Show 021 – Dale Baer, Part One

Dale Baer

“It was like going to Mount Olympus and meeting the Gods. It really was. And I was scared to death.”

Dale Baer came to Disney’s as an animation trainee in the late sixties, when the era of the Nine Old Men was coming to a close. He has worked for Filmation, Disney, Ralph Bakshi, and at his own studio, Baer Animation. Dale has been back at Walt Disney Animation Studios since The Emperor’s New Groove and his credits include supervising the characters of Yzma, Slim from Home on the Range, and Wilbur from Meet the Robinsons. Dale recently finished animating on the latest Goofy short How to Hook Up Your Home Theater, and he’s currently working on the upcoming film The Princess and the Frog. This is part one of a two part interview.


Continue for Show Notes and audio file download links…

Get the MP3 here: Show 21: Dale Baer, Part One
Animation Podcast Show 21 MP3(21.5MB, 46:42 minutes)

Or get the enhanced version playable only with Quicktime, iTunes, or iPods. (Includes pictures and links in addition to the audio.)
Get the enhanced podcast here: Show 21: Dale Baer, Part One
Animation Podcast Show 21 Enhanced(23MB, 46:42 minutes)


  • 00:00 The Intro Voice and Theme Song
  • 00:50 Intro
  • New sponsor!
    Dale Baer at IMDB

  • 03:53 Early interest in animation and Disney
  • 06:56 Animation school – Chouiunard
  • 10:24 Teacher from Filmation: Rudy Larriva
  • 11:20 Met Lou Scheimer at Filmation
  • 14:53 Encouraged by Jane Phillipi and Doris Plow to go to Disney
  • 16:42 Hired for training program at Disney
  • 18:01 Advice from Andy Ingman to loosen up
  • 20:07 Results of training program
  • 22:44 Rough inbetweening for Frank and Ollie
  • 25:56 John Lounsbery, Eric Larson, Hal King, Cliff Nordberg
  • 29:02 Atmosphere at the studio during Robin Hood
  • 31:22 New talent devoping today
  • 33:56 Online animation schools
    Animation Mentor
    Acme Animation
  • 34:58 The studio almost closed in the 70s
  • 37:47 Finding new animators in the 70s
  • 39:53 Don Bluth and leaving Disney
  • 43:16 Retta Davidson working at Ralph Bakshi
  • 45:31 Conclusion and feedback info – Link to Voicemail

25 Comments on “Show 021 – Dale Baer, Part One

  1. You have made me very happy Clay. Very Happy.

  2. Hey clay,

    hot off the presses!! RSS is great 😀

    Thanks for another great interview, they are nice an relaxing to listen to. Just kick back, put the kettle on, tune out from what I am doing and tune into a quality interview. Another advantage of the animation industry growing is that there are more people for you to interview!! Keep em coming whenever that may be.

    All the best,


  3. Picture it. I sit down at my computer to start my evenings work on my short film. I check my mail for any important emails and up pops an email from Clay! I giddy feeling starts bubbling up inside as I quickly start up iTunes and see the Animation Podcast GOODNESS downloading automatically. Most of my late nights of animating have been re-listening to ALL the previous goodness, but tonight I had 45 minutes of new inspiration. I am excited to see the latest interview to be with, one: a new name and face of Disney Animation for me. And two: someone who is currently working on the next Disney handdrawn film! Since I am an animator working toward one of those coveted animation spots for this new film, I was excited to hear from someone who I may be working with one day. I look forward to the rest of his interview!!

    Good work, Clay! Keep the “GOODNESS” coming!!

    Until laterz,

  4. Mr. Baer was one of my requests.

    Thanks, Clay. I’ll be happy to hear some more of him.

  5. Congratulations with your sponsorship, Clay! I’m sure this will mean we’ll see a more regular release of episodes, and that is something that we all want. Love your podcast and haven’t missed an episode yet.

  6. HOORAY ! Animation Podcast is back ! And a great guest.
    I have been waiting for you to interview Dale Baer.

    Can’t wait to hear the rest of it .

  7. Not only is Dale a great animator, but he’s a great guy to work for as well. I had the honor of presenting Dale’s Annie award a few years back, and I’ve always known him to be one of the most humble people in this business. I learned how to draw professionally from folks like Andreas Deja, and Dan Haskett, but I learned how to animate from Dale. Thanks again Dale for giving me on of the early opportunities in my career working at your studio, and thank you Clay Katis for interviewing him so that others can benefit from Dale’s experience and wisdom.

    All my best,

    Larry Whitaker

  8. thanks for this Clay and Dale! : )

    this was a very inspiring podcast, i listened to it three times in a row while i was animating at work and it totally brightened my day and made me smile. stories like this make me even more glad and proud to be animator.

    thanks guys! you frickin’ rule!! : )

    take it easy,

    p.s. lookin’ forward to the next one Clay. woohoo!!

  9. Michael – That’s what I’m here for.

    Nathan – I imagine most people listen while they work, but it’s cool to know this also serves as a form of hot-drink-sipping, feet-kicked-up entertainment.

    Lamont – It’s cool to introduce you to a new name in animation. Good luck with your film!

    Dan – thanks for the request! That reminds me to update the request list.

