Ubbe Eert "Ub" Iwerks, A.S.C. (/ˈʌb ˈaɪwɜːrks/; March 24, 1901 – July 7, 1971) was an American animator, cartoonist, character designer, inventor, and special effects technician, who created Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and Mickey Mouse with Walt Disney. The works Iwerks produced alongside Disney went on to win numerous awards, including multiple Academy Awards.
He was born in Kansas City, Missouri. His father, Eert Ubbe Iwerks, emigrated to the U.S. in 1869 from the village of Uttum in East Frisia (northwest Germany, today part of the municipality of Krummhörn). Ub's full name can be seen on early "Alice" shorts that he signed. Several years later he simplified his name to "Ub Iwerks", sometimes written as "U. B. Iwerks".
Iwerks was considered by many to be Walt Disney's oldest friend, and spent most of his career with Disney. The two met in 1919 while working for the Pesmen-Rubin Art Studio in Kansas City, and would eventually start their own commercial art business together. Disney and Iwerks then found work as illustrators for the Kansas City Slide Newspaper Company (which would later be named The Kansas City Film Ad Company). While working for the Kansas City Film Ad Company, Disney decided to take up work in animation, and Iwerks soon joined him.
He was responsible for the distinctive style of the earliest Disney animated cartoons, and was also responsible for designing Mickey Mouse. In 1922, when Disney began his Laugh-O-Gram cartoon series, Iwerks joined him as chief animator. The studio went bankrupt, however, and in 1923 Iwerks followed Disney's move to Los Angeles to work on a new series of cartoons known as “the Alice Comedies” which had live action mixed with animation. After the end of this series, Disney asked Iwerks to come up with a new character. The first Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was animated entirely by Iwerks. Following the first cartoon, Oswald was redesigned on the insistence of Universal, who agreed to distribute the new series of cartoons in 1927.
He is the father of Disney Legend Don Iwerks and grandfather to documentary film producer Leslie Iwerks.
The ComiColor Cartoon series was a series of 25 animated short subjects produced by the Ub Iwerks studio from 1933 to 1936. The series was the last produced by the studio; after losing distributor Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1934, the Iwerks studio's senior company Celebrity Pictures (run by Pat Powers) had to distribute the films itself. The series was shot exclusively in Cinecolor.
Most of the ComiColor entries were based upon popular fairy tales and other familiar stories, including Jack and the Beanstalk, Old Mother Hubbard, The Bremen Town Musicians, and The Headless Horseman. Grim Natwick, Al Eugster, and Shamus Culhane were among the series' lead animators/directors, and a number of the shorts were filmed using Iwerks' multiplane camera, which he built himself from the remains of a Chevrolet automobile.
All of the ComiColor cartoons are now available in the 2004 Region 2 ComiColor DVD set released by Mk2/Lobster in France. Many are available in Region 1, in particular on the Cartoons That Time Forgot series.
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Goon Cartoons is an Original Animation Channel! We feature original short films, animation, cartoons, pencil tests and experimental crap from creators Frank Forte, Gene McGuckin, Jim Smith and friends.
Frank Forte is currently a storyboard artist on Bob's Burgers (Sundays on FOX). He has worked in animation for feature films, TV and gaming. Some of the shows/films Frank has worked on include: Despicable Me 2, Lego Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out, The Super Hero Squad Show, Marvel Heroes 4D, Lego Hero Factory, Lego Bionicle: The Legend Reborn, HI HI PUFFY AMI YUMI, Re-Animated Pilot (Out of Jimmy’s Head), The Mr. Men Show, Bionicle: The Legend Reborn (DVD-2009), Lego Clutch Powers 4D ride at Legoland and Lego Atlantis. He co-created The Cletus and Floyd Show with Gene McGuckin, a tribute to animation directors Tex Avery, Bob Clampett and Chuck Jones. Robert S. Rhine and Frank Forte created the pilot episode of Sickcom the Animated Series which was sold to Spike and Mike.