PBS to Honor Disney Animator Tyrus Wong with Documentary as ‘Bambi’ Turns 75

Bambi, the animated Disney classic, is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year! Yesterday, we shared information on special photo opportunities that will be available at Disney’s Animal Kingdom this weekend.

We’ve learned today that PBS will also draw attention to Bambi‘s anniversary and to Chinese-American artist Tyrus Wong, who passed away late last year at the age of 106. Wong’s artistic style helped give the animated classic its style as Walt Disney liked his paintings and made him the inspirational sketch artist for the movie.

The documentary will explore Wong’s style, which mixed Chinese and Western art. The film will include interviews with Wong’s daughters as well as Disney artists such as Milton Quon, Andreas Deja (The Little Mermaid), Eric Goldberg (Aladdin), and Paul Felix (Lilo & Stitch). The film will also contain previously unseen interviews with Wong himself. Curators and historians will weigh in on Wong’s work and filmmaker Pamela Tom will explain how Wong’s style can be seen in several Hollywood movies including Rebel Without a Cause, The Wild Bunch, as well as in kites, Depression-era paintings, hand-painted dinnerware, and even in Hallmark Christmas cards.

“Tyrus Wong’s story is a prime example of one of the many gaping holes in our society’s narrative on art, cinema and Western history,” said Pamela Tom. “By telling his story, I wanted to shine light on one of America’s unsung heroes, and raise awareness of the vital contributions he’s made to American culture.”

Wong was born in Canton (now Guangzhou), China, and immigrated to America with his father in 1919. They never saw their family again.

The documentary, named Tyrus, will debut on PBS nationwide at 9:00 p.m. on September 8, 2017.

Source: Orlando Sentinel

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