- Bud Luckey
name = William "Bud" Luckey
image_size = 225px
caption = Bud Luckey
birth_date = 1934
Animator, Designer, Artist, Director
William "Bud" Luckey (born in 1934 in Billings,
Montana) is an American cartoonist, animator, singer, musician, and composer. He is best known for his work at Pixaras a character designer for " Toy Story", " Boundin'", " Toy Story 2", " A Bug's Life", " Monsters, Inc.", " Finding Nemo", "Cars", " The Incredibles", and " Ratatouille ". He is also beloved by generations of Sesame Streetviewers for his numerous short animated films on that program.
Bud Luckey is the father of
writer/producer Andy Luckey.
Luckey was born and raised in Billings, Montana. He served in the
United States Air Forceduring the Korean War. He later served as a graphics specialist with the NATOAllied Occupation Forces in Europeand North Africafrom 1953 to 1954 and, finally, with the Strategic Air Commandfrom 1954-'57. He remained an Air Forcereservist through the mid 1960's. [http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/article401146.ece] Dawson, Jeff. "They're playing his toons". The Times Online website, December 19, 2004. Last accessed 02/22/2007.]
After leaving active Air Force duty, he attended
Chouinard Art Institute(which later became California Institute of the Arts) from 1957 to 1960. He was a Disneyscholar, and received professional animation training at the University of Southern Californiawith Disney veteran animator Art Babbitt. After graduation Luckey worked for a time as as Babbitt's assistant/apprentice at Quartet Films in Los Angeles.
He served as an animator for "
The Chipmunks" in 1960-61. He also worked as an animator and sequence director on a pilot for "Mad" magazine television special produced by long time friends Jimmy Murakamiand Gordon Bellamy.
As an advertising agency artist from 1961 to 1969 at the Guild-Bascom-Bonfigli (Advertising)Agency (merged with Dancer-Fitzgerald-Sample, now Saatchi & Saatchi, in 1967), Bud Luckey worked on TV commercials for Kellogg's
Frosted Flakes( Tony the Tiger), Froot Loops(Toucan Sam), and Rice Krispies( Snap, Crackle and Pop) as well as Interstate Bakeries' Dolly Madisonproducts featuring Charles M. Schulz' " Peanuts" characters. He created the "Bosco Dumbunnies" characters for the Best Foods'Chocolate Flavor Milk Amplifier" product Bosco Chocolate Syrup-- the commercial spots were animated by renowned animators Fred Wolfand Jimmy Murakami. He won a Clio Award in 1966 for the General Millscommercial Betty Crocker-- "Magic Faucet."
Luckey also worked with animator
Alex Anderson, who created the characters of Rocky the Flying Squirrel, Bullwinkle, and Dudley Do-Right, as well as the more obscure Crusader Rabbit. Anderson was also on staff at the Guild-Bascom-Bonfigli Agency at that time.
The Guild-Bascom-Bonfigli Agency, despite its San Francisco location, was also well known for its work on political campaigns. The agency's Creative Director, Maxwell "Bud" Arnold, was considered a foremost expert in the budding field of television advertising for politics and Arnold's expertise brought many key political figures to the agency's roster. In that regard Luckey also did work on the presidential campaigns of
John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedyand Hubert Humphreywho were clients of that agency during his tenure.
Luckey wrote and animated many short films for "
Sesame Street" and the Children's Television Workshopduring the 1970s. Among them are "The Ladybug's Picnic", "Infinity" ("That's about the size of it"), the Donny-Bud Series (with co-writer Don Hadley) featuring numbers 1 to 5, "#8 Penny Candy Man", "#9 Martian Beauty", "#7 The Alligator King", "Ten Tiny Turtles on the Telephone", "Lovely Eleven Morning", "The Old Woman Who Lived in a Nine" and the award-winning "Longie and Shorty the Rattlesnakes" mini series."Who Is Bud Luckey?", special features, " The Incredibles" 2-disc collector's edition DVD, 2004.]
