Ub Iwerks

Active - 1929 - 2001  |   Born - Mar 24, 1901   |   Died - Jan 1, 1971   |   Genres - Children's/Family, Comedy, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

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Biography by Sandra Brennan

American animator Ub Iwerks was a pioneer of animation who helped invent and develop many animation techniques. He revolutionized the industry with the development of his multiplane camera, an invention that allowed animators to imbue their cartoons with greater depth. He also improved the matte process thereby allowing animators to combine their drawings with live action as in Mary Poppins. Iwerks spent much of his career closely associated with Walt Disney. The two teamed up to form "Newman's Laugh-O-Grams" in Kansas City, Missouri. They created animated advertisements for the Newman Theater, but the venture was not successful and Disney left to find fortune in California. Iwerks remained and continued honing his animation skills and developing new techniques. In 1923, Disney asked Iwerks to come and help him animate his new "Alice in Cartoonland" series. There Iwerks had much to do with the development of Mickey Mouse, especially in his early Silly Symphonies series. Iwerks again left Disney in 1930 and created two series of his own, "Flip the Frog," and "Willie Whopper." Upon his subsequent return to Disney, Iwerks became the special effects supervisor on a number of major Disney features. As a special effects advisor, Iwerks also worked on non-Disney live-action films, most notably Hitchcock's The Birds. Over his long career, Iwerks received two Oscars for his contributions to cinema.

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