Wolfgang Reitherman

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Wolfgang Reitherman
Born(1909-06-26)June 26, 1909
Munich, German Empire
DiedMay 22, 1985(1985-05-22) (aged 75)
Burbank, California
Other namesWoolie Reitherman, Wooly Reitherman
OccupationDirector/animator
Years active1934–1981
ChildrenBruce, Richard and Robert Reitherman
 
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Wolfgang Reitherman
Born(1909-06-26)June 26, 1909
Munich, German Empire
DiedMay 22, 1985(1985-05-22) (aged 75)
Burbank, California
Other namesWoolie Reitherman, Wooly Reitherman
OccupationDirector/animator
Years active1934–1981
ChildrenBruce, Richard and Robert Reitherman

Wolfgang Reitherman (June 26, 1909 – May 22, 1985), also known and sometimes credited as Woolie Reitherman, was a Disney animator and one of Disney's Nine Old Men.

Career[edit]

Reitherman began working for Disney in 1934, along with future Disney legends Ward Kimball and Milt Kahl. The three worked together on a number of classic Disney shorts, including The Band Concert, Music Land, and Elmer Elephant and in all, Reitherman worked on various Disney feature films produced from 1937 to 1981, including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Slave in the Magic Mirror) to The Fox and the Hound (co-producer). He did the climatic dinosaur fight in Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring in Fantasia, the Headless Horseman chase in "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" section in The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, the Crocodile in Peter Pan, and Maleficent as a dragon in Sleeping Beauty (the former three he animated and the latter he directed). Beginning with 1961's One Hundred and One Dalmatians, "Woolie", as he was called by friends, served as Disney's chief animation director. One of Reitherman's productions, the 1968 short Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day, won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. He also served as a producer and sequence director, and starred as himself in the 1941 feature film The Reluctant Dragon. All three of Reitherman's sons — Bruce, Richard and Robert — provided voices for Disney characters, including Mowgli in The Jungle Book, Christopher Robin in Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree, and Wart in The Sword in the Stone.

Reitherman directed several Disney animated feature films including, One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961), The Sword in the Stone (1963), The Jungle Book (1967), The Aristocats (1970), Robin Hood (1973) and The Rescuers (1977). He is also known for reusing animation in movies directed by him. According to Floyd Norman, this was just one of his trademarks, and had nothing to do with time or cost savings: "Woolie was our director on The Jungle Book. Reuse was just Woolie’s thing. He never did it to save money. I really don’t think the “Old Guard” ever had any interest in saving money. I was never a big fan of reuse, but it wasn’t my place to tell these old guys what to do. One final thought. It never seemed to bother Walt, and I never heard him complain about reuse."

Personal life and death[edit]

Born in Munich, Germany, Reitherman's family moved to America when he was a child. After attending Pasadena Junior College and briefly working as a draftsman for Douglas Aircraft, Reitherman returned to school at the Chouinard Art Institute, graduating in 1933. Reitherman served in World War II for the United States Air Force, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross after serving in Africa, China, India and the South Pacific. Reitherman died in a single-car accident near his Burbank, California home in 1985 and was posthumously named a Disney Legend in 1989.

Filmography[edit]

YearFilmDirectorProducerAnimatorNotes
1937Snow White and the Seven DwarfsYes
1940PinocchioYes
FantasiaYes
1941The Reluctant DragonYes
DumboYes
1942Saludos AmigosYes
1947Fun and Fancy FreeYes
1949The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. ToadYes
1950CinderellaYes
1951Alice in WonderlandYes
1953Peter PanYes
1955Lady and the TrampYes
1959Sleeping BeautyYes
1960Goliath II [fn 1]YesShort film
1961101 DalmatiansYes
1963The Sword in the StoneYes
1967The Jungle BookYes
1970The AristocatsYesYes
1973Robin HoodYesYes
1977The Many Adventures of Winnie the PoohYesYes
The RescuersYesYes
1981The Fox and the HoundYes

Collaborations[edit]

Wolfgang Reitherman had cast certain actors in more than one of his films.

Sleeping
Beauty
Goliath II101
Dalmatians
The Sword in
the Stone
The Jungle
Book
The AristocatsRobin HoodThe Many
Adventures of
Winnie the Pooh
The Rescuers
Pat
Buttram
YesYesYes
Sebastian
Cabot
YesYesYes
Candy
Candido
YesYesYes
Monica
Evans
YesYes
Verna
Felton
YesYesYes
Eva
Gabor
YesYes
Phil
Harris
YesYesYes
Sterling
Holloway
YesYesYesYes
Clint
Howard
YesYes
Barbara
Jo Allen
YesYesYes
George
Lindsey
YesYesYes
Barbara
Luddy
YesYesYesYes
Junius
Matthews
YesYes
John
Fiedler
YesYesYes
J. Pat
O'Malley
YesYesYesYes
Bruce
Reitherman
YesYes
Carole
Shelley
YesYes
Bill
Thompson
YesYes
Martha
Wentworth
YesYes
Paul
Winchell
YesYes
Ben
Wright
YesYes
Rickie
Sorensen
YesYes

Notes[edit]

External links[edit]