199 Great Directors: Ben Sharpsteen

“I was greatly impressed by everything. We finally arrived at our destination, the place we would spend this and each succeeding summer up to and including 1915 when I was about 20 years old.”


What Got This Director Here?
: Pinocchio and Bambi.

My Favorite Past Experience Was…: Pinocchio.

What Did I Watch: On Ice.

Where Does He Fit: Ben Sharpsteen’s inclusion in the ranks of the best directors strikes me as a little odd. Was he undoubtedly a great contributor to the early days of the company? Of course! But Fantasia was a group effort, Pinocchio also had Hamilton Luske (who strikes me as the greater talent), and Dumbo had multiple directors (some of whom have better track records). He also has shorts that are mostly just fine to me, with On Ice continuing the trend of just seeming to exist to watch the characters float around in the ice and do vaguely wacky things. Maybe he needed a solo feature to really test himself? Highlight is a reference to The Grasshopper and the Ants.

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Most Valuable Asset: Animation is weird.
Most Excited For: N/A. Seen all the good stuff.
Did They Deserve a Spot?: Eh.

Coming Up Next: Robert Hamer, Ealing’s first breakout.

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