OLLIE JOHNSTON Letters are rare. He wrote three of the letters to fans referring to his work on Disney's, "The Jungle Book," based on Rudyard Kipling's stories of the same name. The letters range in dates between 1980-1983. The outstanding letter in this small group is a Typed Letter Signed on "Walt Disney presents The Jungle Book" stationery, 4to, Burbank CA, Feb. 23, 1980. The printed color illustrations on the stationery show the main characters of the film. Johnston writes to Ms. Scott, "I am enclosing under separate cover some enlargements from the "Jungle Book" film. Most of the Baloo pictures are taken from scenes that I animated...I also did the little girl and Mowgli...I am glad that your class likes the character of Baloo. He was one of my all-time favorites to work with...when I did the scene of Baloo and Bagheera dancing off into the sunset at the end of the picture, I was quite sad. I knew that I would never draw them again...." He signs in red pencil, "Ollie Johnston."
Johnston writes a follow up TLS on his personalized printed "Mickey Mouse" stationery, 8vo, April 20, 1980. "Early in February I received a letter from you requesting some art work on Baloo the bear...Now, I'm wondering if you received this material...." Signed in bold, "Ollie Johnston."
The third TLS is written to another fan on similar personalized printed Mickey Mouse stationery, 8vo, Dec. 16, 1983, thanking Jimmy for buying "our book...." He continues inquiring about a place he could, buy anthracite coal. "Your dad sent me an ad or an address or a phone number...the long distance operator had no listing for the place...so I'm still without coal for my engine...." He makes one holograph correction in pencil and signs, "Ollie Johnston." He likely refers to the book on Disney animation he co-wrote with fellow Disney animator Frank Thomas, "Disney Animation: The Illusion of Life," (Abbeville Press: 1981)
The two Autograph Letters Signed are undated, brief, one in red color pencil, the other in plain graphite. Writing in red pencil, Johnston begins the longer ALS with an apology for being "so abrupt, but I've been terribly busy on our book on Disney animation coming out this August or September...." He signs in full, "Ollie Johnston." In the fifth ALS, written on a 3 x 5 inch index card in pencil he thanks his correspondent "for buying our book...." He likely refers to the book on Disney animation. Signed in fill, "Ollie Johnston."
The group of letters came with an unattributed sketch of Mickey Mouse's face drawn on brown "Priority Mail" stamped wrapping paper. Johnston worked for Disney studios from 1934 to 1978 and was one of the most significant of the Disney animators. Referred to as one of the Nine Old Men, Johnston worked on the classic Disney animation films including "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs", "Bambi" and "Fantasia." Additional images on request.