Various reports hitting the Internet bring word that long-time Disney artist/animator Joe Grant passed away on Friday, just over a week away from his 97th birthday. As a character designer, Grant frightened generations of children with his vision of the villainous witch in the 1933 animated classic, Snow White and Seven Dwarfs. Most recently, he contributed to the story of Disney’s Oscar-nominated and Annecy-winning short, Lorenzo.
Grant served as an animator on such Disney productions as Parade of the Award Nominees (1932), Mickey’s Gala Premiere (1933), Who Killed Cock Robin? (1935) and Mulan (1998). He also worked as a character designer on Pinocchio (1940), The Lion King (1994) and Pocahontas (1995), and aided the story department on Fantasia (1940), The Reluctant Dragon (1941), Dumbo (1941), Alice in Wonderland (1951), and Pocahontas. In addition, the original concept for the "Carnival of the Animal" segment of Fantasia 2000 came from Grant.
In 1946, Grant took the director’s seat for the musical feature Make Mine Music, sharing the credit with fellow helmers Bob Cormack, Clyde Geronimi, Jack Kinney, Hamilton Luske and Josh Meador.
Having left Disney in 1949, Grant returned to the studio in the early ’90s and was officially honored with the distinction of Disney Legend in 1992.