Stanford Goes to Hollywood

January/February 1999

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Stanford Goes to Hollywood

Courtesy Kaz Brecher

You may not know the names Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, but you certainly know their work. Longtime Disney animators, they earned credits in many of the studio’s film classics. Thomas, ’33, created the seven dwarfs, Cinderella’s sinister stepmother and the amorous pooches, Lady and Tramp. Johnston, ’35, is responsible for bringing to life the early sketches from Alice in Wonderland and Captain Hook’s henchman, the portly Smee.

Now they’re the subject of a feature-length documentary, Frank and Ollie, one of about 10 films to be screened in February at the second Stanford Alumni Film Festival in Los Angeles. “These guys met at Stanford,” says Kaz Brecher, ’96, the festival’s coordinator. “We see these two old men talking about how they came up with the drawings of Mowgli from The Jungle Book. It’s the kind of thing we want to share because of its ties to Stanford history.” The film is produced by Ted Thomas, Frank’s son.

Organizers of the L.A. festival received about 25 submissions, including short films by current students and the directorial debut of Dan Pyne, ’76, a screenwriter whose credits include Doc Hollywood and Pacific Heights. At least three members of Stanford Alumni in Entertainment (SAE) previewed each entry. Last year, more than 200 members of SAE attended the festival, says Brecher. Admission is free for members of SAE; nonmembers pay $5. Call 213-856-6284 for ticket information.

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