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American Masters To Showcase the Life and Work of Tyrus Wong, Disney Animator and Artist |

American Masters To Showcase the Life and Work of Tyrus Wong, Disney Animator and Artist

You may not recognize his name, but Tyrus Wong was one of the last remaining artists from the golden age of Disney animation. The lead animator on Bambi, Wong passed away last year at the age of 106.


For the first time, American Masters will showcase the life and history of the talented Tyrus Wong, one of the first artists to infuse Chinese aesthetics into American modern art, animation and design.

Wong’s unique style melded Chinese calligraphic and landscape influences with contemporary Western art and is found in everything from Disney animation (Bambi) and live-action Hollywood studio films (Rebel Without a Cause, The Wild Bunch, Sands of Iwo Jima, April in Paris) to Hallmark Christmas cards, kites and hand-painted California dinnerware to fine art and Depression-era WPA paintings.

Wong immigrated to the United States at the tender age of nine but was detained for a month and put through a grueling interrogation test before being allowed to enter as a Chinese immigrant. He took low-end animation jobs until he finally got the chance to be lead animator on Bambi.

American Masters: Tyrus premieres Friday, September 8 at 9/8c on PBS (check local listings).

 

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