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Ed Catmull and Alvy Ray Smith made annual pilgrimages to Disney starting about 1975
On one of the first visits, Disney execs asked if we could "do bubbles." We couldn't. So began the first brush off, but the beginning of relationships that would flower eventually.
Alvy took careful notes of the pilgrimage to Disney on 3 Jan. 1977. He and Ed were accompanied by Dick Shoup, who had hired Alvy at Xerox PARC before Alvy joined NYIT and Ed. Following are items of particular interest in these notes:
- Ub Iwerks was a hero of ours. He had co-founded Disney with Walt. In fact, the original name of the company was Iwerks-Disney. So the statement that "Ub would have" backed us was very meaningful.
- Don Duckwall was indeed the name of the Disney executive on this visit. The statement, "I believe you can now do bubbles," refers to the earlier pilgrimage.
- The highlight was meeting two of Disney's famous animators, of the nine grand old men: Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston.
- The notes end with a visit to III (Triple-I) to visit the team who would be archrivals to the Ed and Alvy team on the long quest for the first digital movie: John Whitney Jr. and Gary Demos.