Unlike many of my fellow character animation compatriots, I didn't really come into the game knowing that much about Disney, the 9 old men, or traditional animation in general. It used to make me really nervous when anyone started to talk effusively about Marc Davis, Ward Kimball, etcetera.
[Them: Person talking about a famous Disney animator that I don't know, let's say for demonstration sake that the animator's name is Walter Doe]
Hey! Did you see that great drawing that our animation teacher brought in?It was AMAZING!
Yeah! An original from [insert name of any Disney movie from the 1960s]. Walter Doe was amazing, don't you think? I think it just shows how great he was, animating on ones with no backlight, and only one pencil, and with his feet (continues talking for 5 minutes).
Totally. (Very quietly) Remind me again, what did he work on?
(looking at me in disbelief)
What? You're kidding, right?
(look of disbelief changes to one of disgust )
You're telling me you don't know who Walter Doe was?
Yes.(head lowers in shame)
How did you get in this school, anyway?
SOME OF MY HEROES (from the beginning)
Both because of and despite my Cal Arts time, I've come to know of more animators, and filmmakers to drool over. My influences are changing monthly... So this list is just about who kicked off my inspiration.