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10.25.2018

Google Doodle celebrates Tyrus Wong's 108th birthday

Pioneering Chinese American artist served as lead artist on Walt Disney's 'Bambi.'



Today's Google Doodle honors the life and legacy of Chinese American artist Tyrus Wong on what would have been his 108th birthday. Drawing inspiration from Chinese artists of the Song Dynasty, Wong was responsible for some of the best-known images in American popular culture, applying his unique vision to paintings, prints, and perhaps most famously, the 1942 Walt Disney animated film Bambi.

Here's the gorgeous tribute that plays when you click on the kite:



In 1938, Wong was hired by Walt Disney Studios as an "inbetweener" intern, drawing thousands of illustrations that were photographed to make animated films. His most notable work was on Bambi, where he served as a lead illustrator, profoundly influencing the distinct look of the beloved classic. Unfortunately, he was fired from the studio in 1941, and when Bambi hit theaters in 1942, Wong was only credited as one of many "background artists." His major contributions to the film would go unrecognized for decades.

Wong went on to work as a production illustrator at Warner Bros. Studios for 26 years, drawing and painting storyboards that shaped the look of other landmark Hollywood films like The Wild Bunch, Sands of Iwo Jima, and Rebel Without A Cause -- all of which earned Academy Award nominations.

In 2001, Wong was named a "Disney Legend." He died in 2016 at the age of 106. The 2015 documentary feature Tyrus, directed by Pamela Tom, chronicled Wong's pioneering life and career.

More here: Tyrus Wong's 108th Birthday