I’ve started getting email from William Abrams – the son of early Disney/Lantz animator Ray Abrams. He has a whole cache of material that his dad saved – a potpourri of staff photos, gag drawings, personal sketches – and he’s graciously decided to share them with the readers of Cartoon Research. It’s going to take several weeks to post what he has sent me so far, and for now, I’m going to start posting this material in a very raw, unedited state, with minimal comments by William or myself. I think you’ll like it. Some images you’ve seen, some is new to me. All of it quite interesting.
My dad was Ray Abrams. He started working for Walt Disney in the late 20’s drawing Oswald and I’m sure you know the rest. Anyway, I have some old photos and drawings from the Universal era (ca.1929) and also his time at Lantz. I’m still scanning artwork so let me know what you think? It is a good variety of his work.
Here is a great picture of my dad on the right and behind him is Paul Smith. They were roommates and I grew up with his family, among others like Tom and Robert (Buddy) McKimson. Something to start with.
When my dad went to interview with Disney, they said “draw something”. This ink drawing of Rudolf Valentino got him the job!
This is one he did about another unknown animator who used to say that.
Love this one too! Pete worked with both Oswald and Mickey.
From Ray’s pal, Manuel Moreno
Just found these old slides. I was looking at them with a old slide viewer and tried to take some pictures with my phone. The pictures are not good but they will be better when I get them scanned to jpeg files. Cake says “HAPPY BIRTHDAY WALT”. I don’t recognize most but my dad and Paul Smith and Laverne Harding. I think Ed Miller is in the back. Cool huh?
The staff at Walter Lantz Productions, June 1954 (click to enlarge):
Here is one from Cal Howard, another long time family friend. A real funny guy!
NEXT WEEK: More from the Ray Abrams Archive