Marc Davis (animator)
|Born||March 30, 1913|
Bakersfield, California, U.S.
|Died||January 12, 2000 (aged 86)|
Glendale, California, U.S.
|Alma mater||Kansas City Art Institute|
|Known for||One of Disney's Nine Old Men|
Alice Estes Davis (m. 1956)
|Awards||Winsor McCay Award, 1982|
Disney Legends, 1989
Marc Fraser Davis (March 30, 1913 – January 12, 2000) was a prominent American artist and animator for Walt Disney Animation Studios. He was one of Disney's Nine Old Men, the famed core animators of Disney animated films, and was revered for his knowledge and understanding of visual aesthetics. After his work on One Hundred and One Dalmatians he moved to Walt Disney Imagineering to work on rides for Disneyland and Walt Disney World before retiring in 1978.
Walt Disney once said of Davis, "Marc can do story, he can do character, he can animate, he can design shows for me. All I have to do is tell him what I want and it's there! He's my Renaissance man." 
Davis was born in Bakersfield, CA on March 30, 1913, to a Jewish family. The family moved a lot, so Davis was in 26 schools before he was in high school. As a child, schoolyard bullies were an impetus for Davis to start drawing. He found when he drew that the other kids wanted his art, and the bullies wouldn't beat him up. Davis studied at the Kansas City Art Institute, the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco, and the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles. As a student, he spent his days sketching zoo animals; in the evening, he studied animal anatomy at the public library.
Marc Davis began his Disney career in 1935 as an animator on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and was responsible for many Disney characters, becoming so regarded for his work on female characters that he was called "ladies' man".
The most significant characters he designed and animated are :
- Snow White from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
- Bambi, Faline, female rabbit, Flower and female skunk from Bambi (1942)
- Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox and Brer Bear from Song of the South (1946)
- Bongo, butterfly, and yawning trees from Fun and Fancy Free (1947)
- Mr. Toad, Cyril Proudbottom, Rat, Mole, Angus MacBadger, Mr. Winkie and the weasels from The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949)
- Cinderella, Stepsisters (tearing Cinderella's dress apart), Prince Charming, the King (close up of hands and bookends) and the Grand Duke (close up of hands and bookends) from Cinderella (1950)
- Alice and the eyeglasses creature from Alice in Wonderland (1951)
- Tinker Bell and Mrs. Darling from Peter Pan (1953)
- Aurora, Maleficent, Diablo the Raven, Prince Phillip (a few scenes), King Stefan, and Queen Leah from Sleeping Beauty (1959)
- Cruella de Vil and Anita from 101 Dalmatians (1961)
Walt Disney Imagineering
- The Jungle Cruise (1955)
- Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland (1960)
- The Enchanted Tiki Room (1963)
- Ford's Magic Skyway (1964)
- Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln (1964)
- The Carousel of Progress (1964)
- It's a Small World (1964)
- Pirates of the Caribbean (1967)
- The Haunted Mansion (1969)
- The Country Bear Jamboree (1971)
- America Sings (1974)
- Western River Expedition (never built)
As a professor at the Chouinard Art Institute Davis first met Alice Estes as a student there in 1947. After her graduation, they married in June 1956, and remained so for 44 years until his passing in 2000.
Awards and Honors
In 1982, Davis was the recipient of the Winsor McCay Award. In 1985, Davis was the recipient of the Golden Award for 50 years of service from the Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists. In 1989, he was inducted as a Disney Legend. In 1993, Davis was the recipient of the DFC Disney Legend Award given by the Disneyana Fan Club. He was also the recipient of the much-coveted Mousecar (the Disney equivalent of an Oscar). Davis, along with his wife Alice, received the honor of having their names on side-by-side windows on Main Street, U.S.A. at Disneyland. Marc's reads: “Far East Imports – Exotic Art – Marc Davis – Proprietor”.
In October 2014, Marc Davis: Walt Disney's Renaissance Man ISBN 978-1423184188, a hardcover book focused on Davis' art and career, was published by Disney Editions. This was followed by the September 2019 release of Marc Davis in His Own Words: Imagineering the Disney Parks ISBN 978-1484755754, a two-volume hardcover set covering his work at WED.
- In His Own Words: Marc Davis
- Who's who in Animated Cartoons: An International Guide to Film & Television's Award-winning and Legendary Animators By Jeff Lenburg Hal Leonard Corporation, 2006
- "Marc Davis". Disney Legends. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
- Willis, Christian (20 October 2001). "An Interview with Alice Davis". Song of the South.
- Pace, Eric (16 January 2000). "Marc Davis, Master Animator For Walt Disney, Dies at 86". The New York Times.