A few days ago I took Paper Dreams off my bookshelf and read a few chapters that I hadn’t looked at before. One was on Bill Peet, storyman from Disney on some of their classics, including most of Song of the South, 101 Dalmatians, and Sword in the Stone. Yesterday I picked up another book that I have owned for years, Storytelling in Animation, and noticed a panel discussion from 1988 conducted by John Canemaker that included Bill Peet. What an interesting coincidence. I made a mental note to look for his biography and maybe get a few of his children’s books for my kids when they are older.
Today I see that Bill Peet had passed away just two weeks ago.
It seems that all the great ones are passing on. When I finally discovered Shamus Culhane’s books a couple of years ago, I found that he had died already too.
When news of Chuck Jones' death came, I flipped through Chuck Amuck, remembering when I first received it as a gift. In the inside cover an inscription dated Christmas 1989 reads: “For Manton, budding cartoonist.” That brought a smile. Still not quite there yet, though. :-)