Ken Walker, 91, was animator for Disney and H-B

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Ken Walker

Ken Walker

Ani­ma­tor and direc­tor Ken­neth David “Ken” Walker, whose work for Dis­ney included such mem­o­rable films as Alice in Won­der­land and Fan­ta­sia, died August 18 in Laguna Hills, Cal­i­for­nia. He was 91.

A mem­ber of the Direc­tors Guild of Amer­ica, he worked for Dis­ney from 1940–42 and 1945–52. He was filmed as one of Disney’s lead­ing ani­ma­tors on the “Dis­ney Car­toons” episode of You Asked For It, which can cur­rently be seen on YouTube.

Walker also worked for many other notable com­pa­nies, such as Colum­bia Pic­tures and Hanna-Barbera. He was the founder and sole owner of N.Y.C. Totem Pro­duc­tions from 1965 to 1971. In 1981, he founded Fun­ny­bone Films in Hol­ly­wood, Cal­i­for­nia, where he remained owner for 20 years.

In TV, he ani­mated Mil­ton the Mon­ster (1965), Bailey’s Comets (1973) and The Great Grape Ape Show (1977). He ani­mated the ABC After­school Spe­cials The Incred­i­ble, Indeli­ble, Mag­i­cal Phys­i­cal, Mys­tery Trip (1973) and The Mag­i­cal Mys­tery Trip Through Lit­tle Red’s Head (1974).

Walker ani­mated the TV spe­cials The Bear Who Slept Through Christ­mas (1973) and The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat (1982), as well as the TV-movie Clerow Wilson’s Great Escape and The Mad Mag­a­zine TV Spe­cial, both made in 1974. He was a pro­duc­tion designer for the 2000 spe­cial It’s the Pied Piper, Char­lie Brown and a tim­ing direc­tor for the 1994–94 series Skele­ton War­riors.

He was a char­ac­ter ani­ma­tor for the 1982 H-B fea­ture film Heidi’s Song and an ani­ma­tor for the 1992 hybrid movie Cool World. As well, he ani­mated the the­atri­cal 1974 short Trail of the Lone­some Pink and was ani­ma­tion direc­tor of the inde­pen­dent 1966 short Seeds of Discovery.

Born in Salt Lake City, Utah on May 4, 1921, Walker grad­u­ated from North Hol­ly­wood High School in the win­ter of 1940. He served in the United States Navy in the Pacific The­atre from 1942 to 1945.

Ken Walker was pre­de­ceased by his first wife, Sally Har­riet (Shep­pard) Walker, and sec­ond wife, Helen (Jacob) Walker.

He is sur­vived by his wife, Car­olyn Vera (Phillips) Walker; son Ken­neth Alfred Walker of Mur­ri­eta, Cal­i­for­nia; daugh­ters Sue (Walker) Bing­ham of Ver­adale, Wash­ing­ton and Lynne Sperry (Walker) Blader­groen of Savan­nah, Geor­gia; brother George August Gewehr of Tuc­son, Ari­zona; grand­chil­dren Glenn Michael Walker, Tiffany Cole Moss, Lind­sey Suzanne (Bing­ham) Skin­fill, Ian and Kyle Blader­groen; and great-grandchildren, Brooke and Tyler Walker, Gabriella Rae Skin­fill and Aubrey Bladergroen.

A ser­vice will be held at 12:45 p.m. Mon­day August 27 at River­side National Cemetery.

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