Before legendary animator Ward Kimball became one of Walt Disney's "Nine Old Men," he was a young lad, a high school junior with a talent for drawing. In this 1931 Santa Barbara High School yearbook, he provided forty cartoons summarizing the school year, making it no doubt one of his earliest publications. He signed this copy of the yearbook for a friend and provided a small drawing of a school stage, punningly entitled "Stagescrew." This volume was sold on eBay yesterday with the Buy It Now feature for $295.
Ward Kimball, signed high school yearbook with an original signed drawing to a classmate, The Olive and Gold Review, Santa Barbara (California) High School, 1931, hardbound, 8 by 11 inches, 178 pages plus several blank “Remembrance” pages for autographs, in very good condition without any musty odors. In this yearbook Ward Kimball was a junior. He has signed one of the Remembrance pages in the back, written his graduation year “1932” beneath it with a small picture entitled “StageScrew.” There are no pictures of individuals of the junior class. Kimball is included in large group pictures of his 11-A class, the Scholarship Society, and the Clio Club. His art is also prominently displayed in the yearbook. There are 40 cartoons by him illustrating the key moments that occurred in the school year presented in groups of 5 on 8 separate pages (22, 30, 54, 76, 82, 96, 132, and 142). (An image of page 142 is included in this ad.) This yearbook represents one of the earliest, if not the earliest, publication of original cartoons by Kimball.
According to the IMDb web site, Ward Kimball joined Disney Studios in 1934 as an animator two years after he graduated from high school. He eventually became involved in all aspects of animation production, most notably as the designer of Jiminy Cricket for the film Pinnochio. He was also responsible for the redesign of Mickey Mouse. Walt Disney recognized Kimball's achievements by making him one of the Nine Old Men, Disney's semi-official group of advisors. After retiring in 1978, Kimball maintained his ties to Disney, which included designing the World of Motion display at EPCOT. In 1989, he was named a Disney Legend.
Finally, the well known California geologist Thomas Wilson Dibblee, Jr. was a senior and his class picture is included in the yearbook.
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