The ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive introduces the Disney Studios Artist’s Tryout Book, now available to view online for free. From the collection of Clair Weeks, Marc Davis’ assistant on Bambi and Peter Pan, this 1938 manual describes the company’s past production process and various job categories. To view the press release for the Tryout Book, please click:

ASIFA ALERT: 1938 Disney Artists Tryout Manual
Bashful and Happy, as seen in SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS

Today at the ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive, we digitized another fascinating document from the collection of Clair Weeks, Marc Davis’ assistant on Bambi and Peter Pan. This is the Disney Studios Artist’s Tryout Book from 1938. It provides a valuable overview of the production process and description of the various job categories.

The entire book is available for viewing online at…
A-HAA Blog: 1938 Disney Studios Artists Tryout Book

Mickey and Minnie Mouse

Those in the animation business will instantly notice some differences between the way that animation was produced in the “golden age” and how it is produced today. Here are some interesting quotes…

STORY MEN must be able to draw. The stories are not written but are visualized in sketch form.

The value of an animator is dependent upon his ability to dramatize and caricature life, and to time and stage his characters’ actions in an unusual and interesting way. An animator must be a showman- he must know how to entertain an audience, to present a gag, to picture dramatically an ordinary incident. Above all, he must be a sure and skillful draftsman.

THE DIRECTOR must have complete knowledge of every phase of animation, have executive ability and outstanding dramatic talent. He must be familiar with practically all of the Arts… To date, all directors have arisen from the ranks of the Studio, sometimes through story work, but more often through animation. Because of the complexity of animation it seems that this will continue to be the case.

All inking and painting of celluloids, and all tracing done in the Studio is perfomed exclusively by a large staff of girls known as Inkers and Painters… This is the only department in the Disney Studio open to women artists.

ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive Blog

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Stephen Worth
Animation Archive