Bill Justice initially studied portrait art at the John Herron Art Institute, but almost immediately after graduating, he went on to work for the Walt Disney Studios. He would spend the next 42 years with the company as a successful animator, and a pioneer of sorts in the areas of stop-motion animation, experimental short film animation, and audio-animatronics. He retired in 1979 and subsequently received honors and recognition for his work. He has written a memoir about his contributions to the company called “Justice for Disney,” and became a “Disney Legend” in 1996. He currently resides in Granada Hills, California with his wife Kim, where he runs the Bill Justice Foundation (a non-profit organization that supports art education and youth health programs).
Family and early life
Bill Justice was born in Dayton, Ohio and grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana.
In 1937, Bill Justice became an animator at the Walt Disney Studios. He animated for 19 feature-length films and 57 shorts. He is most well known for his animation of the character Thumper from Disney’s “Bambi,” animation for Fantasia, as well as the title characters of “Chip ‘n’ Dale.” In the 50’s, Justice directed several “experimental” shorts and also did stop-motion animation sequences for live-action films. As Walt Disney further developed Disneyland to include animatronics in 1965, he felt that animators were necessary to bring life and realism to them. Justice was chosen to become an Imagineer, where he spent the rest of his career conceptualizing and developing animatronics, shows, and parades for Disney theme parks. He is credited with programming/designing audio-animatronics for attractions such as Pirates of the Carribean, the Haunted Mansion, Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, and the Country Bear Jamboree. He also produced the Mickey Mouse Review and helped design a variety of parades, including Disney’s first Christmas parade and the Main Street Electrical Parade. In total, Bill Justice spent 42 years with the Walt Disney Co.
Justice is a talented artist with strong cartooning sensibility. He was equally adept at animation and illustration, and a variety of his lithographs and illustrations are still auctioned today.
Disney Personality Bill Justice demonstrated his ambition and inventiveness in his work. He also has a genuine love for art.
Honors and awards
Academy Award Nominations for animated short films for “Noah’s Ark,” “A Symposium On Popular Songs” and “The Truth About Mother Goose,” Inducted as a Disney Legend in 1996 Annie Award: Winsor McCay Award 2001
- Bailey, Adrian. Walt Disney’s World of Fantasy. New York: Everest House Publishers, 1982.
- Related Links http://legends.disney.go.com/legends/detail?key=Bill+Justice
- http://www.laughingplace.com/ http://www.robrichards.com/el_capitan.cfm?sr=85