Robert Fred “Freddie” Moore
Filed under: People, Animator, Artist, Character Designer, 1930s, 1940s, Looney Tunes, Mickey Mouse, U.S.A., Ub Iwerks, Walt Disney, Walt Disney Studios, Walter Lantz, Walter Lantz Productions, Woody Woodpecker,
Robert Fred ("Freddie") MooreOccupation / Title:
07/09/1911Date of death:
Los Angeles, California, USA
Freddie Moore was a highly influential animator with Walt Disney Productions in a crucial era of its development during the 30s, up until the production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (1937) and the establishment of the core group of animators known as “Disney’s Nine Old Men.” Moore’s best known work involves the characterization and stylization of key Disney characters, such as Mickey Mouse.
Ub Iwerks had been Walt Disney’s partner in creating all of the earliest of Disney’s animated shorts, including the first cartoons of Mickey Mouse and Silly Symphonies. He had in fact created the character of Mickey Mouse, and thus established several of the main characters and animation styles of what would soon become The Walt Disney Studios. When Iwerks left in 1930, there was room for another animator to reenvision and newly create characters for Disney. Particularly in terms of the Mickey Mouse character, Freddie Moore became a key figure in doing so. His re-envisionment of Mickey Mouse for the production of Fantasia (1940) revolutionized Mickey’s animation, becoming the new standard format.
Moore was very close with fellow Disney animators Ward Kimball and Walt Kelly, and the three often made gags and characters based on one another. Characters such as Lampwick and Pinocchio were made into gag caricatures of the animators.
Fred Moore worked on several classic Disney works during his time at the studio. He worked on model drawings for the centaurettes in Fantasia (1940), and was the principal animator for the highly influential short The Three Little Pigs (1933). He was animation supervisor for the dwarves in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), and worked on beloved characters such as Lampwick in Pinocchio (1940), Timothy the mouse in Dumbo (1941), some of the mice in Cinderella (1950) and some scenes of the white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland (1951).
He is specifically known for his classic, innocent and sexy female character designs, which were called “Freddie Moore girls.” These characteristic designs became tied to Disney Studios, becoming the basis for later designs for female characters, such as Ariel in The Little Mermaid (1989).
In 1946, Moore left Disney for a while to work with Walter Lantz. While there, he redesigned the character Woody Woodpecker, but then returned to Disney Studios in 1948.
Yet in 1952, when he was already working on Disney’s Peter Pan (1953), Moore and his wife were involved in a tragic car accident, abruptly ending the life of the young animator.
Walt Disney Treasures: Behind the Scenes at the Walt Disney Studio. RKO Pictures: 1937.
Canemaker, John. Walt Disney’s Nine Old Men and the Art of Animation. Disney Editions, 2001.