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{ Cast & Crew: Tony Anselmo }

Tony Anselmo (February 18, 1967 - ) is an American animator/actor born in Salt Lake City, Utah. Anselmo grew up with a passion for drawing, asking questions of "How do they do that?" with animation. During school, he wrote letters to the animators at Disney. Deeply pleased by his artistic interest, they responded back with sketches and tips on drawing. Anselmo soon assembled his art portfolio and took it to Disney. Don Duckwall (coincidence?) and Jack Hannah were greatly impressed and suggested that he attend Cal Arts for further training. The aspiring artist said he wished he could, but his father insisted he go to business school. The animators gave him the Disney Fellowship scholarship through the Disney family and Cal Arts. At the time, the school was connected with Disney as Walt himself set it up through Chouinard (Art Institute). Anselmo has been grateful of this act of generosity ever since.

Anselmo studied hard at the institute learning everything that was passed down to him from the Disney animation masters. Being under the Disney Fellowship, he was specifically trained to work for Disney. After two years, the studio agreed to put him on production in the Studio Animation department. Even after becoming an employee, Anselmo continued to train in the Disney School of Animation. He and fifteen others would sit in Walt's screening room to watch such films as The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949) or Lady and the Tramp (1955) to learn the nuances of animation frame by frame. Eric Larsen, one of Disney's "Nine Old Men," was among the animators whom taught the classes. In the early eighties, Anselmo and three of his classmates were finally put on Production for their first film: "Mickey's Christmas Carol" (1983).

Aside from drawing and animating, Anselmo had another talent: voice acting. One of the voices he played around with just 'for fun' was Donald Duck. Clarence Nash, the original voice of the fiery-tempered fowl, personally trained Anselmo how to produce the quacking speech correctly. Nash did a lot of volunteer work as well, going at least once a week to St. Joseph's hospital across from the studio to entertain sick children. Anselmo went with him once to watch as he tried to cheer up a little boy who just had his tonsils out and would not stop screaming. Nash brought over his Donald Duck puppet and held it up to the boy. In his famous voice, he shouted, "Shut up!" The kid listened!

On February 20, 1985, Nash sadly passed away of leukemia at the age of 80. By then, Anselmo had perfected the voice of Donald and was passed the torch to perform the role in dozens of TV shows, movies, and theme park parades. While voicing Donald, Anselmo continued animating theatrical features. He often animated Donald Duck as well. Tony provided Donald's voice in the video game series, "Kingdom Hearts." In 2009, Anselmo became a Disney Legend, a prestigious award given to those who have made an extraordinary contribution to the Walt Disney Company. Today, he continues to work for Disney as both an artist and voice actor.

The biographical information is from a wonderful interview with Tony at Mouse Clubhouse.
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