John Parr Miller (1913-2004) was an extraordinary artist — a master of eye-appealing fluid lines and designs. Witty, subtle pastel or pencil drawings tumbled forth, suffused with an ineffable charm.
Miller’s early mark was made at the Walt Disney Studio, as a stand-out character designer in the influential Character Model Department. He was one of the artists in “El Grupo,” the creative team that accompanied Walt Disney on his 1941 goodwill tour of South America.
Films such as Pinocchio (1940), Fantasia (1940), The Reluctant Dragon (1941), Saludos Amigos (1943), The Three Caballeros (1945) benefitted greatly from his graphic abilities. Starting in 1948, his talents were showcased in a new career as a beloved illustrator of many children’s books.
Here are two consecutive articles I wrote on the life and career of John Parr Miller for Cartoons, the International Journal of Animation, Volume 2, issue 2, Winter 2006 and Volume 3, issue 1, Spring 2007.
To whet your appetite, here is a selection of J.P. Miller’s Disney drawings
For Saludos Amigos:
Here Miller is seen with James Bodrero, a colleague in Disney’s Character Model Dept., examining a ceramic figure on the South American tour.