Karyl Ross "Ken" Harris (July 31, 1898 - March 24, 1982) was an American animator who worked for several film studios. He is widely considered as one of the master animators of his time.
Life and career [ edit ]
Ken Harris was born in
Tulare Co. California. His first job as an animator was for the , where he worked from 1927 to the 1930s. Harris's best remembered work was at Los Angeles Herald Examiner Warner Bros. Cartoons under the supervision of director Chuck Jones; this association began in 1936 and lasted until 1962. Jones described him as "... a virtuoso. Ken Harris did it all."
After Jones left Warner's, Harris worked with former animator Phil Monroe on two cartoons before Warner Bros. closed its cartoon department. In 1963, Harris worked briefly for
Friz Freleng on the titles of (1963), then for The Pink Panther Hanna-Barbera on their first feature film (1964), then rejoined Jones at Hey There It's Yogi Bear! M-G-M for three years. After work as an animator on (1966) — directed by Jones, a longtime friend of How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Dr. Seuss — Harris came to the studio of independent animator Richard Williams in London. There he served as William's mentor as well as his employee. Harris's credits with him included (1971) — as animator of Ebenezer Scrooge — the opening titles of A Christmas Carol (1975), and the still-unfinished animated feature The Return of the Pink Panther (animating the Thief of the title, which is very reminiscent of Harris's earlier work animating The Thief and the Cobbler Wile E. Coyote for Jones).
Among the many scenes Harris has animated: Mama Bear doing an outrageous tap-dance (which Chuck Jones, who directed the cartoon, and who was Harris' longtime collaborator, has said was inspired by
Mike Maltese, "who could really dance that way") in ; Wile E. Coyote consuming earthquake pills in A Bear For Punishment ; as well as the lengthy dance sequence in Hopalong Casualty . What's Opera, Doc?
The animator died on March 24, 1982, from
Parkinson's disease in Los Angeles, California. He was 83 years old.
External links [ edit ]