HeroesPablo Picasso, George Grosz, Ronald Searle, Saul Steinberg, David Stone Martin
"Tom Oreb was an extraordinary artist and unequalled as a designer and a draftsman...Tom's influence might be microscopic in my work today, but I know that lingering deep within me is the remembrance of dynamic composition and stylizing that made Tom Oreb a giant among the giants."
"He had no hesistation about being influenced by various artists. He was one of these very facile draftsmen that could look at something, enjoy it, and find ways to let it influence his work."
"Tom could surpass all of us at creating original layouts and compositions...UPA never came close to him."
"I remember Tom had designed some gangsters in a limousine for Dick Tracy. He had the gangsters all packed into the driving compartment, so you only saw heads, cigars and tommy guns, but it all worked. It wasn't too crowded, it wasn't too sparse. He had this beautiful way of putting designs together. They were amazingly economical of line and funny, yet beautifully designed."
Tom Oreb (1913-1987) is widely regarded as one of animation's greatest designers. He could design characters and backgrounds with equal mastery and in a remarkable range of styles. His work is characterized by a consummate sense of draftsmanship, a graphic purity and an elegance of form that distinguishes his work from other designers of the period. Tom Oreb was born in Los Angeles on October 26, 1913 to second-generation Croatian immigrant parents. He was the middle of five children (one other brother and three sisters). He attended Manual Arts High School in downtown Los Angeles where he was mentored by Frederick Schwankovsky and was classmates and friends with Jackson Pollock, Philip Guston and Manuel Tolegian.
After graduating high school, he was hired by Disney in the mid-1930s and worked at the studio throughout most of the 1940s and 1950s. Among his most important projects were character styling duties on Ward Kimball's Oscar-winning short Toot Whistle Plunk and Boom (1953) and on the features Sleeping Beauty (1959) and One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961). His friends at Disney included Ward Kimball, Vic Haboush, Marc Davis, Eyvind Earle, Bob Givens, Jesse Marsh, Hank Ketcham, David Swift, Bill Peet, Walt Peregoy, Ray Aragon and Dick Huemer. Oreb also worked at other studios including MGM, Ray Patin Productions, John Sutherland Productions and UPA where he designed theatrical shorts and TV commercials. Despite the fact that Oreb's last major work in animation was over 45 years ago, his designs continue to be a huge influence on contemporary animation artists, designers and illustrators.
Here are a few of Tom Oreb's credits:
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) - Inbetweener
The Whalers (1939) - Assistant animator
Beach Picnic (1940) - Assistant animator
Pinocchio (1940) - Assistant animator
Fantasia (1940) - Assistant animator
Dumbo (1941) - Assistant animator
Canine Patrol (1945) - Writer
Make Mine Music (1946) - Writer
Fun and Fancy Free (1945) - Writer
Alice in Wonderland (1951) - Writer
Symphony in Slang (1951) - Production designer
Toot Whistle Plunk and Boom (1953) - Character stylist
The Littlest Giant (1955) - Character stylist
Destination Earth (1956) - Production designer
Paul Bunyan (1958) - Character stylist
Sleeping Beauty (1959) - Character stylist
The Dick Tracy Show (1961) - Designer
One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961) - Character stylist
Who I'd like to meet:
- Status: Married
- Here for: Friends
- Zodiac Sign: Scorpio
- Smoke / Drink: Yes / Yes
- Occupation: Character stylist/designer
Ray Patin Productions
- Hollywood, CA US
John Sutherland Productions
- Los Angeles, CA US
- Burbank, CA US
- Culver City, CA US
Walt Disney Co.
- Burbank, CA US
- Character stylist/animator/writer