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Tuesday, 9 July, 2002, 11:30 GMT 12:30 UK
Jiminy Cricket creator dies
Mickey Mouse
Kimball was one of the Disney's "Nine Old Men"
Ward Kimball, the cartoon animator who created Pinocchio's companion Jiminy Cricket, has died aged 88.

Walt Disney Studios said in a statement that Mr Kimball died of natural causes in a hospital near Los Angeles.


Ward's passing is a tremendous loss to the animation community

Roy Disney, Walt's nephew
The artists joined Walt Disney in 1934 and worked with Disney himself during the golden period of the studio's animated features, including on 1937's Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

He was involved in animating some of the great Disney characters such as Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck - as well as the Cheshire Cat, The March Hare and The Mad Hatter in 1951's Alice and Wonderland.

Oscars

Other films he worked on included Fantasia, Cinderella, Peter Pan, Mary Poppins and Bedknobs and Broomsticks.

Two of the short features Mr Kimball created for Disney, 1953's Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom, and 1969's It's Tough To Be A Bird, won Oscars.

Mr Kimball's death leaves just two of the original nine Disney animators - the so-called "Nine Old Men" - alive.

Walt Disney
Kimball worked with Disney himself on Snow White
Roy Disney, Walt Disney's nephew, said: "Ward's passing is a tremendous loss to the animation community.

"He was a remarkable character and we will miss him enormously."

Kimball was born in 1914, Minneapolis, in the midwestern state of Minnesota.

Besides his cartoon work, he was a lifelong train enthusiast, and built the first full-size private backyard railway in the US on his California ranch in 1938.

A trombonist, he also founded the Dixieland jazz band Firehouse Five Plus Two, leading some of his fellow Disney workers in recording a series of popular jazz albums between 1949 and 1969.

See also:

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