‘Tyrus’ is Coming to PBS!

After a successful festival run (and 10 awards), the Tyrus Wong documentary TYRUS will have its television premiere on PBS’ American Masters series on Sept 8th.

Official description: Former Disney animator and painter Tyrus Wong died in December 2016 at 106 years old. Obituaries told of a man whose life read like an epic of the 20th century. Wong was born in China in 1910. His family immigrated to the U.S., eventually settling in Los Angeles’ Chinatown. During his late teens, Wong worked his way through art school and eventually found work in Disney’s animation studio. When pre-production on BAMBI bogged down due to problems with the early background artwork, it was Wong’s new landscape sketches — modeled on Song Dynasty-style landscape painting — that took the film in a bold new direction. DIR/SCR/PROD Pamela Tom; PROD Tamara Khalaf, Gwen Wynne. U.S., 2015, color, 77 min. NOT RATED


The glorious work of Tyrus Wong is unparalleled. It was his lush pastels that served as the driving force behind Bambi, where he was the lead artist on the film. Prior to Wong’s contributions, the logistics of managing the detailed nuance of a forest setting (millions of leaves!) was posing a problem, but Wong’s gorgeous, inventive minimalist approach was the perfect solution and provides the film its unique style and warm, textured feel.

2016 just has to drag down everyone it can with it, doesn’t it??

RIP Tyrus Wong

film designer and concept artist for Bambi, Passed away today at 106 years old.
It was his style, his concepts and artwork that I saw in Bambi at 6 years old that lit the spark of my love of animation and production. It’s why I’m here pursuing that dream today. Thank you so much for all your beautiful work.

Tyrus Wong  (October 25, 1910 – December 30, 2016) 

Tyrus Wong was a Chinese-born American artist. He was a painter, muralist, lithographer, designer and kite maker.

The Chinese Exclusion Act, The law prohibited immigration of Chinese laborers from 1882 to 1943 and was the first time an entire ethnic group was banned from coming to the U.S.


Here’s an amazing look at the work of Tyrus Wong in two different phases, the charcoal rendering and the final background painting used in Bambi, for which he is most famously associated. The strength of the composition is already established in the black and white rendering, but the final color version adds all the warmth and natural appeal that the forest setting lent to the film–I want to be there! Also we get a peek at the artist’s studio in his later years which proved to be as productive and prolific as his early years with Disney.


Ty Wong Interview