2007 Disney princess / FRI 6-17-11 / Disney animator Johnston / Singer with short-lived 1950s sitcom / Manga set in motion / High-tech scam artist
Friday, June 17, 2011
Oliver Martin Johnston, Jr. (October 31, 1912 – April 14, 2008) was an American motion picture animator. He was one of Disney's Nine Old Men, and the last surviving at the time of his death. He was recognized by The Walt Disney Company with its Disney Legend Award in 1989. His work was recognized with the National Medal of Arts in 2005. // He was an animator at Walt Disney Studios from 1935 to 1978, and became a directing animator beginning with Pinocchio, released in 1940. He contributed to most Disney animated features, including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Fantasia and Bambi. His last full work for Disney came with The Rescuers, in which he was caricatured as one of the film's characters, the cat Rufus. // Johnston co-authored, with Frank Thomas, the reference book Disney Animation: The Illusion of Life, which contained the 12 basic principles of animation. This book helped preserve the knowledge of the techniques that were developed at the studio. The partnership of Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston is fondly presented in the documentary Frank and Ollie, produced by Thomas' son Theodore. (wikipedia)
Definitely a better-than-average puzzle from Paula, whose grids I often find pretentious in a Northeastern, pseudo-aristocratic kind of way—all wine types and Europeanisms and what not. You've still got the tell-tale slew of foreign language words (from all the major European languages: EINE, NEISSE (30A: German/Polish border river), ELA, KOLN (24A: ___ Bonn Airport), ETRE, OLE, MEINE (___ Liebe (Dear, in Dresden)), ORA (55D: 3,600 secondi), ETE ... I think that's all of them), but there's a lot of lively, zippy stuff to drown out the Euro-noise. Long stacks above and below are both lovely , as are CHOW LINE (5D: Waiters in a mess) and PHISHER (23D: High-tech scam artist) (a fine example of NEWNESS in the puzzle; 17A: Antiquity's antithesis).
At 8:28, this was a pretty normal Friday for me, but early returns at the NYT site suggest this one proved harder than normal for many. A passel of proper nouns might have complicated things for people. I was lucky to get HENNING straight off (6D: "World of Magic" Emmy nominee), which helped tremendously up top. I also got PINZA (25D: Singer with a short-lived 1950s sitcom) and NALDI (46D: Actress Nita who never made a talkie) very quickly based on prior crossword experience. The OLLIE (19A: Disney animator Johnston who received the National Medal of Arts) / GISELLE (1D: 2007 Disney princess) section took longest (I knew neither; I loved "Enchanted" and I Love Amy Adams, but I totally forgot her character's name was GISELLE). I'd have gotten IBANEZ instantly if the clue had been [Baseballer Raul]. As it was, I had to get nearly every letter from crosses (34A: Longtime guitar brand). Biggest hang-up came with RASTER, a word that looks hellishly wrong even now (39D: Scan lines on a monitor). It's a valid word, but you know it's not a very desirable word when it's made entirely of common, useful letters and still you (almost) never see it in puzzles.
- 1A: Cause of a paradigm shift (GAME CHANGER)
- 12A: Prepare for pain (BITE THE BULLET)
- 14A: It takes a lot to get one upset (CAST IRON STOMACH)
- 54A: Tendency to overcompensate for a perceived shortcoming (NAPOLEON COMPLEX)
- 57A: Hunter with rough hair (BORDER TERRIER)
- 58A: Spoke up with one's head down? (SAID A PRAYER)
- 53A: Follower of many a mineralogist's name (-ITE) — I guess they name the ores after themselves. Cute. Just like VEGEMITE is named for Sir Andrew Vegem and SATELLITE for Henri Satell.
- 29D: Image on some joke T-shirts (TIE) — took me embarrassingly long to understand. I remember tuxedo t-shirts from the late 70s, and those did have TIEs on them. Maybe they make them in more of a suit-and-tie model now.
- 52D: Pseudonym of a noted Freud patient (DORA) — he made her pay by the ORA.
- 48D: Prius alternative (CAMRY) — in that they are both Toyotas, I guess. My brain decided that five letters, starts w/ "C," [Prius alternative] = CIVIC.
[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]