Disney animator Art Stevens dies at 92

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Longtime Disney animator Art Stevens, who began his studio career working on "Fantasia" and went on to co-direct "The Fox and the Hound" and "The Rescuers," has died. He was 92.

Stevens died May 22 at his home in Studio City after a heart attack, Disney spokesman Howard Green said.

Stevens applied for a job at Disney in 1939 after he learned that Walt Disney planned an animated feature based on one of his favorite stories, "Alice in Wonderland," which eventually came out in 1951.

In his early years at Disney, Stewart was an "in-betweener," who created the drawings that made the characters move on the screen after the main animator had outlined the scene. He worked on "Fantasia," "Bambi" and other 1940s features before becoming a full-fledged animator with the 1953 film "Peter Pan."

Among Stevens' other credits as an animator were "101 Dalmatians," "Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day," "Robin Hood," "Mary Poppins" and "Bedknobs and Broomsticks."

He co-directed the 1977 film "The Rescuers" and co-produced and co-directed "The Fox and the Hound," which became Disney's highest-grossing film when it was released in 1981.

Stevens also worked on the Academy Award-winning Disney shorts "Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom" and "It's Tough to Be a Bird," and he helped animate the title sequences for live-action features such as "Freaky Friday" and "The North Avenue Irregulars."

He retired in 1983.
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