Tuesday, October 16, 2007

13 Tombstones: Brother Claude

At Peaceful
Rest Lies
BROTHER
CLAUDE

PLANTED HERE
BENEATH THIS
SOD


Brother Claude refers to Walt Disney Studios animation veteran and pioneering Imagineer Claude Coats. He began his career with Disney in 1935 as a background painter, and contributed stunning water color backgrounds to numerous cartoon shorts and also to feature films from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs all the way through Lady and the Tramp. In 1955, Walt Disney recruited Coats to work on concepts and designs for Disneyland, and he subsequently became one of the key talents at WED Enterprises, the precursor to Walt Disney Imagineering.

Bringing his background artist skills to bear, Coats was largely responsible for designing the Haunted Mansion's interior environments.

4 comments:

Grumpwurst (Ray) said...

Getting your own tombstone at the Haunted Mansion must be, in my opinion, one of the coolest tribute to one's accomplishments as a Disney Cast Member.

I know the windows are cool, but there are only a handful of tombstones

Biblioadonis aka George said...

Jeff,

Love the tombstone references (will there be more before the 31st?).

I was watching Fun and Fancy Free with my four-year old and saw Claude's name pop up as a background and layout artist. Which made me look at the artwork and try to visualize the growth and themes that would help him render scenes for the Haunted Mansion.

Of course, styles change somewhat according to the time, experience and the project.

Walt had a great knack for recognizing talent and putting them in just the right places to accomplish his vision.

Anonymous said...

My sister in-law is Claude Coats granddaughter. She has a couple of his painting in her house. On another note, he also has a window by the fire station. Claude's Coats big and tall. He was almost 6'7"!

David said...

Claude is my grandpa. Thanks for the tribute! We just launched a website dedicated to his life and art: www.claudecoats.com

Check it out, there is a lot of non-Disney work that has probably never been seen before.