Bud Luckey

Bud Luckey

Infobox Person
name = William "Bud" Luckey

image_size = 225px
caption = Bud Luckey
birth_date = 1934
birth_place = Billings, Montana
death_date =
death_place =
occupation = Animator, Designer, Artist, Director
spouse =
parents =
children = Andy Luckey

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 Pixar as 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 Street viewers for his numerous short animated films on that program.

Bud Luckey is the father of writer/producer Andy Luckey.


Early career

Luckey was born and raised in Billings, Montana. He served in the United States Air Force during the Korean War. He later served as a graphics specialist with the NATO Allied Occupation Forces in Europe and North Africa from 1953 to 1954 and, finally, with the Strategic Air Command from 1954-'57. He remained an Air Force reservist 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 Disney scholar, and received professional animation training at the University of Southern California with 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 Murakami and Gordon Bellamy.

Television Commercials

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 Madison products 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 Wolf and Jimmy Murakami. He won a Clio Award in 1966 for the General Mills commercial 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. Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey who were clients of that agency during his tenure.

Sesame Street

Luckey wrote and animated many short films for "Sesame Street" and the Children's Television Workshop during 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 PIXAR in 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 Francisco bay 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 Lasseter declared: "Bud Luckey is one of the unsung heroes of animation!"

Luckey joined Pixar in 1990 as a character designer, story board artist and animator for "Toy Story". He was PIXAR's fifth artist/animator. John Lasseter credits Bud Luckey with 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 Lasseter and the story team for the first "Toy Story" film reviewed the names of PIXAR employees' 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 Luckey has 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 Story was named after me.' Andy Luckey said 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 PIXAR and Disney -- I didn't work on the Toy Story feature at all. If the character 'Andy' was named after a real person, it was probably Andrew Stanton. At least that's my guess.'" Andy Luckey told "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 banjo on the soundtrack for the cartoon. "Boundin"' won the ASIFA Hollywood Annie Award that 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 Bird jokes 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 sheep who 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."


External links


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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Luckey — can refer to:People* Andy Luckey, an American Television Producer and Author * Bud Luckey, an American cartoonist and animator * Henry Carl Luckey, a Nebraska Democratic politicianPlaces* Luckey, Ohio …   Wikipedia

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