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Ub Iwerks

The Main Man behind the creation of The Walt Disney Empire

By Logan Bufford

After searching for famous animators, I located a man drawing Mickey Mouse. Further research identified him as Ub Iwerks. He was the creator of Mickey Mouse cartoons and a close friend to Walt Disney.

Ub developed special effect techniques for animation, live-action films, and Disney's theme parks, much of which is still in use today.

Children and adults across the world have been exposed to his many concepts; illustrations for " The Haunter Manison" and animations for "Pirates of the Caribbean" located in the Disney parks. Special affects needed to create the flock of attacking birds for Alfred Hitchcock's "The Bird's". Developed the sodium vapor process for live action/animations combinations and traveling mattes which won him an Oscar in 1965 for Mary Poppins.


Ubbe Ert "Ub" Iwerks

Birth Date:

March 24, 1901


July 7, 1971


Kansas City, Missouri

Relationship Status: 

Married to Mildred Sarah Henderson


Don and David Iwerks


Animator, cartoonist, film producer, special effects technician

Life Changing Events:

1919 - met Walt Disney , while working as a commercial artist

Late 1920's - Followed Walt from previous employer, Universal.

Late 1920's - Principal animator of the Mickey Mouse shorts.

1930 - Broke away from Walt Disney and created his own studio.

1940 - Rejoined the Walt Disney studio

1971 - Iwerks died


1965 - Won Academy award of merit - for the conception and perfection of techniques for color Traveling Matte Composite Cinema

1964 - Nominated Oscar- Best effects, Special Visual Effects, The Birds (1963)

1960 - Won Technical Achievement Award - for the depth of an improved optical printer for special effects and matte shorts.

Click here to watch Flip the frog - Fiddlesticks

Click Here to watch Oswald the Lucky Rabbit - Sky SCrappers

Click here to watch Skeleton Frolic

Ub Iwerks with camera, c. 1960

Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks