Ub Iwerks

March 24, 1901 – July 7, 1971

Here’s a simple question: Would there be a Walt Disney without Ub Iwerks?

Here’s a complicated answer: Yes…but probably not the Disney we know today.

Ubbe Eert “Ub” Iwerks was close friends with Walt dating back to their days in Kansas City as struggling artists. Iwerks was at Disney’s side through ALL of the early milestones: Laugh-O-Gram, the financial struggles, the move to Los Angeles, the creation of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit…the LOSS of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit to Universal, and the creation of a mouse by the name of “Mickey.” Iwerks served as the chief animator for Disney. His ability to draw and animate quickly coupled with his quirky sense of humor made him an invaluable asset to the fledgling entertainment empire. Ub’s style can be prominently displayed in the first Mickey short, Steamboat Willie, which he animated in its entirety. Eventually – as was the pattern – Ub grew tired of Walt’s demands and they parted ways. Iwerks created his own studio with moderate success, but remained a heavyweight in the Hollywood animation circles, working for MGM and Leon Schlesinger’s Looney Tunes among others. He returned to Disney to help change the course of what animation was capable of. He led the charge on groundbreaking special effects and techniques that would define both live action and animated features as well as theme park attractions from Disney for decades. His special effects expertise also landed him an Academy Award for his work in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds.

Burial

Forest Lawn Memorial Park – Hollywood Hills, CA

Specific Location

Court of Remembrance, Columbarium of Remembrance; To the back right in the first section of the CoR is a small columbarium, Ub is interred in a niche to the left of the central white statue on the back wall of this room, 3rd row up, last pink marble space to the left. 5 spaces to the left of Alvy Moore.

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