Bud Luckey founded his own animation studio, The Luckey-Zamora Picture Moving Company, in the early 70's and merged its operation with Colossal Pictures in the late 80's before joining
PIXARin 1992. Initially Luckey's studio was in his family's home, until it outgrew that small townhouse and Bud's own 6'x8' (mini)"house" in the back yard-- in which he worked long hours. The company then took studio space in the Produce District of San Francisco. In the 1970s and 80's it was the largest animation studio in the San Franciscobay area.
His film credits include the 1974 animated feature "The Extraordinary Adventures of the Mouse and His Child".
He worked on a 1990 television special, "
Betty Boop's Hollywood Mystery", and did character design for "" from 1991 to 1992.
PIXAR Animation Studios
In the 2004 video release of
Disney/ Pixar's " The Incredibles", in addition to Bud Luckey's Oscar-nominated short " Boundin'", the studio included a short biography of Luckey entitled "Who is Bud Luckey?" In that video biography, PIXAR (and now Disney's) Creative Executive Vice President John Lasseterdeclared: " Bud Luckeyis one of the unsung heroes of animation!"
Luckey joined Pixar in 1990 as a character designer,
story boardartist and animatorfor " Toy Story". He was PIXAR's fifth artist/ animator. John Lassetercredits Bud Luckeywith the creation and design of the star of " Toy Story", Woody, a cowboy.. Originally the character was a ventriloquist's dummy like Edgar Bergan's character Charlie McCarthy. But he evolved ito a talking doll with a pull string and a gun-less holster. .
According to "
Toy Story" Producer Ralph Guggenheim, John Lasseterand the story team for the first " Toy Story" film reviewed the names of PIXARemployees' children looking for the right name for the film's boy child character. "Andy", (Andy Davis) was ultimately named after Luckey's son, animator Andy Luckey. "Davis" came from the nearby college town, Davis, California, which is home to University of California, Davis, the alma mater of a number of PIXAR engineers. In press interviews Bud's son Andy Luckeyhas demurred and claimed he had no idea if he was the namesake of the character or not, adding that he had assumed that the character was named after PIXAR animator Andrew Stanton: "It's kind of a funny story and I've heard it a few times from various people. But I think it's an ' urban legend' that the character 'Andy' (Andy Davis) from Toy Storywas named after me.' Andy Luckeysaid with a chuckle. 'I'd be flattered if it were true but I kind of doubt it. I was 30 when that first film came out -- more than twice the age of the character. Although, when I was with Virgin Interactive, we did some work with PIXARand Disney-- I didn't work on the Toy Storyfeature at all. If the character 'Andy' was named after a real person, it was probably Andrew Stanton. At least that's my guess.'" Andy Luckeytold " Animation Magazine" in a 2005 interview.
Luckey's character designs can also be seen in "
Toy Story 2", " A Bug's Life", " Monsters, Inc.", " Finding Nemo", "Cars", " Ratatouille ", " Wall-E", and the upcoming release " Toy Story 3". In 2003 Luckey gained attention for the short film" Boundin'", which was released theatrically as the opening cartoon for " The Incredibles". It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short in 2003. Luckey wrote and designed the short, and also composed the music and lyrics, and sang and performed banjoon the soundtrack for the cartoon. "Boundin"' won the ASIFAHollywood Annie Awardthat same year.
In "The Incredibles", Bud Luckey voiced the role of National Supers Agency (NSA) Agent Rick Dicker. In the film's DVD commentary, director
Brad Birdjokes that he had an idea to start "Boundin" 'with Rick Dicker coming in to his office late at night, pulling out a bottle of "booze" and a banjo to start singing the song about the dancing sheepwho is sheared and has his confidence restored by the Jackalope. In the commentary for "Boundin '", Luckey comments (referring to his Sesame Street days) that he "taught kids numbers using animation, and now those kids are teaching me to animate, using numbers."
Luckey is widely rumored to have an original film concept in development for Disney-Pixar with former "
Sesame Street" collaborator Don Hadley. The film is further rumored to be planned for co-direction by Luckey and Lasseter. The plot has not been released but is believed to have a western theme, similar to Luckey's short " Boundin'", with a projected release date of 2013.
Other works by Bud Luckey
Luckey has designed and illustrated more than 100 children's books containing his characters, recently including the
Golden Book"Mater and the Ghostlight" featuring the "Cars" character "Mater."
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