder Student Voice: Hanging on for health care
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