Almost anyone who has studied Disney animated movies or who is interested in animation as an art form has encountered the work of Preston Blair.
Blair animated the dancing hippos in “Fantasia,” and many other characters through his career; he worked not only with Disney but with Warner as well. Some images from his book:
The “Screwball” Characters
I’ve had this book in my library for over 40 years; so you can imagine my surprise when we walked into a McDonald’s somewhere in Florida and found this:
This is wholesale ripoff of Blair’s work. Artists are not supposed to do this; using someone else’s work as a model is one thing, but outright plagiarism is another. It is so blatant I wrote to McDonald’s corporate and let them know, simply because this sort of thing makes them vulnerable. I got a call back from their legal department asking for more information, so they took it seriously.
Blair’s work is probably some of the most pirated ever; all you have to do is go to a Google image search and look for “Preston Blair Ripoffs” – there is no end of examples. Blair may be long gone, but his work is his, and should not be so blatantly appropriated.
But the beat goes on – just today I saw this picture show up on Facebook, a plug for Plexus Slim:
… and the beat goes on.
The Old Wolf has spoken.