“So they made the movie and it was a huge hit, and that’s when they said, ‘We can keep this going. We need some more people,’ ” recalls Nancy Beiman, one of the first women students at CalArts and now a writer, illustrator, and professor at Sheridan College, in Oakville, Ontario. But where were the new animators going to come from?
In the early 30s, Disney had sent several of his animators to study at the Chouinard Art Institute, in Los Angeles, because he wanted classically trained artists, and he had maintained a keen interest in the art school. After discovering that it was having financial difficulties, he pumped money into it, and sought to include it in his grand plan for a “City of the Arts,” the multi-disciplinary academy he had described to Bradbury two years before his death. After Chouinard merged with the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music, in 1961, Disney was able to realize his vision: he would build a single school devoted to the arts, incorporating Chouinard and the conservatory, and he would call it the California Institute of the Arts, nicknamed CalArts.
“I don’t want a lot of theorists,” he explained to Thornton “T.” Hee, one of Disney’s early animators and directors, who would end up teaching at CalArts. “I want to have a school that turns out people that know all the facets of filmmaking. I want them to be capable of doing anything needed to make a film—photograph it, direct it, design it, animate it, record it.”
Walt initially had big plans: he wanted Picasso and Dalí to teach at his school. That didn’t happen, but many of Disney’s early animators and directors would teach at CalArts, which opened its doors in 1970 and moved a year later to Valencia, California. Walt had traded ranch land he owned for the site of the campus close to the freeway, and as he had bequeathed, when he died, in 1966, roughly half of his fortune went to the Disney Foundation in a charitable trust. Ninety-five percent of that bequest would go to CalArts, the eventual home of his new, innovative Character Animation Program.
JPL has posted some WPA style artwork to call attention to research that has uncovered nearly 1,900 planets orbiting other stars - mostly discovered by the Kepler orbiting telescope. Of course the nature of these places is mostly unkown - at this point the planets are just detectable with very little known other than mass, size and surface temperature.