Wolfgang Reitherman (1909-1985), sometimes known as ‘Woolie Reitherman’
Wolfgang Reitherman was one of the ‘Nine Old Men’ who comprised the core animators of the Walt Disney Company.
Wolfgang Reitherman joined Walt Disney Productions in 1933, and became one of Walt Disney’s ‘nine old men’. Hugely energetic, he would exhaustively draw and redraw, always searching for the essence of the material. He produced animation for most of Disney’s features from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) through to the 1950s. He is well remembered for creating the dinosaurs in Fantasia (1940), and for the ‘Goofy’ shorts made in 1942, such as How to Play Baseball, How to Swim and How to Fish. He carried his thoroughness with him in his move to directing, first on Sleeping Beauty (1959), and then as the exclusive director on The Sword in the Stone (1963). From 1967 until his retirement in 1980, he directed all of the studio’s animated feature films. He was honoured posthumously with the Disney Legends award in 1989.