Retta Davidson (November 1, 1921 in Arcadia, California – June 12, 1998 in Carlsbad, California) was a United States animator. She is best known as one of the few women animators who worked for Walt Disney Studios during the Golden Age of American animation. She was sometimes credited as "Redda Davidson". Davidson should not be confused with Retta Scott, another female animator at Disney.
After graduating from high school in 1939, Davidson joined Disney as an inker and painter, where she worked on Pinocchio, Bambi and Fantasia. During World War II, the Disney studios were affected by the resultant labor shortage, especially since many of their lead animators were drafted to serve in the First Motion Picture Unit. In 1941, the studio asked members of the Ink and Paint Department to submit artwork in order to be considered for animation training and possible jobs with the animation department. Davidson was one of a group of ten women who were accepted in the program. Davidson worked as an animator for a year before taking leave from the studio in 1942 to enlist in the United States Navy, where she served for four years. Davidson returned to Disney Studios after the war, where she worked as an animator until 1966. After leaving Disney, she provided freelance animation work for advertising agencies, as well as for Chuck Jones (including work on Duck Dodgers and the Return of the 24½th Century).
In 1980, Davidson was invited back to Disney to work on the feature length animated films The Fox and the Hound and The Black Cauldron. She was given the position of coordinating animator. After the film's release, she worked at the studio training new animators until her retirement in 1985.
- Retta Davidson at the Internet Movie Database
- The Mystery of the Female Disney Animator
- Remembering Retta Davidson by Floyd Norman
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