Animator of Disney Classics, Willis Pyle, Dead at 101

Pyle won a Best Animated Short Academy Award in 1951 for animating Gerald McBoing-Boing, an adaptation of a story by Dr. Seuss that is considered to be one of the greatest cartoons of all time.

Willis Pyle, an Oscar-winning animator who worked on classic Disney movies including Pinocchio, Bambi and Fantasia, has died, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He was 101.

He began his animation career in 1937, when he was hired by the fledgling Walt Disney Productions as an office boy. By 1940, he was working on Pinocchio. He left Disney in 1942 and worked on Woody Woodpecker for Walter Lantz Productions.

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Pyle served in the Air Force’s Motion Picture Unit during World War II. After the war, he was one of the lead animators on the first Mr. Magoo cartoons.

Pyle was the brother of Denver Pyle, an actor best known for playing Uncle Jesse on The Dukes of Hazzard, and the nephew of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ernie Pyle. He is survived by a nephew, David.