    Rene – Thank you! It’s really exciting for me. I feel so legit!

    Dave – Hi! It’s always good to hear from you. We never worked together-together but we worked together. 😉

    Bobby – So am I! Glad to share.

    Larry – I knew about Dale’s Annie, but somehow it slipped from me in his intro. I will be sure to mention it on the next podcast. Thanks for commenting. It’s nice to see F.O.D. (Fans of Dale) showing the love.

    Sean – Wow, three times? That’s some compliment! I’ll have to let Dale know the goodwill he’s spreading.

  10. Clay!

    woo! glad to have you back and the connection with AM is awesome. I’m really excited.. hadn’t heard of Dale before, so it was great to listen to his background & hear about his experiences at disney. looking forward to part 2!

    Also, I just wanted to say LARRY!!! haven’t heard from you in ages (since Mighty Joe Young) & wanted to thank you for inspiring me back then. Don’t know if you remember me.. but I was the young whippersnapper who kept coming by DQ every week to talk about Maya with ya. You were a huge part of my becoming an animator in this industry, and for that I thank ya. 🙂


  11. Oh, that reminds me. I saw “Bee Movie”, and that reminded me to tell you, “How did the Bee Concert went/”
    My guess is : “They rejected it because it was too close to ‘Bee Movie'” Is it, or what happened?

  12. OMG Clay!


    Everytime I start to forget why I do this in the first place, you post an other interview.

    Clay + Animation Podcast = gas on the fire

    I cant thank you enough, and congrats for the AM sponsorship. I couldnt think of a better combo.


  13. Great interview (once again!). Very motivating just to hear about old school disney and all that. I’ve been following your podcast for ages. Every interview has been totally awsome. Real nice listening to inside stuff about the industry and what motivates these great animators. Great to have you with AM too. I know they’re excellent (i’m taking their classes and have learnt heaps)!

    many thanks
    keep ’em coming!!!!!

  14. Wow! A terrific talk with Dale Baer! The description of the “gentlemen’s club,” and the part where he felt alienated by the Banjo people were particularly interesting. I can’t wait to hear part 2!

  15. Jason – Doing this podcast continually surprises me in different ways. The fact that Larry commented and you were moved to connect with him here – well, it just warms my heart. Thanks for that!

    Dan – I think you’re referring to the Burny podcast. We were just saying it could totally be a viable short to resurrect. I don’t have any knowledge of that happening though.

    Andy – That’s my favorite type of feedback. It’s cool to play my part in getting people to push themselves to take animation to a new place some day. I hope that doesn’t come off as too lofty, but it does make this rewarding.

    Adrian – You’re very welcome. I love old school stories – makes me think of vikings passing down legends from one generation to the next. I’m just trying to get this generation so spill their stories for us and the next generation. Good luck at AM.

    Uncle Eddie – I’m always excited when bloggers I read comment here – welcome! Thanks for commenting. Part two will be in about a week-and-a-half. Stay tooned!

  16. Glad to hear that Animation Mentor will be sponsoring this podcast, great partnership. I just noticed the Enhanced Podcast and I have switched my subscription to it. I just wanted to warn people that switching to the enhanced podcast may make you want to listen to each show one more time. I cannot wait for the AM newsletter exclusive interview. Keep up the great work!

  17. Greg – FYI, I know some of the shows are not in the Enhanced Podcast feed yet. I haven’t converted them yet but I will! Thanks for stopping by.

  18. Great show, Clay!

    Dale is one of my heros even though he’s many years my junior. Did you know I assisted him on Disney’s “Robin Hood?”

    Dale was just a kid when I met him at Disney in the seventies. Now, he’s gone on to prove himself as a Directing Animator. The “Old Guys” who mentored him would indeed be proud of what he’s accomplished.

    I know I am.

  19. Ahhhh, great show, Clay! 🙂

    SO glad that we’ll be getting more-n-more podcasts!… Really lookin’ forward to listening to the shows on a more frequent basis… Wonderful!

    Thanks again for putting these together for the community!… You do a great job, and i thank you for it!

  20. wow this is such a great story , i mean meeting the 9 old men that would be the greatest day of my life , great story kepp them coming .

  21. I just want to say that it’s good to have you back in the world of podcasts Clay. Like many others, I have dreams of one day working in the animation industry. I’m 27, have a degree in graphic design, and have what many would consider a good job in that field. However, I get little satisfaction from the work I do and it’s because I settled for graphic design when what I really want to do is animate. Your podcast and the guests on your show have helped inspire me to follow my dream. I feel like I have gotten a late start, but I hope to be studying with Animation Mentor soon. Maybe someday our paths will cross and I can thank you in person, but untill then, keep up the good work Clay.

  22. i’m new-ish to animating, and i’m learning as much from these podcasts and comments, as from my “formal” education. thanks so much and keep up the great work!

  23. Fantastic podcast. I love tuning in to this. I would love to hear you thoughts on Ralph Bakshi’s films. I’m a big fan of his and would love to hear him on your show. Thank you so much for making these podcasts and I can’t wait to hear more.

  24. Great interview with a modern master of animation. I worked for Dale in the late 80’s and he was great then and simply amazing now!