Biography: Claude Coates

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Birth/Death

Birth: 17 January 1913, San Francisco, California, USA
Death: 9 January 1992, Los Angeles, California, USA

Occupation/Title

Bio Summary

Early Life/Family

Education/Training

Coats began his career with The Walt Disney Company in 1935 after earning a B.A. degree in architecture and fine arts from USC and studying at the Chouinard Art Institute. As a background painter at the Disney Studios, he contributed to the background and color styling of such celebrated Disney film classics as “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” “Pinocchio,” “Fantasia,” “Dumbo,” “Saludos Amigos,” “The Three Caballeros,” “Lady and the Tramp,” “Song of the South,” “The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad,” “Cinderella,” “Alice in Wonderland” and “Peter Pan.”

With the dawning of Disneyland in 1955, Coats joined WED Enterprises, now Walt Disney Imagineering, Disney’s master planning, creative development, design, engineering, production and project management subsidiary, responsible for the creation of Disney Theme Parks and their expansion.

A key designer from Disneyland’s inception, Coats created attraction concepts including “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Haunted Mansion,” the Grand Canyon and Primeval World dioramas, and “Submarine Voyage.” For the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, he added the “Mickey Mouse Revue” to his repertoire, and helped create numerous attractions for EPCOT Center, including World of Motion, Horizons and several World Showcase pavilions. When Walt Disney created show pavilions for the New York World’s Fair 1964-65, Coats was at the center of “Magic Skyway,” “Carousel of Progress,” and “It’s a Small World.” After 54 years with The Walt Disney Company, Coats retired from Walt Disney Imagineering on November 30, 1989.

Career Outline

Comments On Style

Influences

Personality

Anecdotes

Miscellaneous

Filmography

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) (background artist)
Pinocchio (1940) (background artist)
Fantasia (1940) (background artist) (segments “Sorcerer’s Apprentice, The” and “Pastoral Symphony, The”)
Dumbo (1941) (background artist)
The Three Caballeros (1944) (background animator)
Victory Through Air Power (1943) (background artist)
Tiger Trouble (1945) (background artist)
Dog Watch (1945) (background artist)
Make Mine Music (1946) (background artist)
Peter and the Wolf (1946) (background artist)
Fun and Fancy Free (1947) (background artist)
Pecos Bill (1948) (background artist)
Melody Time (1948) (color and styling)
Johnny Appleseed (1948) (background artist)
… aka Legend of Johnny Appleseed
… aka Presenting Dennis Day Portraying the Characters of the Old Settler, Johnny Appleseed and Johnny’s Angel (USA: complete title)
Cat Nap Pluto (1948) (background artist)
The Wind in the Willows (1949) (background artist)
Cinderella (1950) (color and styling)
Motor Mania (1950) (background artist)
Alice in Wonderland (1951) (color and styling)
Uncle Donald’s Ants (1952) (background artist)
How to Dance (1953) (background artist)
Peter Pan (1953) (color and styling)
How to Sleep (1953) (background artist)
Little Toot (1954) (background artist)
Lady and the Tramp (1955) (background artist)
Up a Tree (1955) (background artist)
Hooked Bear (1956) (background artist)
Fantasia/2000 (1999) (background artist) (segment “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”)
… aka Fantasia 2000 (Philippines: English title) (USA: alternative spelling)

Honors

1986 Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists Award: Golden Award

Related Links

Bibliographic References

Contributors To This Listing

Jeff Kurtti

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