Publicity photo for THE RESCUERS (1977)
Key men of the day (1977) for leading the Disney animation crew on The Rescuers. From left to right, Dave Michner – Storyboard Artist, Ted Berman – Storyboard Artist, Ollie Johnston – Directing Animator (kneeling), Art Stevens – Character Animator & Co-director, Don Bluth – Directing Animator, Frank Thomas – Directing Animator and Wolfgang “Woolie” Reitherman.
Woolie used a wooden dowel (an archaic pointer-stick) to address a story panel above the top of the photo. (This was way before laser-pointers.) It was a moment in time for Don. He had just been promoted to Directing Animator thus putting him in this shot with three of the “Nine Old Men”: Ollie, Frank and Woolie, two veteran story-men, Dave and Ted, plus, Art Stevens, a veteran character animator, who took over co-directing in John Lounsbery’s position, after John’s passing, on February 13, 1976. The Rescuers still had about 12 months of production to be done before completion. The film was released in June of 1977.