“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Passing of a Disney Imagineer…

Posted on January 10, 2016 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here…

armitage   Frank Armitage (right) was the Australian-born illustrator, muralist, and longtime Disney imagineer who also contributed to the eye-popping visuals on Fox Studio’s Fantastic Voyage. The visual effects made good use of Armitage’s expertise in anatomical drawings, and went on to win two Academy Awards for Best Art Direction (Color) and Best Special Effects. He first worked as an animator on Lady and the Tramp, but soon put his training as a muralist to good use, creating background paintings for such films as Sleeping Beauty, Peter PanMary Poppins, and The Jungle Book.

   Born in Melbourne, Australia, Armitage served in the Royal Australian Air Force during World War II, after which he attended art school. He soon dropped out and after winning an international art competition, moved to Mexico city where he trained as a muralist under David Alfaro Siqueiros. Moving to Los Angeles in 1952 with less than $100 to his name, he quickly found work at Walt Disney Studios, going on to contribute to a string of animated classics over the next decades.

   Armitage returned to Disney in 1977 when he was hired as an imagineer. In that capacity, he worked on the Wonders of Life Pavilion in Epcot Center, he painted 5,500 square feet of murals for Walt Disney World’s Safari Fare Restaurant, and several of Tokyo DisneySea’s murals, including nine of President Theodore Roosevelt, among many other contributions. Armitage had previously worked on Disney theme parks in the early 1950s, contributing to art at Storybook Land as well as other points around the park.

   Armitage retired from Disney in 1989, after which he studied medicine, and later, acupuncture in China. He continued to paint anatomy and other medical artwork and in 2006, he donated a portion of that work to the Biomedical Visualization Graduate Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

   Frank Armitage was 91.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

This entry was posted on Sunday, January 10th, 2016 at 11:40 am and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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