Prior to being called up as a B-17 pilot during World War II, David ‘Bud’ Swift worked as an animator’s assistant – and later animator – at Disney, initially under the watchful eye of Ward Kimball. His handiwork can be seen in films such as Pinocchio and Fantasia. The following amusing letter was sent to his colleagues whilst he was stationed in England, 1945 and clearly homesick. When he did return home he first became a writer for Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, and then later wrote and directed both Pollyanna and The Parent Trap.
Thursday, 28 Dec.
Praise the Lord
and Pass the Animators!
Dear Fred, Ward and Tom:
Not knowing whether Hal censors all incoming mail or not I will confine myself to slurs and not express what I think. Wonder if he realized just what he missed when he failed to snap up that little biz of Mickey and the Tire that I dreamed up. Ya see ole Mick, he’s got this here tire what’s flat, and Boy! you can just imagine all the trouble that he has getting it off that ole wheel. First, he pulls it real hard like and it goes twan-n-n-n-n-g-g-g-g-g then he climbs up on the…… But Hell! you really have to see me act it out to get the full benefit of. Tex Avery has been offering me fabulous sums for it but I’ve been holding out because I think I can work it up into a feature.
This started out to be a letter to you but I just get so damned pissed off when I think of what he passed up that………. Back to the letter.
i suppose you fellows would really get your kicks if you could see ole Chrome Dome in this environment. I get to laughing about the transition from animation board to this when we’re over Germany and have had bombs away. They say “From here to the target you’re working for SAM but once bombs are away you’re working for number one.” Really doesn’t seem possible that there was ever anything other than this. So here I sit in my Nissen Hut pecking away at this magic cipher machine which I have lugged all the way from the States. Florida, New Hampshire, Labrador, Greenland, Iceland, Wales and then this f________ Limey Hole. “Why, what’s that Mam? You ask if I want to go back to Am? Lord Luv a Duck, Gov’nor, what do we have there that you don’t have here—‘cept maybe a thick ole steak or a bottle of beer that doesn’t taste like a wet dream or women that don’t carry pro kits or….Oh well, Cheer Guv, you’re stuck with it.”
Would really like to get a letter from you fellows and maybe a drawing or two if you have a minute.
A grahnd fellow, your friend and mine, and wonderful entertainer…………..(Signed, Bud)