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Myron "Grim" Natwick

Natwick is the creative genius behind Betty Boop. Although legal ownership of the character remained with the studio, Grim created the original design of Betty Boop at the request of studio head Max Fleischer, who requested a girlfriend for his then-star character "Bimbo". Natwick would remain one the primary animators of Betty Boop from Dizzy Dishes to Bimbo’s Initiation, his last cartoon for Fleischer’s before moving to the West Coast.

Natwick worked for a number of American animation studios, including the Ub Iwerks studio, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Walter Lantz Productions, UPA, and the Richard Williams studio. At Iwerks, Natwick animated a number of Flip the Frog cartoons and designed Wille the Whopper. On November 12th 1934 Natwick was hired to work at Walt Disney Animation Studio. Natwick’s first assignment at the studio would be doing the female lead in The Cookie Carnival.

He received great praise from Walt for his work, and was assigned the female lead in the upcoming feature Snow White to animate. Grim was given some of the studio’s top assistants to work with- most importantly, Marc Davis, Lester Novros and Jack Campbell. By the end of the picture, he had animated over 120 scenes, with six assistants working under him, producing as much as 35 feet of finished animation a week! (The average animator’s footage was about 7 feet a week.)

Regarding his scenes, Natwick did not rely heavily on rotoscoping stating, "We went way beyond rotoscope," and "I remember one scene I had where there were 101 rotoscoped tracings; that would mean that they traced every second frame on the film. I used drawing one and drawing one hundred and one, and I filled in the rest, because there wasn't enough in it to give us anything to animate." By the end of the picture, he had animated over 120 scenes, with six assistants working under him. Natwick was responsible for animating some of the most iconic scenes in the film, including the sequences where Snow White cleans the house to Whistle While You Work, the scene where she dances with the dwarfs, and her singing "Someday My Prince Will Come".

Grim Natwick - Snow White’s East Coast Animator

Grim Natwick sketch pages

Interview with Grim Natwick