Ub Iwerks…

was born on this date in 1901.

Iwerks was Disney’s right hand man in the creation of the early Mickey Mouse cartoons. Disney would come up with the ideas, stories, and motivations, then Iwerks would bring it to life. Bringing Mickey Mouse to life, however, was no easy task and it required Iwerks to spit out 600 drawings every single day. Iwerks dedication, however, would soon payoff for him and Disney. The third Mickey Mouse cartoon that Disney directed and Iwerks animated, “Steamboat Willie,” would be the one that would catapult Mickey and Disney into stardom and household names.

Though Iwerks and Disney were colleagues since age 18, they spliit in 1930 after Iwerks signed a deal with a distributor that had failed to pay Disney. Walt and Roy Disney bought out Iwerks’ 20% ownership in Disney Brothers Productions. After attempting to establish his own studio, Iwerks returned to Disney in 1940. He is credited with combining live action with animation.

Source: An online essay, Ub Iwerks – The Early Disney Years.