It’s not a very flattering nickname, considering the following animators were only in their 30’s and 40s when Walt bestowed them this moniker.

Frank Thomas


One half of the famous duo of Frank and Ollie (see: Frank and Ollie on DVD), Frank Thomas seems the unofficial “leader” of the band of artists that Walt christened, “My nine old men”. The nickname was a take on the real nine old men of the Supreme Court, but in this case, these supremely talented cast of animators not only solidified the secret concepts that became the Twelve Principles of Animation, but also who should be hired at the studio and what makes great animation.

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