Animation Resources is pleased to present an online exhibit of material from the collection of legendary animator, Grim Natwick.
GRIM NATWICK’S SCRAPBOOK
Grim Natwick is undoubtedly one of the most influential animators who ever lived. His career spanned the entire history of animation- from its earliest days in New York to Richard Williams’ Cobbler and the Thief in recent times. Grim worked at many of the major studios- Hearst, Fleicher, Iwerks, Disney, Lantz, UPA, Jay Ward, Melendez and Richard WIlliams. He animated in every style, but was able to maintain his own personal flavor, regardless of whether he was animating for modern studios like UPA or cartoony ones like Fleischer. If one had to define the single element that set his animation apart, it would have to be that his characters always seemed to have a genuine spark of life.
Grim was a friend of mine. I spent many entertaining afternoons with him on his porch, listening to his memories of "the old days". Grim remembered everything. I once mentioned the name of an assistant animator he worked with at Fleischer. Grim not only recalled working with him more than half a century before, he remembered his bowling scores! When Grim passed away at the ripe old age of 100, his family asked me to organize his artwork. Whenever Grim left a studio, the contents of his desk was emptied into boxes and sent off to his storage locker in Missouri. When all of the boxes arrived for sorting at his apartment in Santa Monica, I was astonished to find thousands and thousands of drawings- amazing examples from a career that spanned more than 75 years.
The drawings that were most precious were the gag drawings and caricatures that grew on the walls of the studios like leaves on a tree. There were also many important sketches documenting Grim’s thought process- the roughs that were usually thrown in the trash after a job was completed. These are the drawings that make up this exhibit. I hope this exhibit gives you a clear idea of who Grim Natwick was as an artist and as a person. -Stephen Worth
THE ONLINE EXHIBIT CATALOG
- Part One: Grim’s Early Years In New York (Hearst/Krazy Kat/Fleischer)
- Part Two: The Golden Age of Animation (Iwerks/Disney/Lantz)
- Part Three: The Modern Era (UPA and beyond)
- Part Four: The Greatest Animator Who Ever Lived (Studio Gag Drawings and Caricatures)
Assistant Archivist, Joseph Baptista views the exhibit.
This posting is part of the online Encyclopedia of Cartooning under the subject heading, Animation.