Movie Review: Frank and Ollie

Frank and Ollie Trailer

Frank and Ollie Summary

The film primarily consists of Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston’s anecdotes of their careers as animators during their long tenure at Walt Disney Studios, beginning with their hiring a couple of years before the release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. They talk about the successes and difficulties of the Walt Disney studios throughout their careers, including the production of Disney’s early works such as Pinocchio and Fantasia, decrease in business due to World War II, the unexpected death of Walt Disney in 1966, and the importance of The Jungle Book’s success in 1967. These anecdotes are punctuated by archival footage from various Disney films, as well as interviews with contemporary Disney animators, animation historians, and interviews with Frank and Ollie’s wives. Footage of Frank and Ollie’s daily lives at their nearby homes in La Cañada Flintridge, California is also featured.

Periodically in the film, Frank or Ollie (usually Ollie) will act out or describe a scene from a Disney film that they animated, and then show the scene from the film. This demonstrates the importance of acting in animation. Several of their anecdotes were also about how other animators did their scenes. The film also talks about Disney’s Nine Old Men, the senior staff at Walt Disney Studios. Ollie Johnston’s beloved model railroad and the book Disney Animation: The Illusion of Life, written by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, also feature prominently in the film.

Frank and Ollie Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A great documentary following Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnson who are two of the nIne old men. This film covers how the animation process at Disney is done and how they were inspired for so many stories. They do also reference their book, which is well worth the purchase. A must watch for those that love Disney film history and anyone interested in film and animation.

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